Regarding “MKs demand state commission on war’s decision- making” (March 2), I wonder why some lawmakers want to waste time and money to determine who made mistakes in the weeks leading up to Operation Protective Edge and during the 2014 fighting.
Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman shrugs off the abuse of residents at an old-age home as well as shenanigans within his ministry over smokeless cigarettes.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan shrugs off bad decision- making over the failed appointment of a police chief.
Transportation Minister Israel Katz shrugs off the rising death toll on our roads. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon shrugs off skyhigh real estate prices. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrugs off most everything.
Their excuses? Blame my underlings. The criticism is political.
There’s a lack of funds. It’s the way the economy is set up.
It’s the leftists and the media.
No one around here is willing to stand up and say it happened on my watch, so I’ll go home.
Why expect anything different next time around? ARI BEN-SENDER Jerusalem It has for a long time worried me that we deliver large amounts of cement to supposedly reconstruct buildings in the Gaza Strip, but which instead is diverted to the construction of tunnels.
I lived through World War II in London, with all the bombing and building disasters. After the war, the landscape was dotted with prefab houses – readymade and quick to put up. They lasted as dwellings for many years; when I left London in 1978, there were still prefabs all over town.
It would save precious lives to make these prefabs and ship them instead of cement.
BARBARA OBERMAN Herzliya Pituah
The excellent “On Netanyahu’s historic visit to Australia” (Comment & Features, March 1) could have included one more bit of historic information that would tell even more emphatically how important Australia was in the establishment of our state.
In 1947, when the issue of dividing British-mandated Palestine came up for a vote at the UN, the UK’s ruling Labour Party, led by then-prime minister Clement Attlee, was fundamentally opposed to Jewish independence in the light of their innate preference for all things Arab, heavy dependence on Arab oil and genteel antisemitism. They were counting on the automatic bloc of Muslim and Communist votes in the UN General Assembly, plus their own cartel of British colonies (Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia) being sufficient to hold the “yes” votes below the required twothirds.
However, without asking for “permission” from their sovereign, when it came down to the actual vote, the Australians, being the first called upon in the alphabetical roll call, threw down the gauntlet and voted in favor of partition, followed in turn the other colonies.
In my opinion, without the brave lead taken by Australia, the rest of the British empire would have meekly followed in their master’s footsteps, so please join me in saluting the memory of the historic role played by our fine friends down under.
HENRY KAYE Ashkelon
Iran’s own ban
With regard to “Oscars 2017: In embarrassing gaffe, ‘Moonlight’ wins Best Picture over announced winner ‘La La Land’” (Arts & Entertainment, February 28), I get it that the Iranian Asghar Farhadi is a great director, but what I cannot get my head around is the fact that the Hollywood crowd stood and cheered a man who, through his proxy’s acceptance speech for an Oscar, railed against the attempted temporary immigration ban on seven Muslim-majority countries when his own country bans entry to the following: • Any woman who is not wearing an Islamic head covering, scarf, long sleeves or stockings • Citizens of Israel • Citizens of any country, including the Hollywood folks, whose travel documents contain evidence that they traveled at any time to Israel Why were there no voices raised in protest to the misogynistic, antisemitic policies of Farhadi’s country by the adoring and fawning crowd of Hollywood? STEVE WENICK Cherry Hill, New Jersey Back to Azaria I am a very worried and concerned citizen since it appears that IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.
Gadi Eisenkot has serious lapses of memory (“I didn’t sway Azaria trial, insists Eisenkot,” February 23).
Eisenkot denied allegations that he had rushed to react to the Hebron shooting, stating his first comment on a radio show several weeks after Sgt. Elor Azaria killed the already “neutralized” terrorist. But as did then-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, Eisenkot condemned Azaria even before the B’Tselem video of the incident had gone viral. Neither said that the IDF would open a full investigation and only then act according to the outcome. That should have been their response.
But I think the most serious lapse of memory by Eisenkot is the fact that about two weeks before the trial’s end, the three military judges were promoted to higher positions. Had it been a civilian trial, wouldn’t this have been called interfering in the judicial process, or something even worse? The real tragedy is that had Ya’alon and Eisenkot announced an investigation instead of condemning Azaria, the world would have quickly forgotten this episode. Because of the drawnout court case and feelings that the IDF prosecutor was determined to get a conviction, the world’s interest was kept alive.
One can only hope that President Reuven Rivlin will grant Azaria a full pardon now. Otherwise, it could be called the “Israeli Pollard case.”
EMANUEL FISCHER Jerusalem
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he supports a pardon for Hebron shooter Elor Azaria.
Sentencing Azaria to only 18 months’ imprisonment for killing a subdued, wounded, knife-wielding Arab is unjustified.
Through his action, the soldier descended to the level of our Arab foes. By taking the law into his own hands, he tried to play God. No code of morality should condone such an outlook.
Azaria should therefore have been given a much harsher sentence to deter other Israelis from acting as he did. A lawless society can only topple into chaos and, ultimately, self-destruction.ROY RUNDS Tel Aviv Politics and Purim
This year is somewhat of a reenactment of the time of Purim, with Donald Trump as Achashverosh, Melania Trump as Queen Vashti, Steve Bannon as Haman, Ivanka Trump as Queen Esther and Jared Kushner as Mordechai! With an extraordinary rise in words and deeds of antisemitism not witnessed since World War II, we could certainly do with some divine intervention. In the meantime, even though our political times are no laughing matter, the above scenario behooves, I suspect, many a Purim shpiel.ARNOLD EPSTEIN Jerusalem
The Trump administration is nothing more than a cabal, a private group hell-bent on foisting its private views on the people of the United States and assuming we’ll go along with its sinister agenda. Nothing could be farther from the truth (a word that seems to be completely foreign to President Donald Trump and his cabinet, made up of people who are committed to dismantling the very departments they head).
President Trump and his wrecking-ball team need to be stopped before we are stripped of basic rights, constitutional rights and the right to voice our opinions in opposition to his administration’s dastardly race to oblivion via its own brand of fake news and alternative facts.HERB STARK Mooresville, North Carolina