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 propriety.

My vote is cast for a person, but the power goes to his or her party.

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.

Our political system doesn’t provide us with representation that would make politicians responsive to the voter.

BARBARA SCHIPPER
Jerusalem

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 politicians.

It is no wonder that many in the electorate have lost hope in achieving their democratic rights in this country.

JACK DAVIS
Jerusalem

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 one another?

L. SCHAECHTER
Jerusalem

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 regulations.

By far this is not the first tragedy to arise from the failure of a local authority to strictly implement existing laws and regulations.

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 exemption.

DAVID GOSHEN
Kiryat Ono

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 an appeal.

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 Union.

Aldrich Ames, head of CIA’s Soviet- Eastern Europe division, fingered Pollard to keep the agency from discovering his own treachery.

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.”

GERRY MYERS
Beit Zayit

Personal attacks
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 years.

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: despicable.

They have no place in any respectable publication.

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 longer buy.

MICHAEL GREENGARD
Holon

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.

Little Israel 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.

TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem

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