December 31: Why bother voting?
If voters feel alienated it’s because we are. As a citizen eligible to vote, casting my vote would betray my sense of propriety.
Letters Photo: REUTERS/Handout
Why bother voting?
Sir, – It is encouraging to read you addressing the drastic
decline in voter turnout (“An appeal to voters,” Editorial, December 28), but if
a lack of social participation is the reason, clearly it’s not a serious attempt
to understand why.
If voters feel alienated it’s because we are. As a
citizen eligible to vote, casting my vote would betray my sense of
My vote is cast for a person, but the power goes to his or her
Only before elections do politicians consider the electorate –
they beseech, promise, lecture and declare their intentions to improve our
lives. After the elections we disappear from their radar.
system doesn’t provide us with representation that would make politicians
responsive to the voter.
Sir, – Who cares if
eligible citizens vote at the next elections? This decadent, defective political
system of ours is a sham, a farce.
We seem to have a passion and trust
for failed, deposed and recycled political opportunists as our leaders. The
system again will be led by party hacks without morality and acumen who
encourage mediocrity, electoral bribery, greed, graft and corruption, all of
which result in a lack of government stability and continuity that does not
economically or physically defend its people.
The 2005 study by Nava and
Reches discloses that 70 percent of past government decisions were not
implemented. This is a disgrace. It is a good example of the incompetence of our
It is no wonder that many in the electorate have lost hope
in achieving their democratic rights in this country.
After the fact
Sir, – Your December 28 issue included an item
headlined “Bayit Yehudi withdraws soldier ad after complaint,” about Peace Now
secretary-general Yariv Oppenheimer petitioning the Central Election Committee
and calling the ad illegal and deceptive because it used a doctored photo in
which a religious soldier was inserted into the original.
Then, in The
Jerusalem Post Magazine that came with the same issue, that very advertisement
appears on Page 11.
Do the editors of the Post and its magazine talk to
The Editor responds: Bayit Yehudi decided
to pull the ads only after that issue of The Jerusalem Post Magazine went to
press at midweek.
City at fault
Sir, – Concerning “Herzliya spa that
caught fire lacked necessary permits” (December 28), responsibility for this
tragedy should be placed where it belongs: squarely on the shoulders of the
mayor of Herzliya. The municipality failed to enforce strict laws and
regulations requiring businesses to obtain a license and comply with all safety
By far this is not the first tragedy to arise from the
failure of a local authority to strictly implement existing laws and
It stems from the eagerness of local authorities to start
collecting municipal taxes.
It is time for the Interior Ministry and the
state comptroller to bring this reckless irresponsible practice to an end. Every
business should be obliged to display its license, and where the business does
not require one the local authority should issue a notice of
Blots in focus
Sir, – “Pollard’s
Catch-22” (December 28) brings into focus a number of blots on the escutcheon of
the United States: 1. While the US might be “the land of the free,” its legal
system seems to be snared in a Catch- 22 miasma that keeps those who should be
free behind bars. As the article by Jonathan Pollard’s wife, Esther, makes
clear, his first lawyer failed in his duties, thus restricting Pollard’s rights
of appeal. The US legal system refuses to accept this as grounds for permitting
2. On March 3, 1987, Caspar Weinberger stated before Judge
Aubry E. Robinson Jr, who was about to sentence Pollard, that the information
Pollard had disclosed was reserved by the United States for its own use, because
to disclose it to anyone or any nation would cause the greatest harm to US
national security. A recently declassified CIA document states that Pollard’s
handlers asked primarily for nuclear, military and technical information on Arab
states, Pakistan and the Soviet Union, not the US – showing Weinberger’s claim
to be a lie.
3. According to an article by Leo Rennert, a former White
House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers,
Pollard is the victim of a CIA cover-up of the agency’s failure to expose a mole
in the CIA who passed to Moscow the names of many US informants in the Soviet
Aldrich Ames, head of CIA’s Soviet- Eastern Europe division,
fingered Pollard to keep the agency from discovering his own
The CIA is now unwilling to acknowledge its mistake in blaming
Pollard for Ames’s crimes.
4. US President Barack Obama has had four
years in which to pardon Jonathan Pollard. In view of the above and other known
aspects of the case, his failure to do so spreads doubt on the US being the
“home of the brave.”
Sir, – With
regard to “Bibi, Bennett (and Sara)” (Observations, December 28), I have heard
of Ben Caspit’s use of Sara Netanyahu as an object for his venom in other
newspapers. This type of so-called journalism is one of the reasons why no
Hebrew-language newspaper has crossed my doorstep for the past eight
Having worked at an Israeli newspaper for more than a few years in
the past, I have first-hand experience of the journalistic “ethics” and
“responsibility” prevailing in the Israeli press. The use of the press for
personal feuds and attacks against individuals – even public figures – is
deplorable. When directed against a man’s wife, there is only one word:
They have no place in any respectable
Until now, I had not heard of this style of journalism
appearing in The Jerusalem Post. It appears that this is no longer the case –
assuming that it ever was.
If I see one more example of this type of
“journalism” in the Post, I will add it to the list of publications that I no
Israel to the rescue!
Sir, – It is
most noteworthy that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King
Abdullah had meetings regarding Syria (“‘PM discussed Syrian chemical weapons in
Amman,’” December 27).
For historical reasons Syria has always considered
Jordan a part of greater Syria. The Syrian rebels are not singular in their
determination to bring about a better country. The disparate groups are made up
in part of volunteers from Iran and al- Qaida.
Russia is playing out a
very dangerous game with Syria by openly supporting Assad, so Jordan’s Abdullah
will not turn to Moscow for help. He realizes that his kingdom is in great
jeopardy because no nation will come to his aid, so he needs little Israel, as
did his father, King Hussein, in Black September of 1970.
is again to the rescue! History books will not mention this, but we in Israel
should never let it be forgotten that we have helped the Middle East region
whereas the United Nations and the so-called big powers have proven to be
impotent and cowardly.