Laying the blame
Sir, – Caroline Glick states that “to be sure, Netanyahu is the one who decided to call elections,” but then goes on to lay the entire responsibility for this decision on Yair Lapid, for “making it impossible for the existing government to function” (“Lapid’s political crack-up, Column One, Comment and Features, December 5). This is nothing new for Glick, who constantly treats Netanyahu as almost a saint who can do no wrong, and even if he does, she always blames someone else.
But one does not have to be a Yair Lapid fan to find this particularly scathing and almost hysterical tirade as being unfair and disingenuous, since there has been no lack of insubordination and intra-party politics within the Likud itself, not to mention other more “loyal” coalition members. Netanyahu carries full responsibility for appointing Lapid as finance minister in the first place, which many felt was a carefully calculated political move by the prime minister to keep him out of the Foreign Ministry, where he might have done a much better job and gained greater popularity.
Since it was Netanyahu who made the final decision to go forward with new elections, he carries the full responsibility, and no one else. By laying the blame for the prime minister’s decision on Lapid, Glick is actually supporting a statement made by David M. Weinberg in his adjacent article: “[Netanyahu’s] kvetching about Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid only diminishes him in the eyes of voters. Whiny rants about anarchy in the coalition won’t advance Netanyahu very far.”
Sir, – David Weinberg’s analysis of what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should do to launch an effective campaign was very appropriate (“Running for reelection – but against whom?” Know Comment, Comment and Features, December 5).
The worst thing in Israel in any election is a negative campaign.
So many times the party or the individual that one has spoken so badly about becomes part of the coalition, which does not lead to good working relationships.
I suggest that instead of a negative campaign the major parties and their spokespeople are asked three major questions: What do they want in a peace process?; How they will achieve security all over Israel?; and What will they do with the democratic right of the Jewish people to pray at their holiest places and to live as free people in a free land? Democracy goes two ways and the Jewish people need their democratic rights implicitly in this land of Israel. The voters should not be taken for granted as being only concerned with getting something for nothing.
They are intelligent and able to see the difference between those who care for themselves and their political futures and those who care for Israel.
Sit on the sidelines
Sir, – Here we go again. Another election, with another game of musical chairs among our Knesset members. It should be obvious to all how necessary it is to change our electoral system to enable the public to have a real voice, by establishing a system of elections based on geographical representation. Perhaps only then will we be able to get some stability with candidates who are known in their local areas and are directly elected by the public.
In previous years, a large segment of the public supported a change to the system. There was even support among some MKs, who did try to truly represent the public and push for change.
However, they were too few and not strong enough, so we the public must again continue to sit on the sidelines, upset by the political show we are forced to view, but unable to do anything to change it, since it is not in the MKs’ interest to institute any change which may weaken their power base within the parties.
Sir, – Yair Shamir rightly deplores our political system, which once again has led to a breakdown of the coalition, and premature elections (“Tackling the root cause of another government dissipation,” Comment and Features, December 4).
However, he proudly claims that his party, Yisrael Beytenu, has passed a number of minor changes to improve the system.
Our democracy is hemorrhaging, and he thinks a few band-aids will help.
Democracy is supposed to mean rule by the people. Few countries, other than dictatorships, are as far removed from this principle as Israel. We cannot choose the people who supposedly represent us in the Knesset, we have no recourse when a party campaigns on one platform, and then when elected, follows the opposite policy in office.
We need a constitution that allows us to elect some or all of our representatives directly, not via a party vote; we need a democratic method for appointing Supreme Court judges, and we need to have a method for preventing our politicians from promising one thing and doing the opposite when elected. I can think of dozens of constitutions which would be better than ours but none that could be worse.
Band-aids are not good enough, we need major surgery
Sir, – Yair Shamir’s article brought to light the big problems facing us today as far as our government is concerned.
Obviously, a change is crucial.
He mentioned all the problems that surround us today and which have to be tackled. I agree with Shamir’s thesis but what’s missing is his mentioning a leader who could meet these challenges.
There is only one man who could possibly lead the country and that is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The ability he has shown until now is legendary.
Who could have survived the sanctions of our products, the two wars Gaza threw us into, the demands of the haredim, of the modern Orthodox, of the Muslims, of the Christian Arabs, etc. Netanyahu is “a leader who puts the nation first,” though it is not what Shamir believes.
Who can replace Bibi? None of these little foxes who are now politicians are worthy of being prime minister.
Sir, – I was shocked to see that Greer Fay Cashman seems to be blaming Jews who go up to the Temple Mount for current and future (God forbid) terror victims (“Voices from the Left,” Grapevine, December 3).
That is similar to those who blamed the three teens for hitchhiking that led to their murder. Were my four neighbors from Har Nof murdered because Jews went up to the Temple Mount? My neighbor David Boim was murdered outside his high school, the Fogel family murdered in their beds and thousands of other Jews have been murdered by terrorists because of one reason: They are Jews.
Our enemies do not need a reason to kill Jews, that is how they are educated. No matter how much we give in to them they will continue trying to kill us. Perhaps if we start standing up for what we believe they will get the message that this is our land and we are here to stay!
Jerusalem Not funny
Sir, – The “cartoon” that The Jerusalem Post ran on December 1 on page 14 – depicting a man suggesting to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “Just thinking outside the box. Why don’t we return the West Bank to Jordan and let them deal with the mishagoss” – was not only not funny, but also not accurate! A significant piece of Jewish history goes back long before the country of Jordan.
There is no West Bank – it was and is east Israel, as inhabited by some of the sons of Jacob, our ancestor.