Sir, – With regard to “Shapira to publish report on ‘Bottlegate’ allegations” (February 3), I hope the report will include how many wine bottles were returned for deposit compared to how many plastic water bottles and plastic soda bottles were returned. Also, I would like to know if any of those bottles did not involve a deposit and whether credit was given illegally in return for possible influence.
It is only after this report is conclusively and completely investigated and submitted will it be appropriate for the attorney- general to go back to other investigations, like underworld activities, foreign money influencing Israeli elections, and other, less important matters affecting us in Israel.
YOSEF GLAZER Elazar
Sir, – The furor about the consumption of liquor at the Prime Minister’s Residence reminds me of an episode that involved Abraham Lincoln.
It was reported to Lincoln that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was a drinker. Lincoln, who was not about to reprimand the one general scoring victories for the North in its conflict with the South, responded: “I wish someone would tell me the brand of whiskey Grant drinks.
I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.”
Considering what was reported in “Opposition blasts PM over alleged alcohol expenditures, recycled-bottle hoarding” (February 1), Tzipi Livni should know that the country is in the throes of a confrontation with enemies on all fronts, and that this election is a contest to select the most competent person to guide the nation.
Counting bottles is not a badge of leadership.
DAVID ROTHNER Beit Shemesh
Sir, – The media in Israel are bombarding the population with news about refunds for empty bottles. Upon reading the screaming headlines, the story at first appeared to be a joke.
Then I read that Tzipi Livni was making waves, insinuating that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was ripping off the public by not surrendering the money to the public coffers.
Now the state comptroller, under pressure, is to audit the prime minister’s expense account and publish it for the public to see.
Editor, please! Is this what the elections are about? Is this the platform of a major national party that wants to ascend to power and save Israel from its enemies? What kind of an image about Israel is the media portraying to the world? That the Israeli public is about to start a civil war over refunds for empty bottles? Do the media really want Prime Minister Netanyahu jailed for that? Israel is expected to enlighten the world with its wisdom. Will it live up to its promise through empty bottles? ARIE ARAZI Vancouver Sir, – I am truly amazed at the disgusting hooha about the return of plastic bottles.
All the political parties opposed to Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the mass media, should be concentrating on the very many problems facing our tiny country, and not on this ridiculous matter. Methinks it is a case of fiddling while Rome burns! MILDRED WEGIER Givat Ze’ev Sir, – You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
If I were Bibi Netanyahu I would throw in the towel and retire to a warm, pleasant desert island.
All those involved in this mudslinging campaign should be ashamed of themselves for playing their violins while (God forbid) Israel burns.
BARBARA A. PFEFFER Rehovot
Face up to reality
Sir, – I wish this could be a letter that US President Barack Obama sees and acts upon. I am sure he does not read letters to the editor and that his staff does not bring too much outof- the-box news to his attention.
However, there was an item in The Jerusalem Post – “Hamas to Iran: Give us more money and we’ll destroy Israel” (February 2) – that warrants his attention.
Hamas’s request is a disaster for the plan for a two-state solution, and a disaster for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other so-called allies of the United States. Who does the president think controls the Arabs of the West Bank? Who does he think is making headway all over the Middle East? Does he think it is poor little Iran? Is Tehran hurting from sanctions? It is not hurting at all because it is spreading its influence all over the Middle East.
Iran just put another satellite into space that is capable of carrying nuclear weapons. It is the controlling factor in all the Arab capitals, except for Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Why does the United States not understand that the world has irrevocably changed because of Iran’s desire to dominate all Muslims, as well as the Middle East and a good part of the West? Armageddon has arrived. US policies are ridiculously inept, if not outright stupid. President Obama has to be shaken into awareness for the good of his country. Politicians of the world who care about their own countries have to understand that it is not the world of the 1800s, when it could be divided up by the great powers.
We must face reality and do something about it. We want our children to inherit a good world and not be Iranian slaves.
TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem
What they’ll hear
Sir, – With regard to “Netanyahu: I’m focusing on stopping nuclear Iran, not Congress flap” (February 1), I believe that what Congress will hear in March is the intrepid leader of an embattled outpost of western values confronted by a genocidal enemy whose undiminished goal is Israel’s extinction.
What members of Congress will see is a leader who is not afraid to hold aloft the torch of liberty and warn of the mortal danger we all face from messianic mullahs with an apocalyptic vision. What they will learn is that President Barack Obama’s sordid, weak and one-sided concessions are leading us into the long, dark shadow of the gallows.
What they will realize is that if Obama fails to destroy Iran’s nuclear ambitions and save America and the western democracies, Netanyahu will have no choice but to do it for him.
PAUL SCHNEE West Hollywood, California
Sir, – Reader Alex Rose (“What reliance?” Letters, January 25) is right concerning US president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s negative attitude about bombing the railway lines to Auschwitz.
Unfortunately, American Jews did not pay attention to his anti-Jewish attitudes in the 1930s.
In the summer of 1938, Roosevelt called an international conference to “save Jewish refugees.”
When it was suggested that the US take the annual quotas for Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland for five years and then stop immigration for five years, it was opposed by the State Department.
The convener of the conference came up empty-handed but expected the rest of the world to act. It is generally assumed that the conference prepared the ground for Kristallnacht.
In 1939, the ocean liner St. Louis transported 400 German Jews that Cuba said it would admit. In the end, the Cubans would not let them land. The captain started back, hoping to land them in America, where at the time there was a World’s Fair. But Roosevelt sent the Coast Guard to ensure that the St. Louis did not enter American waters.
How lucky that in 1948, Harry S. Truman was president. Unlike Roosevelt, he ignored the State Department. He recognized Israel within 15 minutes of its establishment.
EMANUEL FISCHER Jerusalem