Please fade away
With regard to “Ehud Barak to ‘Post’: Not seeking Foreign Ministry or running for PM” (June 19), what are we supposed to do? Take to the streets, the airwaves and the media to beg Barak to make a political comeback? I think not. Rather, we can all heave a sigh of relief.
You seem recently to be exhibiting a fascination with the rantings of members of a wannabe military junta who believe they can run the country better than democratically elected politicians. There are many examples of recent history that say they can’t – but in Barak’s case, those examples cry out to the heavens.
While his personal bravery cannot be denied, he was an abject failure as a politician.
He was the shortest-serving prime minister in the nation’s history before he had to throw in the towel, leaving Ariel Sharon to clean up the mess. This included an undignified and inadvisable retreat from southern Lebanon, leading to the Second Lebanon War of 2006, not to mention his ill-advised and failed attempt to sup with the devil Arafat, leading to the second intifada, which left hundreds of dead and thousands of injured Israelis.
It is time for Barak and all the other ex-generals to do what old soldiers are supposed to do: fade away. And it is time for The Jerusalem Post to stop, as they say in my old country, flogging a dead horse.
LARRY REEFE Netanya
I applaud former prime minister and defense minister Ehud Barak for demurely declining to run for any government position.
We do not need retired generals such as Barak and Moshe Ya’alon to run for political office after they do a poor job while serving as chief of staff or defense minister. They allowed four wars to be fought in a single decade, three of them with Hamas and one with Hezbollah. Instead of obliterating them, they gave our enemies the opportunity to regroup and strengthen themselves militarily, in the process wasting the precious blood of our young people in uniform.
These former generals now believe they are the answer to bringing peace to our people and our land, a land constantly buffeted on all sides by those who want our demise. I say to these retired generals: You have served your country, now please retire gracefully.
Go and write your memoirs.
Go and give speeches and lectures.
But I beg you: Stay out of our government – running a country is not the same as running an army.
AVRAHAM SCHONBRUNN Petah Tikva
Space for space
I was disappointed to see that The Jerusalem Post made no mention of the successful and safe return of the astronauts from the International Space Station on Saturday. Have we become so blasé about the scientific achievements and technology in this area that we take them for granted? You gave Chelsea Clinton, who gave birth to a boy, two columns (“Chelsea Clinton announces birth of son, her second child,” June 19). Some space for space would be a welcome change.
SALLY SHAW Kfar Saba
Time for a change
Regarding “Term limits” (Editorial, June 17), our prime minister’s devious, unstable reign as a leader, combined with outright fairy tales and our well worn, corrupt political system, have passed their use-by date by decades.
The so-called bastion of our democracy, the Knesset, with its waste and inefficiency, provides substandard performance that results in our poor quality of life and low standard of living. It reminds me of a circus, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as ringmaster while holding the balancing rod and walking the dangerous high-wire event for his own political survival.
Eventually, he must fall.
How many promises have we heard from Netanyahu, who consistently vows to reform the electoral system? It is time for change.
We need an honest, dedicated leader who prefers substance over image and can manage the managers, not one who sends us on a merry-go-round, leaving citizens misinformed and disillusioned.
JACK DAVIS Jerusalem
Israel and BDS
“Anti-BDS efforts will backfire” (Comment & Features, June 15), purported to be pro-Israel and anti-BDS, is, in fact, the exact opposite. It is based on the false belief that the “occupation” is criminal and illegal, and that this fully justifies all the BDS movement’s nefarious activities.
Rabbi Jill Jacobs refers to activists and students who join BDS “through horror at the very real human rights violations suffered by Palestinians living under military occupation” or “the realities of an occupation that requires discrimination, humiliation and violence toward the occupied.” She says settlers and right-wing politicians define Zionism “as an ideology prioritizing land grabs and Jewish supremacy over human life, human rights and Jewish ethical mitzvot.”
She fails to mention that Israel twice offered the Palestinians 95 percent of their territorial demands. Acceptance would have freed them of the “occupation.”
She also fails to mention the intifada that followed the rejection of the first offer and resulted in the killing of hundreds of innocent Jews and the maiming of thousands more.
The existential threats of the Arabs toward Israel, which provoked the Six Day War; their intransigence as the defeated in that war of aggression; and their refusal at Khartoum to negotiate in any way more than justify Israel’s continued control over the areas, which in any event were part of the land promised for a Jewish homeland by the British Mandate.
What “stable peace” does the writer envisage”? The type of peace and saving of life we enjoyed after these same arguments were presented as absolute certainties if we evacuated Gaza? “Zionism is about taking our future into our own hands,” Rabbi Jacobs writes. That’s true.
Therefore, at this time of turmoil in the Middle East, we must make absolutely sure that we do not allow a belligerent state to be established on our borders within a few miles of our airport and heavily populated cities. This would be tantamount to suicide, and BDS followers would celebrate and rejoice at our demise.
How would she feel about that? BARBARA BROWN Netanya
Israel’s achievements on the military and many other fronts have our admiration and pride.
However, its effort toward fighting BDS and overcoming the demonizing influences on its image abroad regrettably leaves a lot to be desired.
In view of the importance of petroleum to their economy and survival, the Saudis were wise enough to establish a ministry to deal specifically with oil affairs. I am a believer that Israel needs to do likewise and establish, at the ministerial level, a dedicated group of capable nationals fully focused on fighting an enemy of evil losers who are constantly trying to undermine everything it has achieved.
It is painful to note that our enemies are winning politically what they lost militarily.
With all the intellectual and capable elements in Israeli society, there should be no problem putting together a professional group to support the government in negating all the vicious and misleading accusations and negative propaganda. It would also expose, in a most convincing way, all the despicable anti-Semitism that is rearing its head in “civilized” Europe, and even in America.
Israel must excel in this vital mission and cut off the snake’s head before it bites.
SHALOM LEVY Hong Kong