January 13: Election matters
Bennett’s party platform smacks too much of South African apartheid policies.
Letters Photo: REUTERS/Handout
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.
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
We all know that polls ordered by the particular candidates lord
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.
BLOSSOM and JOSH WIESEN
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.
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 –
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
On this issue, Jack Lew also stands transfixed,
sphinx-like and uncaring about a fellow Jew. Thus, he lacks credentials as a
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.
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
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
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.