November 5: The local US vote
Most Israeli-Americans who voted for President Barack Obama used the veteran “Vote from Abroad” website for absentee ballots and had no need for the services of iVoteIsrael.
Letters Photo: REUTERS/Handout
The local US vote
Sir, – Concerning “iVoteIsrael: 80,000 US Israelis voted”
(News in Brief, November 2), the iVoteIsrael people behind the poll claim that
85 percent of Israeli-Americans voted for Republican Mitt Romney.
of all, most Israeli Americans who voted for President Barack Obama and
Democratic Party candidates used the veteran “Vote from Abroad” website for
absentee ballots and had no need for the services of iVoteIsrael.
not surprising since the majority of the iVoteIsrael polling stations were
located in areas like Jerusalem and Gush Etzion, where most Israeli-Americans
are from the national-religious or ultra-Orthodox community.
Not a single
polling station was located in the close to 20 kibbutzim that have large
American populations and where people undoubtedly voted for Democrats.
for the op-ed by Bryna Franklin (“Why I’m switching to Romney from the Obama
camp this election,” Comment & Features, October 30), which appeared next to
my own op-ed (“Why Obama”), she says in a video being circulated by the
Republican Jewish Coalition that “the majority of American Israelis who voted
for Romney have been Democrats their whole life.”
This is clearly not an
accurate statement. The majority of those who voted for Romney belong to the
minority of American Jews in the national-religious and ultra-Orthodox
communities, many of them living today in settlements, who have always voted
The writer is acting chair of
Democrats Abroad – Israel
The better candidate
Sir, – Prof. Alan Dershowitz, in
proposing that US President Barack Obama deserves a second term (“The case for
Obama’s reelection,” Observations, November 2), displays the same illusions as
In foreign policy the Obama administration encouraged the
demonstrations in Egypt that resulted in the rise of radical elements like the
dangerous Muslim Brotherhood, funder of Hamas. Obama misled Americans
that the Brotherhood was not to be feared.
Also disproved was the
contention that the death of Osama bin Laden weakened al-Qaida and thus
terrorism. The vicious attack in Benghazi and the massacre of four Americans was
carried out by one of the many worldwide al-Qaida affiliates that espouse the
same ideology – the destruction of Western civilization and the establishment of
a worldwide caliphate and global Shari’a law, which Dershowitz and Obama – both
lawyers – should know is incompatible with the US
Dershowitz’s endorsement of Obama does not change the
reality of the American president’s foreign policy failures. It makes us doubt
Dershowitz’s own judgment.
Sir, – According to Alon
Pinkas (“President Obama, a friend,” Observations, November 2), Israelis should
just say nothing about the absurd Obama policies of promoting the Muslim
Brotherhood and appeasing Iran.
Israelis should just wait until the
Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt attacks Israel in order to “liberate” Jerusalem, or
the Mahdi-seeking Twelvers in Iran nuke us, whichever comes first.
statement that Obama “has been a reliable friend of Israel” is an explicit lie
by anyone who has a basic understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, or a
misguided statement by an uninformed person.
I do not know which of the
two descriptives covers Pinkas, but it is scary if we had either a dishonest or
uniformed person in our foreign service.
Sir, – At last! A voice of respect and reason says it like it is, a wise and
realistic assessment from Alon Pinkas.
Pinkas’s words say so clearly the
thoughts I have had for a long while. Recognizing the policies of both
candidates and acknowledging that Israel should not be a critical issue in the
votes of the Americans, he closes with: “This is for Americans to decide, and
for us, uncharacteristically, to shut up for once.”
Let’s play it cool
for a change and stop pushing ourselves onto every American agenda.
Sir, – Sarah Honig (“How Obama saves Israel,” Another Tack,
November 2) declares that the US president’s “attitude to troublesome little
Israel is chillingly like [Neville] Chamberlain’s was vis-à-vis the unfortunate
Czechs.” She then goes on to show what seem to be particularly cogent parallels
between the British prime minister’s treatment of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and
Obama’s treatment of Israel in 2012, clearly emphasizing the Obama
administration’s willingness to “sacrifice” Israel for the sake of making the
rest of the world happy and quiet.
But the problem is not Obama and in
fact goes much, much deeper. On October 4, 2001, then-prime minister Ariel
Sharon made world headlines by saying the following:
“We are currently in the
midst of a complex and difficult diplomatic campaign. I turn to the Western
democracies, first and foremost the leader of the free world, the United
States. Do not repeat the dreadful mistake of 1938, when the enlightened
democracies of Europe decided to sacrifice Czechoslovakia for the sake of a
temporary, convenient solution. Don’t try to appease the Arabs at our expense.
We will not accept this. Israel will not be Czechoslovakia. Israel
will fight terror.”
These statements were directed at none other than our
“dear friend,” President George W.
Bush, in an almost identical context
as today, since Sharon was reacting to heavy US pressure to negotiate with the
Palestinians and criticism of the “expansion of settlements” despite a recent
series of horrible terrorist attacks on Israelis.
What Balfour meant
Sir, – I agree with Michael Freund (“Happy Balfour
Day!,” Fundamentally Freund, November 1) that the Balfour Declaration is a
document worthy of celebration.
But I’m wary of attaching too much
significance to it.
True, it is more than “ancient history,” but our
actual ancient history in the Land of Israel trumps it. All around us we see
Arab nations, conjured up by the British and French, and validated by the United
Nations, now tearing themselves apart.
If our government eventually
decides to give some land to the Palestinians (I hope not), it will be a gift to
them and not the “return” of territory that belonged to them.
Sir, – Perhaps the wine with which you celebrate Balfour
Day is clouding your memory. Don’t you remember that the Balfour Declaration
also said something about the rights of “the existing non-Jewish communities in
Palestine?” If anyone is besmirching Israel it is The Jerusalem Post with this
Sir, – If your
correspondent chooses to treat the Balfour Declaration as if it were handed down
on Sinai, then it’s only appropriate to apply some Rashi-style exegesis to the
cunningly worded text.
The British government “view with favour the
establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people....” The
preposition “in” was quite deliberate and was intended to preclude Jewish claims
to all the land of mandated Palestine, thereby, for example, legitimizing the
creation of Transjordan.
I make this technical point not to discount the
effect of Arab rejectionism on the current situation or to belittle Israel’s
impeccable case for a secure Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital, but as
a warning not to be too clever by half when the opposition holds some trump