Deal is a deal

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a truthful and honorable man, he must honor his pre-election commitments to Naftali Bennett an

April 16, 2015 22:36
3 minute read.

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Deal is a deal
Regarding “Bennett ‘shocked’ PM broke deal with him” (April 15), if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a truthful and honorable man, he must honor his pre-election commitments to Naftali Bennett and his Bayit Yehudi party. Likud leaders should also remember that in the eleventh hour, when facing an election loss, they pleaded for Bayit Yehudi voter support.

When your strategy works with the help of your partners, you don’t dump them and claim “force majeure.” Netanyahu won bigger on election day by getting many Bayit Yehudi supporters to swing their votes to the Likud on the basis that it would improve the chance of right-wing coalition. As a result, Bayit Yehudi mandates dropped by four, and they were added to the Likud’s count.

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This is why there is such a lopsided ratio of mandates between the Likud and Bayit Yehudi.

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The others
I must point out that “The ‘other Spielberg’ tells the soaring story of American pilots who fought for Israel in 1948” (Arts & Entertainment, April 15) is highly biased regarding America’s contribution to the Israel Air Force in those early days of 1948.

Young pilots from many other countries made major contributions.

Two leading contributors were the ex-RAF pilots Freddy Fredkins and Jack Freedman, who smuggled used aircraft from the UK to Israel and rebuilt abandoned British planes in the early days of Israel’s independence.

They later flew some of those aircraft in combat.

Boris Senior, an ex-South African Air Force pilot already volunteering, was tasked with returning to South Africa to set up a dummy airline to ferry aircraft from there to Israel. After he returned in an aircraft he had bought, he test-flew the first Spitfire, serving also as a fighter pilot with the 101 Squadron.

Many other South Africans served in those early days of 1948. Going by memory, they included Syd Cohen, Mannie Solarsh and, of course, Smoky Simon, incorrectly referred to as an American in your article. A World War II ace, Trevor Sussman (DFC), organized and helped train young South Africans who later flew and fought in the ranks of the IAF.

Without a doubt, Al Schwimmer and the Americans did a great job, but they were far from being the sole founders of the IAF. It would be well to acknowledge the major contributions by people from many other countries.

I remember the late Ezer Weizman, who flew the famous black Spitfire and went on to command the IAF, telling me how much South Africans had contributed to the air force in its early days.



Your article “From ‘Browzin’ at the mall to driverless taxis in New York” (Business & Finance, April 15) terrifies me. How will civil servants and members of the government know how to run the country without taxi drivers to tell them what to do? LESLIE PORTNOY Netanya


Your lead article “Russia lifts five-year ban on supplying Iran with S-300 anti-aircraft missile system” (April 14) represents the ultimate failure of US President Barack Obama’s doctrine.

In confronting two terrorist states (North Korea and Iran), the US has been stymied by two superpowers, namely China, which has backed Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities, and Russia, which has provided long-term support for Tehran’s nuclear weapons program.

A superpower that fails to wield a credible military threat, often referred to as a “big stick,” is a prescription for failure. Thus, the bad deal with Iran was inevitable.

With the S-300s, Russia has once again defied the Western powers, exposing their impotence and revealing Obama’s failure to understand realpolitik.

MEL SHAY Jerusalem

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