Letters to the Editor

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April 20, 2016 21:22
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Incapable
So the High Court has ruled that there is nothing illegal in the prime minister holding several Cabinet portfolios (“High Court: PM can hold several portfolios,” April 14). But what does that say about Benjamin Netanyahu’s opinion of his Cabinet colleagues? That he does not think that any of them is capable of holding these posts?

HYAM CORNEY Netanya

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Not involved
The paper’s commentary concerning the decision (“One minister, one job,” Editorial, April 17) of the High Court to conditionally permit a single person to hold two or more cabinet positions ignores the question of whether the court has or should have the authority to approve, overturn or otherwise tamper with the decisions of the other two branches of government, the legislative and the executive.

A perfect case in point, of course, is the recent court decision concerning the natural gas agreement, which isn’t even a law, but simply a contract between the state and private parties. It would seem that we’ve reverted back before we had kings to when Israel was ruled by judges.

As to the case in hand, the prime minister of course does not, in fact, get involved in the day-today running of the other ministries of which he is nominal head – they are run by the deputy minister and the director-general.

With reference to major policy matters, the prime minister would necessarily get involved anyhow.

NORMAN A. BAILEY Zichron Ya’acov
The author is professor of Economics and National Security at the National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa.



On Maccabi
I read Ruthie Blum’s column with interest and incredulity, “Killers and healers – a Palestinian- Israeli tale,” Right From Wrong, April 18.

Do these non-Israeli Palestinians pay for the medical treatment or are they all on Maccabi ?

MICHAEL CLAFF Poleg

Reconsider
The announcement by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot to remove the Jewish Awareness program from the IDF Rabbinate (“IDF struggles with rising influence of national- religious troops,” April 18), is a wrong-headed decision.

The sad fact is that many of the secular soldiers in the IDF are almost totally ignorant of the Jewish religious roots of the State of Israel. They don’t understand that our right to this sliver of land on the eastern banks of the Mediterranean is totally based on the deed of ownership as found in the Torah.

If a soldier wants to eat a ham sandwich on Yom Kippur in his barracks, that should be his right.

But at least he should be aware of the significance of the Jewish holidays and laws of kashrut.

Over 40 years ago I heard prime minister Golda Meir – not a burning religious-Zionist – say that an Israeli need not follow religious ritual, but at least he should not be an “apikores,” bereft of knowledge of his heritage.

If religious-Zionists are volunteering to comprise more of the combat troops and officer cadre, if they are a high percentage of those coming on aliya, should we bemoan this fact? Many of the retired generals and heads of the Mossad and ex-police commissioners who are largely secular and tend to the Left politically keep pushing today for the government to make real moves for the creation of a Palestinian state when we have no partner for peace, is this not a cause for concern? Even the head of Labor recognizes this would threaten our security, but most outrageous was the statement by Reuven Gal, chairman of the Association of Civil-Military Studies that the IDF has secular and religious soldiers, and the “IDF is the Israel Defense Forces and not the Jewish Defense Forces.”

Are secular soldiers not Jewish? Should our basic negotiating demand change from requiring the Palestinian Authority to recognize an Israeli state and not a Jewish state? General Eisenkot should reconsider his decision.

FRED EHRMAN Ra’anana/New York

Haunts us
In her Think About It column on April 18, Susan Hattis Rolef says “there is no doubt” that the enactment of a law to commemorate the late Rehavam Ze’evi was “more a consequence of the circumstances of his death than any widespread appreciation for his legacy – a legacy that is diametrically opposed to that of Rabin...”

Given her political proclivities, it is unsurprising that Ms. Rolef fails to acknowledge that the lionization of Yitzhak Rabin over the past 20 years by the major press organs and left-wing politicians, including the staging of state-sponsored commemoration ceremonies, was only a result of the circumstances of his death.

If that’s not self-evident, then consider that had elections been held a minute prior to his being shot, Rabin would have lost, and the pomp and circumstance accorded to commemorating “the legacy” of Rabin far outstrips that accorded to the memory of first prime minister David Ben-Gurion, who accomplished far more as head of government than Rabin did – let alone the memories of the country’s other deceased prime ministers, all of whom died of natural causes after being forced from political life by the electorate.

True, unlike Ze’evi, there is not even a mention in the press of Rabin and “rapist” in the same sentence.

But also unlike Ze’evi, Rabin bequeathed us the Oslo debacle, a disaster on the national level that resulted in hundreds of dead Israelis and destroyed families.

The manner of Rabin’s exit from this world was seized upon by people like Ms. Rolef to try to whitewash the failure that is Oslo, but Rabin’s death by bullet while in office doesn’t change the fact that Oslo was a failure, one that continues to haunt us until this day.

DANIEL FEIGELSON Rehovot

Double standard
I don’t understand. Not too long ago Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was blamed for meddling in the US presidential election campaign. Now I read that US Vice President Joe Biden wants Zionist Union opinions to become the majority voice in the Knesset, “PM, Biden indicate gaps remain in aid negotiations,” April 19.

Double standard?

REUVEN TAMIR Yad Mordechai

A big ‘if’
I concur with Bill Mehlman (“Pay attention,” Letters, April 19) that Caroline Glick’s designation of Republican presidential contender John Kasich as a “demagogue” and Trump’s “slightly dotty uncle,” is totally inappropriate and mars her otherwise excellent article (“Obama’s political legacy,” Column One, April 15).

However I disagree with Mehlman that Kasich is the most suitable candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton. Kasich may well be a popular governor in Ohio but he has only won his own state and lags far behind Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the number of delegates.

With such dismal results, it would be singularly undemocratic to foist him on the electorate.

Moreover, from Israel’s viewpoint, although both Kasich and Cruz are staunchly pro-Israel while Clinton is at best ambivalent, I find Kasich’s foreign policy views wishy-washy and unconvincing, while Cruz appears clear-sighted and far more realistic.

Mehlman cites the polls as showing that Kasich wins against Clinton, and Cruz does not.

Apart from the difficulty of determining election results seven months in advance – and a lot can change in the interim period – the latest national polls show Clinton beating Cruz by just one point, which is quite inconsequential.

With his superior debating skills and convincing arguments Cruz may well overcome Clinton in headto- head debates if he becomes the Republican nominee – which is a big “if” at the present moment!

NAOMI SCHENDOWICH Jerusalem

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