December 3: Still gets coverage

The amazing thing is that Ehud Olmert still gets coverage.

December 2, 2013 23:30

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Still gets coverage

Sir, – With regard to “PM, Olmert go head-to-head over Iran” (December 2), a crook who sold out the city of Jerusalem to real estate developers and was an abject failure as a war-time prime minister now wants to criticize our sitting prime minister in favor of the worst US president ever, and against the interests of Israel.

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The amazing thing is that Ehud Olmert still gets coverage.


Cost of living

Sir, – With regard to “Netanyahu’s Jerusalem house costs taxpayers NIS 3m. a year” (December 2), I can understand this, as his official residence is also used for functions, dinners and other official activities.

What I don’t understand is why we taxpayers have to pay for the expenses incurred at his home in Caesarea and at his private apartment on Aza Street here in Jerusalem.

Why do we have to pay for the gardening and water bills in Caesarea? Netanyahu should cover the costs of his private residences. That is not the job of us taxpayers. We have enough to pay for our own apartment expenses.


Sir, – I live in Caesarea, a few hundred meters from the prime minister’s privates home.

I know what it costs to maintain a house here (gardening, water, etc.). The figures you published are not that outrageous. But I don’t understand why the taxpayer has to bear these costs. It’s not like Chequers in the UK or Camp David in the US, where important guests are invited and diplomatic meetings take place. It’s a private home for the Binyamin netanyahu’s personal use.

There are security installations, but when he or his family are not in residence there is no one to man them. I assume the property has an alarm system, as required by every insurance company, and the closed-circuit TV camera should be more than enough protection against intruders. A personal security detail for the prime minister and his family is an acceptable public expense, but nothing more.

Netanyahu can well afford the upkeep of his villa from his own resources. Even if not, why does he need another apartment in Jerusalem, also at our expense? Former leaders of our country, such as David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir and Menachem Begin, lived modest lives. Even when he was president, Zalman Shazar refused to move into the new and grandiose official residence, preferring to remain in his humble shack.

Let’s put an end to these “snouts in the trough” for which we all have to pay.


Not all books

Sir, – Post correspondent Greer Fay Cashman reports on our president’s trip to Mexico and his statements (“Peres in Mexico: We’ll make peace with the Palestinians,” December 2). She tells us that at the international book fair in Guadalajara, Shimon Peres said the following: “Swords kill; books enrich.”

This is a very quotable and pithy remark. I wonder if this general statement includes the likes of works such as Mein Kampf.


Hatzor Haglilit

Hanukka musings

Sir, – Perhaps, if it weren’t for the willful blindness of US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton et al, this Hanukka might not have become a “time of nightmares of the coming reality of Iranian nuclear warheads,” as Eli Kavon puts it (“Rome: The Maccabee miscalculation,” Comment & features, December 2).

We indeed should celebrate our sovereignty in our homeland along with God’s miracles and Jewish security. However, we cannot do this while sticking our heads in the sand, as Rabbi Kavon seems to be suggesting.


Sir, – I am surprised, particularly at this time of the year, that no one in government has seen fit to quote Simon Maccabeus: “Then answered Simon: We have neither taken other men’s land, nor holden that which appertaineth to others, but the inheritance of our fathers, which our enemies had wrongfully in possession a certain time” (Maccabees I, 15:33).

It was true then and is true today, and couldn’t be better stated in regard to settlements, the two-state solution and all the legal debates going on in the world concerning our history and our just claim to the Land of Israel.

For a start, we should stop talking about the “occupied territories,” which should rightfully be called the “recaptured” or “liberated” territories of Judea and Samaria.



Non-existent quote

Sir, – Kudos for “Disturbing imagery” (Editorial, December 1) , which castigates the silence of US President Barack Obama over violent attacks on Jews in Brooklyn, and statements by Iran and in Palestinian Authority schools, mosques, and media outlets that dehumanize Jews.

However, I suggest that the writer reads Obama’s book before quoting from it. As the urban-legend debunking site points out, The Audacity of Hope does not contain the quote: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”



Meaning of ‘negotiate’

Sir, – The Palestinians are learning fast! They saw how the Iranians managed to have the P5+1 sign an agreement easing the sanctions without them having to give up on almost anything. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif knew the US was desperate to finalize an agreement and threatened to leave the negotiations lest Iran’s demands were met.

So, too, the Palestinians. Not only did they demand that we free scores of terrorists imprisoned for the murder or intended murder of Israeli men, women and children before they agreed to even sit down to talk with us. Now they are threatening to leave the negotiations unless we stop all settlement building, knowing very well that the Americans wish to push an agreement through – at all cost.

Does not the word “negotiate” mean that both sides must give up on something? If anything at all, a stop in settlement building should be used as a negotiating card, not given away before an agreement is even discussed.


Petah Tikva


Sir, – Like many of us, Martin Sherman agonizes over US President Barack Obama’s true intentions behind “the crushing failure of his policies” (“Will the West withstand Obama’s presidency?” Into the Fray, November 29) Or, Sherman argues, perhaps his policies indeed reflect his true intentions and therefore, to Obama, are “a calculated success,” showing “purposeful foresight.”

Sherman would not dare describe him as a “Manchurian candidate”; this would attribute to a US president treasonous intentions, an outrageous accusation! Yet let us remind ourselves that the Manchurian candidate has no autonomous intentions. He has been programmed to behave in certain ways to be determined by forces hostile to US interests.

It can be argued that all of us are “programmed” – by our parents, education and social environment.

As we mature, it is hoped that we develop certain traits that enable us to assert our own individuality within the parameters of our previous programming. Occasionally we might move autonomously in novel and unpredictable ways, confirming intentions that are genuinely our own. But we dare not underestimate our upbringing.

In The Roots of Obama’s Rage, Dinesh D’Souza discusses Obama’s family background education and early political associations.

His programming! How else can we explain his bizarre attitudes and policies reflected in a lengthy series of decisions ranging from the Fort Hood massacre, described as a “workplace incident,” to NASA’s new mission to “improve relations with the Muslim world,” the Benghazi fiasco, the Egyptian betrayal and Syrian embarrassment, and now the Iran-Munich surrender.


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