Who is corrupt?
“Is Netanyahu corrupt?” (Editor’s Notes, December 22). Yes and no.
He is morally corrupt because he and his wife love expensive presents, like tycoons, and are surrounded with people and advisers who are suspected of serious corruption.
He is legally not corrupt, because all of the above does not make him a criminal.
Having said that, I and many other citizens of the right wing will probably not cast their votes for a morally corrupt Benjamin Netanyahu heading the Likud. The party has to look out for a new leader. Otherwise, the Likud will lose in the next election its leading status.
The judgment on this kind of corruption belongs to the voter on Election Day, not to the police or the attorney-general.SHLOMO FELDMANN
On what basis does Lior Chorev know that the police recommendations on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cases of alleged corruption will be “earth shattering”? (“Former police adviser: Netanyahu indictments will be ‘earth-shattering,’” December 26). If he was so told by a police informer, then he and the informer are both guilty of leaking police information. If not, has he become a prophet? Surely the moral corruption of politically motivated leaks is far worse than receiving some cigars! MORTIMER RABIN
Har Nof Question for the sultan
I have a question I would like to ask the foremost defender of human rights, liberty and democracy, His Highness Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan (“New emergency decree makes way for political violence, Turkish lawyers warn,” December 26): Is the “Gulen coup” Turkey’s Reichstag fire? YISRAEL GUTTMAN
A prediction that is speculation It was disconcerting, to say the least, to read the front-page lead “news” article by Herb Keinon (“Automatic majority against Israel at UN will turn in 2032,” December 25). This prediction has no basis in theory or fact, and certainly does not warrant the definite conclusion that the “majority... will turn...”
Political support in an international body depends on many real factors, and extrapolation of a quasi-statistical nature is quite meaningless. What were the editors thinking when they published pure speculation in such a prominent position? Please spare us from this kind of muddled thinking in the future.MOSHE GOLDBERG
Examining the reality check
While attempting to be controversial, to ignite readers passions and thereby encourage a heightened interest in your newspaper, Jeff Barak actually achieves the opposite (“Binding Israel to Trump is detrimental to the country’s international standing,” Reality Check, December 25). In his continual, nonstop anti-governmental, anti-Netanyahu, anti-Trump and, in fact, anti-everything commentary, he generates the gloom and depression that accompany every one of his articles.DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
For many American expatriates, our country’s international standing is sullied by President Donald Trump. Yet he is America personified for these next few years. As the president of the most powerful country in the world, like him or not, when he talks you had better listen.
Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are not “best buddies,” as Jeff Barak put it, any more than Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat were when they shook hands over the catastrophic Oslo agreement. That’s how politics are. If you are forced to do something, you do it and, if possible, pretend that you are doing it under your own volition.
To deal with their frustration, anti-Trump Americans have taken to using terms of derision, as Barak has when he describes our prime minister as “sycophantically lauding,” “pathetically pointing” and as having “slavishly recycled.” Barak’s contempt for our prime minister is very clearly observed.
Barak calls the UN vote against declaring that Jerusalem is our capital “humiliating.” It is not humiliating to suffer a defeat at the hands of those whose aim is to destroy us. Although it frustrates us and angers us, nothing that the corrupt UN can do will humiliate us.
Netanyahu has made mistakes, done annoying and controversial things. He is a human being. But he is the one that has fought brilliantly and will continue to fight with all his might to protect our land.MARCELLA WACHTEL
Jeff Barak’s assertion that binding Israel to US President Donald Trump is detrimental is, I suggest, totally irrelevant when it comes down to the fundamentals of moving forward to reach a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Simply put, until the Palestinians recognize Israel as the sovereign state of the Jews and cease preaching hatred against us via school textbooks and in all international forums with incitement to violence at every opportunity and rewarding for such, no permanent peace will be possible.
As said many, many times, until the Palestinian leadership care more for their people than their hatred of us, peace will continue to be a far-off dream, despite our coziness or otherwise with the United States.STEPHEN VISHNICK
Tel Aviv To get his name in the paper
Regarding “Ya’alon: Corruption in Israel is bigger threat than Iran, Hamas” (December 24), these has-been politicians have to get their names in the paper, whether it is good for the country or not. Iran is working on nuclear bombs that can kill thousands and destroy cities. Hamas has launched rockets and has constructed tunnels for murder. I am appalled at the amount corruption, but I hope justice will prevail. You have to put things in proper context.BOB SIMON
Jerusalem Altars of our own
Regarding Christmas trees in Jewish homes (“Let there be tree!” Comment & Features, December 21), I was in Hillel at City College in the late 1950s. The man who ran that Hillel was Rabbi Zuckerman, a Reconstructionist rabbi. Although he and I disagreed on many, many things, there is one wise thing he said that I have never forgotten. When he was asked by a student “What is wrong with having a Christmas tree?” he answered: “Don’t we have any altars of our own, that we have to worship at everyone else’s?” SANDRA BERLINGER
Jerusalem Bravo to ‘The Mikado’
We went to see the Encore production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s 132-year-old masterpiece The Mikado (“Comedy and kimonos in ‘The Mikado,’” December 28) because our 12-year-old granddaughter, Lilach, was appearing in the chorus. However, my companion and I were pleasantly surprised.
The set design was simple but functional. You felt as though you were in a Japanese town. The costumes were worthy of a Tony Award. Hebrew and English subtitles above the stage helped us to understand the words, especially for the songs that are sung at a quick G&S staccato.
The leads had strong voices: Rafael Apfel as Nanki-Poo, Daniel Fox as Pish-Tush and Aviella Trapido as Yum-Yum. But the show was stolen by an unrecognizable Bezalel Manekin as Pooh- Bah, Sandy Cash as Katisha and especially by Mordecai Buxner as the hilarious Ko-Ko.
But the highlight of the show was the understated performance of Roy Doliner as The Mikado of Japan. He only has one number in the second act. But aided by changed lyrics to reflect modern-day Israeli life, the audience was rolling in the aisles and clapping along with enthusiasm.
This is a must-see show.DON SHRENSKY