January 24: Not a remedy

January 25, 2016 22:03

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Not a remedy

Your January 24 editorial “The people’s choice” correctly notes the low esteem in which the Knesset and its members are held by the Israeli public. However, your proposed solution, to “elect Knesset members directly by their personal constituencies,” is rather naive.

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Observe the situation in the US Congress, where senators and representatives are elected according to such constituencies.

Witness the gridlock that has caused the shutdown of the federal government a number of times in recent years; the not-infrequent sex, bribery and corruption scandals; and the low approval rating of members of Congress by the American public.

A Gallup poll in 2013 found that just 13 percent of the public approved of how Congress was handling its job. A 2011 survey by the Center on Congress at Indiana University revealed that the public gave very low grades to Congress on issues such as “keeping excessive partisanship in check,” “conducting its business in a careful, deliberate way,” “holding its members to high standards of ethical conduct” and “controlling the influence of special interest groups.”

Members of the House of Representatives face reelection every two years, which means that from the moment they enter office, they must begin raising money from (special interest) donors for the next election.

We definitely have problems with our government, but changing the electoral system to one based on personal constituencies is certainly no remedy.


How unsporting!

I am always surprised and upset by the negative comments made about our Israeli athletes by sports correspondent Allon Sinai. Once again, he excelled in understating the wonderful achievement of Dudi Sela for having progressed to the third round of the Australian Open, only to be beaten by a better player (“Sela squanders grand opportunity in Melbourne,” Sports, January 24).

We should be proud of Dudi’s achievements and the gentlemanly and modest manner in which he plays his tennis, to the joy of us all. His playing skills were complimented time and again by the international tennis commentators on Eurosport TV. It is a shame that one of our own does not share their views.

Tel Mond

Allon Sinai responds: While we as Israelis are very proud of Dudi Sela’s accomplishments, the Post was writing a news report on him losing, not a commentary.

Sela, too, admitted that it was a disappointing defeat.

Deluding himself

In Davos, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he wanted his legacy to be “protector of Israel,” adding: “I have to make sure that the future of the Jewish state is safe and sound” (“PM to EU: Act more like moderate Arab states toward Israel,” January 22). Actually, he’s more like a protector of Arab rights.

And some “future”! Our people are being murdered by Netanyahu’s so-called peace partners, and he still talks of a twostate solution, saying the settlements “take up a very small amount of land and, in any case, it’s something to be negotiated.

Let’s negotiate.”

The prime minister is surely deluding himself if he still believes it is possible to give up our land to such demonic people, whose one goal in life is to destroy Israel.


My father taught me an old Yiddish saying: “Keep your eyes on your own plate.” Rather than the entire Palestinian leadership’s constant whining about what Israel has done to their people, I’d love to hear them talk about what they’ve done for their people: How many hospitals have they built? How many university classrooms? How many companies have they lured with the promise of affordable and eager labor? How much have they raised children’s reading and science scores? How much have they encouraged economic growth? How much closer have they moved toward peace? Maybe working toward objectives would be more effective than simply blaming somebody else.


Politics or jealousy?

With regard to “British doctors seek to expel Israel from int’l body” (January 21), do these doctors promote boycotting Israeli doctors for political reasons or jealousy? They should be aware that medicine is not involved in politics, and that not all the best doctors are Jews, nor are all Jewish doctors the best.

The physicians should consider that Israeli doctors at the scene of a terrorist attack treat the wounded according to the urgency of each case, even if it means treating first the terrorist. They should also remember that in 1947, British soldiers stood by and watched while Arabs killed all the doctors and nurses on their way to start the day’s shift at Hadassah Hospital on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus.


Reader J. Smink (“On boycotts...”Letters, January 24) is right in that The Jerusalem Post should be more assertive about the libel by 71 doctors in the UK who say Israeli doctors carry out medical torture on Palestinians. So should the Israel Medical Association, whose members are being maligned by such false allegations.

Rather than calling on the prime minister to take action, the IMA should initiate legal proceedings wherever the libel is being publicized unless the 71 doctors retract their statement.

And yes, as the letter writer states, the British doctors’ names should be published everywhere.

Tel Aviv

Could happen here

Reading “Police fire tear gas as thousands of protesters demand jobs in Tunisia” (January 21) sparked a thought: Could the basic problem be that all the migrants moving north is due to the fact that there are not enough employment opportunities in Muslim states, as there is no infrastructure to maintain a labor force? The states in question have an abundance of people due to high birth rates, but lack forward planning to feed the masses. It is a case of government neglect.

We in Israel should be aware of this so that we do not fall into the same situation. The religious among us who think that “God will provide” must take heed.

Tel Aviv

Special (piquant) sauce

Many non-Jews have been staunch friends of the Jewish people and Israel. Rafael Medoff describes one of them, James G. McDonald (“A Holocaust scholar who stepped into Israel’s history,” Comment & Features, January 21).

Medoff concludes by mentioning our synagogue, which is called “the McDonald shul” because it is on the street named after McDonald. What is not as well known is that many years ago, one of the of the most active officers of the McDonald shul was none other than the late David Hamburger!


Helping survivors

I was shocked to read in the January 15 Grapevine feature that many remaining Holocaust survivors have not received all the funds due them from reparations.

I cannot understand why nobody has suggested an emergency fund to give financial assistance and care to these people, who have suffered so much in their lives. To help these survivors is more essential than building museums and memorials.

I feel sure that many survivors or children of survivors who are or were more fortunate would be willing to support such an appeal. I feel very strongly that we cannot ignore the plight of the suffering survivors.


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