Sir, – I have racked my brain for some time now in an effort to
come up with a more ridiculous poll than the one showing a group of egotistical
politicians forming a single political party, or even a coalition, and defeating
Netanyahu, and I have failed “Olmert, Livni, Lapid, Mofaz, Ashkenazi party can
beat Netanyahu’s Likud, ‘Post’ poll finds” (October 12).
among these selfless individuals would agree to head the party and to become
prime minister? Or would they establish a rotation, in which each gets to be
prime minister for an hour a day?
Sir, – I must be
dreaming! Who in the name of “common sense” was Smith Research polling? Olmert:
A criminal already convicted and under further possible indictment. Livni: A
self-obsessed woman who would have given it all to the Palestinians in her
previous governmental roll and nearly got away with it. Mofaz: A “third-time
lucky” try at becoming chief of staff, the ultimate political opportunist whose
judgment only matches his failures.
As for Lapid and Ashkenazi, they
could only do better if they are well-clear of the aforementioned and their
atomic egos living amongst the “normal.”
Sir, – Olmert,
Livni, Lapid, Mofaz and Ashkenazi headlining an utterly hypothetical composite
party comprised of a criminal, a crybaby, a celebrity, a mediocrity and a recent
army chief is more entertainment than news.
Having said this, the idea of
a new mega-mishmash party of the Center-Left could prove a blessing, as it would
galvanize the fragmented Right to perhaps, just this once, vote for single
party, i.e. Likud, while marginalizing the left-wing parties that wreak social,
economic and military havoc.
Irrespective of which major party would then
win, there might finally emerge an opportunity to revise our election laws so
that citizens can vote for truly representative candidates rather than gruesome
slates of unknowns, undesirables and others who may possess some gray matter but
have no allegiance to the electorate. In other words, this could pave the way
for a two-party system that can assure real government, rather than the
third-rate circus that now passes for one.
Sir, – I
was surprised to see how short the memories are of those chosen for the Smith
Research poll for The Jerusalem Post, putting together a mixture of losers and
untried political hopefuls would win the January 22 election.
Do they not
remember the Second Lebanon War when Ehud Olmert chose Amir Peretz as the
defense minister with disastrous results? And can you imagine with all the prima
donnas in the same party, the backstabbing that would go on all thinking they
should be prime minister? Our present prime minister has done a good job under
very difficult conditions and deserves another term in office. We now more then
ever need a steady government to see us through what is going to be a very
difficult time ahead.
Sir, – I am not surprised
to learn that a new party, headed by Ehud Olmert and including such “stars” as
Livni, Lapid, Mofaz and Ashkenazi, could defeat Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and his party. What does surprise me is that all those stars would run
together under the leadership of Olmert.
At any rate, such a grouping is
overdue, and should be making preparations to go against Netanyahu without a
doubt, and, hopefully, with every chance of winning.
There are those who
seem to feel that Olmert, if he runs, would do so under a cloud, since he was
accused of so many “crimes.” But he was not convicted of any of them, except for
one minor, unimportant matter, and he certainly has all the experience and
know-how to do the job – well! So, let’s get to it! I hope to read tomorrow that
Olmert will be heading a new party which will undoubtedly knock off Netanyahu –
Sir, – Should former prime Minister Ehud
Olmert decide to stand for election as leader of a party, it ought to reflect
badly on any party that wanted to have at its head a man found guilty of breach
of trust and who still faces charges on other counts; it would reflect badly on
a public who voted for a man with a tarnished background and most of all, if
your poll is correct and he were elected as prime minister, it would give the
world further ammunition in allowing the Jewish state to be led by a man clearly
influenced in the direction of financial gain.
Olmert was criticized for
his handling of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. He was prepared to divide
Jerusalem, despite public promises never to do so; he offered the Palestinians
unprecedented concessions, thus raising the stakes for future governments. So
why would anyone sane want him to lead the country again? My one hope is that if
he does decide to head a new so-called Center-Left party, it will be soundly
trounced by voters aware of his past failures and misdeeds. It is past the time
for Olmert to retire from public life.
Kadima party leader Shaul Mofaz has already shown once his inability to
anticipate the probable course of his own actions with his exceedingly
short-lived period in the coalition government under Netanyahu earlier this
Now we read that apparently Mofaz has offered to let Olmert take
top slot presumably for Kadima if he made a political comeback, despite the
outstanding criminal charges against him, never mind his existing conviction for
breach of trust.
Is this not another example of Mofaz’s inability to
anticipate the probable course of his own actions and thus his own suitability
to be leading any political party? Your chosen headline is also to be criticized
because whilst the poll shows the proposed as yet nonexistent party being the
winner in terms of the highest number of Knesset seats, chances are that it
would be no more able to form a government than Kadima under Livni was able to
do so in 2009, so that would hardly be beating Netanyahu’s Likud if the poll
were an accurate prediction of the election’s outcome.
Sir, – Referring to the interview of Greek Deputy
Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas to Herb Keinon, “EU warned PA to be careful
of negative costs of UN bid,” (October 11), which appeared on the front page of
The Jerusalem Post, I would like to point out that the very title misrepresents
both the content and the spirit of the minister’s statements.
the overall presentation of the interview deprives the reader of the broader
context of the discussion, highlighting some phrases and eventually giving wrong
Greece has always been a strong advocate of the resolution
of the Palestinian issue, on the basis of two states, an independent, viable and
sovereign Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace with Israel, in
accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions and the relevant
existing international documents. In this regard, we keep on calling on the
parties to resume meaningful and result-oriented negotiations, and refrain from
actions that would undermine the two-state solution. This is also the well-known
position of the EU, whose statements and Ministerial Council Conclusions Greece
co-drafts, co-signs and fully abides by.
The writer is the Greek ambassador to Israel
Herb Keinon responds:
stand fully behind both the substance and context of the interview with
Kourkoulas. The Greek Embassy asked and received a tape of the interview, and –
as that tape shows and as Ambassador Loukakis knows – Kourkoulas said exactly
what he was quoted as saying. The Greek deputy foreign minister made comments
that apparently made Athens uncomfortable. Athens, in turn, now seems to be
trying to shift responsibility for words Kourkoulas undeniably said.