Ridiculous poll

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).

Exactly who 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?

GERALD SCHOR
Ra’anana


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.”

IAN KEMP
Nahariya


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.

JJ GROSS
Jerusalem


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.

WILLIE MALKINSON
Ra’anana


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 – thank God!

LEONARD ZURAKOV
Netanya


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.

YEHUDIT COLLINS
Jerusalem


Sir, – 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 year.

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.

PETER SIMPSON
Jerusalem


Wrong impressions

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.

Moreover, the overall presentation of the interview deprives the reader of the broader context of the discussion, highlighting some phrases and eventually giving wrong impressions.

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.

KYRIAKOS LOUKAKIS
Greek Embassy, Tel Aviv
The writer is the Greek ambassador to Israel


Herb Keinon responds:
I 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.

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