Sir, – The outcome of the new pact between Kadima and the Likud (“Netanyahu,
Mofaz surprise nation by forming largest coalition in 28 years,” May 9) has
produced three winners.
Winner number one is the citizens of Israel. We
have been spared the expense and aggravation of an early election. We are going
to receive a revision of the Tal Law, which will finally bring about equality
with regard to army service, plus a change in the electoral system, which has
been so elusive.
Winner number two is Binyamin Netanyahu, who has proved
himself to be the political fox of foxes. The prime minister has the strength
and cunning to lead us at a time when Israel has a list of problems that would
stagger an ordinary man.
Winner number three is Shaul Mofaz, whose Kadima
party stood on the edge of being obliterated. He has given Kadima new life. He
has done more for his party and the country in two short weeks than his
predecessor, Tzipi Livni, did in years.PAUL BERMAN
Sir, – In his
otherwise perceptive analysis “Winners & Losers: Good for Barak, bad for
Barack” (May 9), Gil Hoffman misses the boat by saying that neither Prime
Minister Netanyahu nor Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz belongs among the
Regarding Netanyahu, while his prime ministership is not
affected, his deft stroke outflanked the incipient rebels in the Likud ranks
(who had virtually humiliated him in the previous evening’s maneuvering over the
planned Likud convention chairmanship) and showed them that he is definitely
still the boss.
As for Mofaz, the Israeli voter will forget and/or
forgive his zigzagging if his new, elevated position facilitates growth in his
stature as a national – as opposed to factional – leader.JAC FRIEDGUT
Sir, – I, for one, would prefer new elections rather than taking
Kadima into the government.
This is not what the people voted
It is time the people were listened to.MADALYN SCHAEFFER
Sir, – Your front-page article “Netanyahu, Mofaz surprise nation by
forming largest coalition in 28 years” stated: “Contact on forming the unity
government began at a low level while Netanyahu was sitting shiva for his
father, Prof. Benzion Netanyahu.” That was not the most sensitive way of
Prof. Netanyahu wrote in the preface to the first
edition of his book, Don Isaac Abravanel: “This volume deals with times and
views which may appear not only remote and foreign, but also bizarre to a modern
The political shenanigans of the last few days certainly appear
bizarre to this modern reader.RICHARD RINBERG
Sir, – The sour
grapes that Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich is exhibiting are
understandable (“Shocked Yacimovich calls coalition deal ‘embodiment of
political evil,’” May 9).
Here she thought she was on a sure winning
streak, and behold, the ground is cut away from under her. However, “embodiment
of evil” is misplaced.
She is probably not old enough to remember Shimon
Peres’s “stinking ploy” when he tried to outflank Yitzhak Rabin in the Knesset,
and Rabin’s own ploy, when he bribed MKs Alex Goldfarb and Gonen Segev to
abandon those who voted for them, and thus pushed through the infamous Oslo
Accords by a vote of 61 to 59.
Both of these ploys were in truth the
embodiment of evil, for which we are paying today.
And both were executed
by Yacimovich’s own Labor Party.CYRIL ATKINS
Sir, – I must
say that the only voice I hear and believe is that of Shelly
This latest move is truly a shocker. We can only hope that
the new coalition will be true to its leaders’ promise to promote a new Tal Law,
for that is the only good thing that might come out of this political
Should Prime Minister Netanyahu and Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz
make good on this promise, all the rest can be forgiven.LEONARD ZURAKOV
Sir, – Regarding “Lapid: Kadima is back ‘home’” (May 9), Yair Lapid also
called the unity coalition “the old politics, dim and ugly.”
He is right
about that. Mofaz is dim, and Netanyahu plays ugly.ISRAEL PICKHOLTZ
Sir, – In the wake of a pledge by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Kadima
leader Shaul Mofaz to “advance electoral reform,” your editorial “Reform time”
(May 9) gave me an idea.
Since no one wants to give up his Knesset seat,
the best way to create proper electoral representation is to double the number
of seats, with half reserved for regional representation.
lack of direct representation makes for a feeling of detachment from the state
we live in.BARRY LYNN
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick (“First thoughts on
a unity government,” Comment & Features, May 9) feels that “all in all this
is a great day for Netanyahu.”
Regarding the prime minister’s “refusal to
commit seriously to any binding position on the Palestinians,” in theory that is
exactly what he does every time he opens his mouth to beg the intransigent
terrorist-ina- suit Mahmoud Abbas to come back to the negotiating
Netanyahu built his present power due to the weakness and failure
of the rightists in the government to stand up to his left-wing policies, which
were shown when he made the antisettler Ehud Barak defense minister.
columnist also hopes that Netanyahu “won’t use his new strength to destroy his
political party as Sharon did before him.
No previous action on
Netanyahu’s part lends to that conclusion.”
Wake up, Glick. What do you
think he was doing when he publicly accepted, completely against the ideology of
the Likud, the legitimacy of a Palestinian state within our land, using a
gimmick he knew could never be kept – that the state be demilitarized? What
about his continuous offer of painful concessions, starting with the eviction of
hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria, the
previously unheard-of moratorium on Jewish building there, the removal of
essential security barriers and allowing the constant humiliation of Jews trying
to pray at their holy sites? The list is endless.
Glick, like many
others, unfortunately is unable to accept Netanyahu’s calculated move to the
Left, away from any rightwing ideology he may have toyed with in the
Sir, – On May 8 you ran a Reuters report
headlined “Dinosaur flatulence may have warmed Earth, say scientists.”
light of the recent political developments in Israel and the hot air expended
over the past few days, I assume we can expect a really hot summer.ALAN
• The article “Hebrew U discovery
reshapes understanding of First Temple” (May 9) neglected to give credit to
Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Saar Ganor. Ganor is codirector of
the excavation site of Khirbet Qeiyafa with Hebrew University of Jerusalem
professor Yosef Garfinkel.
• Reader Michael Quastel (Tomatoes, migrants,”
Letters, May 9) was referring to Jay Bushinsky’s column “Integrate the Africans
in Israel!” (Observations, April 27), and not as stated. The letters editor
apologizes for the editing error.