Ambassador explains Israeli stand

The Tribune’s assumption that Israel is using the issue of the kidnapped soldier as a pretext to send its troops to Gaza, defies the logic of Israel’s full withdrawal from Gaza only nine months ago. Israel has left Gaza hoping to create an opportunity to re-energise the peace process and to provide Gazans with the tools for progress and development along the route to their future independent state, living peacefully, side by side, with the State of Israel.

Instead, Gaza has become a launching pad for constant terror attacks across the border aiming at civilians and soldiers inside Israel proper. These attacks are carried out by the Hamas and other terrorist organisations. Hamas cannot claim the political privileges of an elected government without accepting the minimum responsibilities that go with it.

In its counter-terrorism operations, Israel is exercising its right of self-defence which would have been exercised similarly by any other state under similar circumstances.


Israel neither desires to return to Gaza, nor to cause any hardship to Palestinian civilians. But it cannot allow the rules of the jungle which characterise the Hamas behaviour to become the order of the day. Israel demands the unconditional release of its kidnapped soldier. This will end the present crisis.

As to the manifesto signed by the Palestinian factions, it is a step away from peace. The goal of the document is to address the internal interests of various Palestinian groups. The document fails to meet any of the requirements of the Road Map and rejects the three basic conditions of the international community: recognition of Israel’s right to exist, ending terror and adherence to all the existing agreements. Worse, the manifesto expresses a clear-cut support for continued terrorism. Israel, therefore, views this document as a great obstacle for future Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and a negotiated two-state solution.

DAVID DANIELIAmbassador of Israel, New Delhi

Grow more pulses

It is common knowledge that till 1947, Punjab’s farmers were mainly cultivating wheat and pulses — moong and masar to be precise. And they were happy. Dal, roti is the staple food of every Indian. So wheat is the most important grain and dals form part and parcel of the diet.

Unfortunately, however, lured to make more money, Punjab’s farmers said goodbye to pulses and virtually became crazy from early sixties onwards. The tragedy began in rural Punjab. As things stand today, only a motivated political leadership can help farmers promote pulses. This is the practical solution to an ailing rural Punjab.

SANJEEV, Kurukshetra

Army’s image

The ex-servicemen of Sarv Mitra Colony, Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar, Pakhowal Road, express concern about BJP leader Sushma Swaraj’s remarks against the Vice-Chief of Army Staff. She has blown the matter out of proportion to gain political mileage.

The Indian Army is considered one of the best in the world. Its officers, JCOs and jawans take the career in true spirit and serve the country to the best of their capacity and ability. We are not against the women’s entry in the Army but the way their seniors and subordinates face problems must be looked into. We earnestly appeal to all politicians and bureaucrats to send at least one son and one daughter to the armed forces to make good the shortage of officers.

Major SHER SINGH (retd) Pakhowal Road

India and World Cup

It is heartening to see wide coverage given in the media and keen interest generated over the football World Cup, although India has hardly any ranking internationally in the game. Yet the ongoing extravaganza of matches with a superb display of skill and stamina will be a shot in the arm for young aspirants even as providing valuable tips to our players.

As of now, we are like cheer leaders, watching the show from the sidelines, going wild with ecstasy over others’ good performance.

Wing Commander S.C. Kapoor (retd), Noida

Bad precedent

I am surprised to read the letter “We must stop open loot of public money “ (July 01). Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit has agreed to pay the electricity bills of IAS officers, who are already paid a hefty salary and perks. This decision may be to prevent the exposure of some unethical deeds of the politicians.

This may act as a bad precedent for IAS officers in other states. This is how common people are burdened with a high cost of living.

B S Ganesh, Bangalore

Unaware of RTI Act

On June 15, 2005, The Right to Information Act 2005 received the assent of the President and the process of allowing the citizens the power of questioning and seeking information from those who governed them began, which made them the “master”. But even after one year only few people are aware of its utility and benefits to society.

The need of the hour is creating public awareness.

People can now be made aware how using the RTI Act they can do social audit of any work through getting information and examining it critically and posing questions to contain corruption and to hold governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed. This is where the social activists, NGOs and the media have to take the lead.

Commodore Lokesh. K. Batra (retd.), Social Activist, Noida 



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