January 13: Election matters

Bennett’s party platform smacks too much of South African apartheid policies.

January 12, 2013 21:54

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Election matters

Sir, – Your January 11 article “‘Post’ poll: Likud Beytenu gains support, Bennett loses” cites the Likud Beytenu campaign’s view, which attributed the increase in support to voter disappointment in the Center parties. However, the article does not explain why Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi lost seats.

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It seems to me that there is a correlation between Likud Beytenu’s gain and Bayit Yehudi’s loss, and that it is related to those who had considered voting for Bennett but have now reverted back to Likud Beytenu. The reason lies in the fact that Bennett’s party platform smacks too much of South African apartheid policies.

I remember well the year of 1948, when the Nationalist party led by D.F. Malan won the general elections, thereby achieving the “democratic right” to call South Africa the Afrikaaner home based upon the implementation of apartheid. I also remember the day Malan’s victory train stopped at our railway junction in Worcester. The white farming community had gathered from miles around, chanting in unison geluklik (congratulations) so much it seemed to me that even the horses were trotting to the sound of Afrikaaners overbrimming with joy.

We got an Afrikaaner home and apartheid for 46 years, but then in 1994 it all came to an end, leaving a forlorn and wasted land.

I believe there is a lesson for Bennett in the South African apartheid story. Those of us who lived through it do not want to do so again.


Sir, – We are constantly bombarded with polls that appear to be pushing Tzipi Livni, Shelly Yacimovich and Yair Lapid.

We all know that polls ordered by the particular candidates lord their advancement.

Wouldn’t it be most interesting to poll our media concerning their personal preferences? Might we discover that we are being manipulated into believing that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is losing ground and that Livni represents a moderate-centrist approach? We resent the assumption that the media are actually giving us facts in an objective manner since we know there is no objectivity whatsoever. Let’s drop these pretentions and publicize the media’s personal opinions so that we can accept or discount their analyses of events and personalities.


Sir, – UK Prime Minister David Cameron answers questions, however hostile or probing, every week in Parliament and holds wide-ranging press conferences, as does US President Barack Obama, whose exposure to the public during the recent election was boundless.

But our prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, cowers in a bunker, terrified of responding to the Israeli electorate’s questions, preferring to rely on artificially enhanced applause before friendly, handpicked meetings while boasting about Israeli democracy.

Why should anyone vote for somebody who pathetically refuses to engage the nation and explain his policies, his plans to tackle Israel’s many issues, or even to outline his vision for the future of the state?


‘Kvelling’ for Lew

Sir, – We have subscribed to the Post since long before our aliya 45 years ago, but might be accused of having a ghetto mentality because your January 11 editorial (“Mazel tov, Jack Lew!”) drips syrup.

Why is a tribal feel-good session in order on Lew’s appointment as Treasury secretary at such a perilous time? Might a historic gevalt show greater common sense when the policy- makers of both our nations try to avoid being seen as meddlers in each other’s political discourse? It is crucial for an appointee to share the values and ideology of his boss. While “Lew appears to have won Obama’s faith to an unusual degree,” your editorial might have questioned the wisdom of his being in the wrong job at the wrong time, rather than kvelling over it. His Jewish identity should be irrelevant to the enormous task he has – perhaps mistakenly – accepted.


Sir, – As is well known, there has been an outpouring of humanitarian appeals to US President Barack Obama for the pardon of Jonathan Pollard.

However, Obama stands transfixed, sphinx-like and uncaring, about the continuing cruel and unusual punishment being inflicted on Pollard. Moreover, there is a perception that he has an anti-Semitic bias against Pollard.

On this issue, Jack Lew also stands transfixed, sphinx-like and uncaring about a fellow Jew. Thus, he lacks credentials as a caring Jew.


Dershowitz’s concern

Sir, – Alan Dershowitz is toying with self-delusion in calling for the employment of military force “if necessary” to prevent Tehran from producing an atomic bomb (“US president’s nomination of Hagel may encourage Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” Comment & Features, January 9).

A militant, messianic Iran is not about to do an about-face on its proclaimed right to nuclear independence with the entire Muslim world watching, no matter how hard the Great Satan tightens the financial strings. Former senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary indicates that unplugging Ahmadinejad’s centrifuges is nowhere near the top of President Barack Obama’s second- term agenda.

A massive, combined USIsrael air force strike against Iran’s nuclear complex could put this long-running nightmare to rest in 24 hours without risking a single boot on the ground. The fact that it has not been even seriously suggested is clear evidence of the growing distance between the White House and Israel’s “back.”


Sir, – Alan Dershowitz’s wholehearted, avid support of Israel is undeniable. However, this is the same Dershowitz who, together with Dennis Ross only two months ago, tried to convince us to vote for Barack Obama’s reelection, and some time prior to that had to publically repudiate his friendship with and support for Jimmy Carter.

I have the greatest respect for Dershowitz as a fellow Jew and for his preeminence as an astute authority on American law, but I think he should be more selective and circumspect in his political choices.


Sir, – After shilling shamelessly for President Obama in the last US election, Prof. Alan Dershowitz now points out what the rest of us already know: Obama is the most hostile president toward Israel since Jimmy Carter, and because he won a second term he may be able to do even more harm.

If Dershowitz were more honest, rather than penning an “analysis” of the potential danger to Israel of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, he could simply say he’s sorry.


Sir, – Alan Dershowitz is concerned that President Obama’s choice of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary will send the wrong message to Iran and encourage it to build a bomb.

He hopes Hagel will make it clear at the Senate hearings for his appointment that he will not allow Iran to get the bomb.

Dershowitz supported Obama for president because Obama said “I don't bluff.” Hagel should know that repeating these magic words at the hearings will be the best bluff. It fooled America’s best defense attorney and it should fool the senators as well.


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