January 22: Readers voice last-minute thoughts on election
If the Palestinians get statehood, Putin & Co. will be lining up to arm the fledgling state.
Letters Photo: REUTERS
Sir, – Whether Hillel Horowitz’s comment (“Bayit Yehudi’s Horowitz calls for
resettling Gaza Strip,” January 21) portends things to come, one thing is
certain: If the Palestinians get statehood, Putin & Co. will be lining up to
arm the fledgling state, overtly or covertly. Not to be outdone, France and
Britain, with their burgeoning Islamic populations, won’t be far behind. Iran
will then become only a “minor problem” for Israel.
The question for many
of us on this election day is not resettling the Gaza Strip, but whether Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is so vehemently opposed to Bayit Yehudi because he
really believes in a two-state solution. If he truly believes in a Palestinian
state, then the day after elections many of us who voted for him might find
ourselves stunned, once again, as we were with Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel
Sir, – It seems to me it’s open season
on Bennett-bashing, which got under way with the extreme viciousness of Likud
Beytenu’s election ads against individual candidates on the Bayit Yehudi
If the lists of other parties were examined with such thoroughness
by going back years into each candidate’s background, the mind boggles at what
revelations would almost certainly be uncovered.
Yet this distasteful
witchhunt appears to be conducted only against Bennett.
I shudder to
think that we have returned to the bad old settlerbashing days of the
Sir, – Uri Dromi (“The paradox of Israeli
politics,” Comment & Features, January 21) writes that polls indicate two
out of three Israelis say they favor a two-state solution, and that even Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has expressed consent to a demilitarized Palestinian
state in Judea and Samaria. At the same time, Dromi predicts that more and more
Israelis will vote to expand settlements, presumably precluding the contiguity
of a future Palestinian state.
This is only partially true.
Israeli wants peaceful coexistence with our Arab neighbors, but facing reality
is more sobering. The Arabs and Palestinians have preached incitement against
Israel for 65 years. They have demonstrated unbridled hostility by open war,
constant terrorism and attempts to delegitimize it as a Jewish
Let’s be real: Why does even our so-called peace partner,
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, continue to incite against us in
the PA’s mosques, schools and media? Aren’t the Palestinians clearly saying to
us, We don’t want you here, no matter what Israel does? Is there any reason for
us not to suspect the seriousness of their ultimate aim – our destruction? For
this reason the two-state solution cannot be a solution for now, despite the
arguments of our peace activists. Perhaps in another generation or two, when the
Palestinians finally realize that their best interests lie in genuine
coexistence, we can pursue such a solution.
In the meantime, let’s look
at the record: Every compromise, every withdrawal, every peaceful gesture Israel
made has only brought more terrorism, more threats and further demands. The
withdrawal from Gaza is the best example. What other proof do we need? The Left
argues that we must negotiate now. Negotiate what? How to make further
concessions in order to make Israel more vulnerable? How and when they will
destroy us? The answer is a strong rightist government that expresses the will
of the Jewish people.
Sir, – The nerve! Is
Binyamin Netanyahu so confident he will win that he’s already talking about an
additional term (“Netanyahu says he will run for fourth term,” January 20)?
That’s really chutzpah.
He has some gall. Does he really think the
average man or woman on the street is dying to keep him in office? Evidently he
He deserves to be defeated just because of his oversized love of
Sir, – With regard to “Livni calls to
disqualify US-born candidate for talking about Temple Mount being blown up”
(January 20), Tzipi Livni and her henchmen had better watch out! I am sorely
tempted to appeal to Israel’s electorate to disassociate themselves from her as
an MK and former party leader who failed to safeguard the Temple Mount from
actual destruction by the Wakf Muslim religious trust.
Sir, – As a former officer in the IDF and senior research fellow at the
Moshe Dayan Center of Tel Aviv University, Prof. Elie Rekhess (“The end to
parliamentary politics in Arab-Israeli society?,” Comment & Features,
January 20) surprised me when he cited the decline in participation of Arab
voters without mentioning a similar lack of interest among Jewish voters. The
two go hand in hand.
Rekhess writes that “the twostate solution leaves
the Arabs in Israel in the lurch.” Does he mean that if there were a real state
of Palestine (not the one Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently
proclaimed), Arab citizens of Israel would be in a quandary over where to vote?
What Middle Eastern state is democratic besides Israel? The PA and Gaza votes
were “One person, one vote, one time.”
Rekhess also says that the appeal
of separatist organizations is growing among Arabs here.
nicely with the desire of many Jewish Israelis to establish a border that
excludes populous Arab towns near the Green Line, and includes Jewish blocs
beyond the Green Line.
That sounds like a plan.
Sir, – I cannot believe what the reader who wrote “Not one example”
(Letters, January 20) said – that there are equal rights and no discrimination
for Israeli Arabs.
Our politicians try to deny access to elections for an
Arab party. One of the Arab politicians has to go to the High Court of Justice
to overturn her more-or-less disbarment. Some Arab villages still don’t have
running water, electricity or bus service.
Democracy? No discrimination?
David Ben-Gurion is probably turning in his grave.
Sir, – Is anyone in Israel worthy of ruling over fellow Israelis? The record has
shown that practically every Knesset member becomes a petty despot,
unaccountable to the public and ready to change his political allegiance as
frequently as he changes his socks. Furthermore, our politicians regularly
decline to campaign among and woo the electorate during election periods. They
are concerned mainly with the retention of power than the art of
Israel has consequently become one of the most rotten,
corrupt and scandal-ridden democracies in the Western world.
philosopher Plato observed that democracy is the second-to-the-last stage toward
tyranny. And how the past century has borne this out! The most rotten
democracies have given way to the most horrendous tyrannies: Bolshevism in
Russia, fascism in Italy, Hitlerism in Germany and Maoism in China. Must Israel,
too, teeter into this abyss?
Sir, – Israel has had a very
devisive election campaign. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was the object of
real hostility, and so were two or three political parties.
moment of truth has come and the results of this very dirty campaign must be
accepted not only by the public but by the politicians.
Most important is
that all parties acknowledge that their priority is to ensure a strong, safe
Israel, a national will to create technology to sustain us in the future, a
national goal that “no child be left behind,” and conduct that will show us to
be a light unto the nations.
This is a vision of Israel about which we
can all be unified.