October 14: Olmert Reflux
It would be difficult to picture a prime minister named Ehud Olmert after the coming elections. We deserve a PM who can be trusted to know what is going on.
Letters Photo: REUTERS/Handout
Sir, – With regard to “Hotovely strikes preemptively to stop
Olmert from running” (October 11), it would be difficult to picture a prime
minister named Ehud Olmert after the coming elections.
The verdict that
came from the courts truly leaves one bewildered.
If a man like this, a
lawyer, claims he knew nothing about the handling of finances in his own office,
how can he be trusted to know what is happening in the nation of Israel? What
can happen to our poor government if his trusted advisers and cabinet ministers
do not inform him of their doings?
It is very obvious that anyone encouraging
Olmert to run for political office is not a friend of his, his family or the
people of Israel. We deserve a prime minister who can be trusted to know what is
Sir, – Setting aside Ehud Olmert’s
numerous unfortunate brushes with the Israeli legal system, the public should
bear in mind that this man chose to undergo prostate cancer surgery at New York
City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer clinic rather than in Israel.
his confidence in our medical institutions was such that he felt it necessary to
go abroad, why should we, the Israeli public, have any confidence in him?
Change the system
Sir, – While Israel is not quite
the Titanic, our forthcoming elections will be little more than a shuffling of
the deck chairs on a woefully hobbled ship (“Election fever,” Editorial, October
The reason is obvious. Our government – regardless of which wing has
the plurality – is essentially a dog wagged by tails called minority coalition
partners. Hence, there can never be any coherent policy that drives our ship of
state for a period of four months, let alone four years. Ministerial shuffling
is a constant, and ongoing blackmail by coalition partners is chronic. Policy,
to the degree that there is one, is forever diluted by coalition pressures and
The solution is obvious: Direct elections with accountability
to the electorate. This would effectively turn ours into a two-party system by
marginalizing special-interest factions, and enable our government to actually
govern and prove its worth.
Sadly, this can happen only if a majority of
the sinecures now glued to their Knesset chairs would allow it to happen. Alas,
the notion of apparatchiks voluntarily lifting their faces out of the feedbags
is not very realistic.
Regarding “Israeli students increasingly dependent on parents, says survey”
(October 10), American students are dependent on their parents,
Parents in the US take out second mortgages and pay far-higher
tuition fees, even taking into account higher income levels.
moved out of his parents’ apartment to move in with his girlfriend and live
closer to the university? That is his choice and no one should be expected to
pay for that except him. Another student had to work? I know single moms who
attend college, work and take care of their kids.
As for the
disadvantaged, appropriate financial assistance should be available to them,
perhaps work-study programs, as in the US.
No, Israeli students, you are
not entitled to move in with your girlfriend and expect me to pay for it. You
have to work if you want more stuff, like cars. Grow up and stop whining!
Sir, – Your October 10 editorial “Anti-jihad
ads” is of an opinion I just cannot fathom, that the response by Rabbis for
Human Rights North America is a good way to respond to Pamela Geller, head of
the American Freedom Defense Initiative.
Geller’s ad states: “In any war
between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support
Israel, defeat jihad.” This is straightforward and no nonsense, whereas the ad
by Rabbis for Human Rights (looks mainly like Muslim rights to me) states:
“Choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.”
lives in fear of the Muslims, which is exactly what they intend considering the
fact that their end game is to rule the world by caliphate. By giving in to
their every perverted sense of injustice we legitimize and excuse those
perversions while condemning anyone who has the gumption to stand up to
Who can deny that only savages teach their children to hate Jews
and strap on bombs so they can die jihadis, happy knowing they also murdered
innocent people, perhaps children as young as themselves? Who can deny that only
savages blow up airplanes, buses (preferably school buses packed with children),
shopping malls, restaurants and anything else their evil, twisted minds can
Myths and lies
Sir, – In his latest Encountering
Peace column, which turns out to be about the two-state solution and not
poisoned soft drinks (“Zionist fantacide,” October 10), Gershon Baskin writes:
“I recognize the myth and the lies.”
If Baskin fails to recognize that
nothing in their history or culture renders the Palestinian Arabs so distinct
from their Arab neighbors as to require a state of their own, then he does not
recognize the myth. And if he does not recognize that more than seeking national
rights for themselves, the Palestinian Arab leaders seek to deny rights to Jews
and Christians, then he does not recognize the lies.
MARK L. LEVINSON
Sir, – Gershon Baskin writes as if the Palestinians would be happy to
accept a two-state solution.
But that is a lie! What does he think they
mean by “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free?” He declares as
truth the myth that Arabs would accept Jews living in the part of our land that
is given to them. Yet that is a lie! Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas has stated quite clearly that such a state would be judenrein.
settling our land, we have not created a “monstrous mess”; we have made the land
The Right is not marching us “down the road of national
suicide.” Saying so is just repeating falsehoods. Indeed, all of us,
Right and Left, have created a beautiful country, one whose hospitals have saved
many non- Jewish lives, and whose universities have educated many
Watch out, Mr. Baskin. They want to get all of us. They want to
destroy you, too.
Sir, – Gershon Baskin should know
better. When was the PLO founded? In 1964. Why did it not then just
declare Palestinian independence? There were no settlers or
The truth is that the Palestinians do not want and never
wanted two states for two peoples.
They want 23 Arab States and no Jewish
State. That is why their demand is for a Palestinian state on the West Bank and
an unlimited right of return in what would be left of Israel.
Cycle with care
Sir, – With regard to “Cycling in the city”
(October 7), if citizens of Tel Aviv are to be encouraged to take to riding
bicycles for city travel in the interests of cleaner air and the improvement of
road safety, it is imperative that bike paths are determined at the side of
roads and their usage is strictly enforced, with penalties for
There is no logic to caring about road safety while
increasing the danger that already exists to pedestrians from cyclists using the
sidewalk – more often than not as a speed track.