Sir, – When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu mislabeled
Bayit Yehudi as a “sectoral party” (“In the driver’s seat,” Politics, January
18), didn’t interviewers Herb Keinon and Steve Linde have a responsibility to
point out that Bayit Yehudi’s main thrust is to unify all the splinter or
sectoral parties to successfully advise him and reverse his Bar- Ilan change of
direction in declaring support for the two-state solution? And when will The
Jerusalem Post stop labeling Likud Beytenu’s Moshe Feiglin and so many others as
extremist or far-Right? We expect an amazing turnout for Bayit Yehudi to support
Feiglin and the rest of Likud’s strong leaders in steadying the prime minister’s
hand on the wheel in the right direction.PHILIP GILBERT
According to Yossi Klein Halevi (“The struggle for the Israeli Right,” iEngage,
January 18), Naftali Bennett should be excluded from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s
I believe Halevi is definitely wrong. Bennett will only
enhance and strengthen Netanyahu’s government, especially against US President
Bennett deserves our confidence and vote.ESTHER
EHRENBERG Jerusalem Truncating democracy
Sir, – David Brinn’s “Ringside seats at
the great debate” (Observations, January 18) missed the objective. It was to be
an election forum to inform the English-speaking public of the political stance
of the respective parties in this vital election.
It was not billed as a
debate, nor in the main was it one.
The meeting was scheduled for 8 p.m.
but was delayed by public back-slapping by the chairmen of both the Great
Synagogue and the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel that went on
for approximately 12 minutes, with the former promising that the meeting would
finish at 10 o’clock. The rest of the forum went on for 98 minutes, comprising
52 minutes for presentations by the panel, 27 minutes for eight questions and
answers, and 19 minutes for panel summations.
Given that the latest polls
have predicted that we are returning to some form of coalition that will be
subjected to enormous international pressure to cede even more concessions, it
was vital that the public be given as long as necessary to ask questions and not
be cut short.
In Western democracies question and answer sessions during
governmental elections continue until the last question is answered, despite the
hour. With the eyes of the world focused on us it would have made more sense for
this open forum to have permitted the public to express its concerns. That would
be true democracy.
The current election system in Israel does not permit
individual representation such as a constituency representative, so exactly how
is the public to express its concerns? Certainly not to the party machines,
which fail to acknowledge individual members of the public.COLIN L. LECI
Jerusalem Their fault
Sir, – There is one thing Michael Freund (“Barack Obama:
Conceited- in-chief,” Fundamentally Freund, January 17) failed to acknowledge.
While he asks, maybe even implores, American Jews to “speak out loudly and
clearly against Obama’s insulting tone and aggressive rancor,” he forgets that
it was American Jews who helped get Obama reelected.
How can we ask them
to speak out loudly against a president they applaud and listen to with relish?
They’re more likely to believe what Obama says about Israel and Prime Minister
Netanyahu rather than following the right path of believing in their brethren
There is a new revolution going on in Israel, and the peaceniks are
going packing. Religious- Zionism is on the way in, and I believe that with
this, the wonderful chutzpah we have been sorely lacking for so long will
Let’s pray that when Obama tells Netanyahu he has Israel’s back,
our prime minister understands this means the American president has a knife in
Sir, – As Michael Freund concludes in his piece,
the expression of public will in the US, in which people are considered (even by
our detractors) to be intelligent, will cause us great troubles for four more
years. We reap what they voted for.
We should pray that the Arabs’
(correct) perception of the US as soft and cuddly will not convince them to
think the same about us.EDWARD WEINSTEIN
Kfar Adumim Emasculated
Sir, – Barry Shaw’s essay “Israeli diplomatic incompetence”
(Observations, January 18) emphasizes the government’s failure to effectively
present Israel’s case abroad. Actually, it is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
that is mostly responsible for the catastrophic state of Israel’s
Israeli diplomats remain silent when representatives of the
UN, EU or US declare that Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria are “illegal.”
They should be responding emphatically that Israel has every legal right to
build in the territories it freed from illegal Jordanian occupation.
have I ever heard an Israeli diplomat mention, much less elaborate upon, “the
legitimate rights of the Jewish people.”
Arabs obsessively allude to
“Palestinian lands,” but Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokespeople feebly refer to
them as “disputed territories” instead of the Jewish heartland. The Levy Report
documenting the legality of Jewish resettlement in our ancestral homeland should
be translated into many languages and widely distributed around the world, but
the emasculated Foreign Ministry has, to the best of my knowledge, not done
Israel’s high-budget Foreign Ministry has totally forgotten that
Jordan was originally part of the British Mandate in Palestine.
strong case can be made that Jordan is really Palestine, but this is repugnant
to Israel’s diplomatic corps. Its website hardly mentions Jewish national
rights, and its Arabic pages were created only about 10 years ago.
Israeli Foreign Ministry in its actions and inactions reflects the mindsets of
Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin. Just as the Oslo gamble bombed out, so does the
foreign ministry bungle its crucial mission.ZVI NOVEMBER
Sir, – The president of France made a strong statement that should
resonate in the ears of the world. He stated that the government of Algeria did
the absolute correct and moral thing in storming the gas facility taken over by
al-Qaida, although in so doing there was a great loss of life (“Algerian army
stages ‘final assault’ on gas plant,” January 18).
Even though this was
absolutely necessary, Algeria has to be faulted for allowing Islamic radicalism
to become so prominent and powerful there. This should serve notice to all
Why are they so cowardly? Why hasn’t anyone, including
US President Barack Obama, been able to speak out and state the obvious – that
Islamic radicalism is a scourge and intends to destroy all segments of decent
governments? By doing nothing and saying nothing, Western governments are
bringing about their own destruction.
It wasn’t so long ago when the head
of the Soviet Union sat in the United Nations and said that people in the West
would sell the USSR the rope it would use to hang them. Is the Western
leadership so abominable that it actually cooperates with Muslim radicalism so
that it will be spared another year of destruction? What it should be doing is
unite and state the obvious: It has tolerated such destructive terrorism for far
too long and will no longer permit it from this time on! THELMA SUSSWEIN
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