August 2: Sentence too lenient

Having watched the plea bargains and lighter sentences handed down recently by our faulty justice system, I am really afraid that Kamm might get her way.

August 1, 2012 23:11

Sentence too lenient

Sir, – Anat Kamm believes her sentence should be reduced because of the relatively light sentence it seems Uri Blau will serve (“Following Blau verdict, Supreme Court hears Anat Kamm’s appeal for lighter sentence,” July 31).

Having watched (in frustrated indignation) the plea bargains and lighter sentences handed down recently by our faulty justice system, I am really afraid that Kamm might get her way.

She, who decided that she had the right to release important state secrets, endangered our country, our army and, even more vile, colleagues who served with her. She had no idea of the damage her espionage would do and might still do.

She does not deserve one day less in prison. Her very lenient sentence was a travesty. Let it not become a joke.


Dubious generalities

Sir, – Kenneth Wald’s “The facts about the Jewish vote in the US” (July 31) is of minimal predictive value, for while Jews have, on average, voted mostly Democrat, the rate has fluctuated widely.

President Clinton got 80 percent of the Jewish vote in 1992, yet President Carter managed just 45% in 1980. Republican presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and George H.W. Bush secured 35%-40% of the Jewish vote, yet other Republican candidates barely managed 10%.

Thus, trying to extrapolate the 2012 Jewish vote from averaging such data is akin to trying to predict Election Day weather based on that of previous Election Days.

Furthermore, Wald ignores current facts and trends that are more pertinent. Recent polling already shows a 14% drop in President Barack Obama’s Jewish support since 2008. Among Jews focused on national security and US-Israel relations, Romney leads Obama, 45% to 42%.

Obama’s Jewish campaign contributions are far below 2008 levels. And polling of American Jews living in Israel, who are about evenly split in party affiliation, shows Obama drawing less than 30% of their votes.

Also, last year America’s most Jewish congressional district, in New York and always reliably Democrat, elected a Republican for the first time since the Harding administration.

The Jewish vote plays an outsized role in many states. In Florida Jews make up about 9% of the electorate. Thus, even a 10-point swing of Jewish votes away from Obama can shift the election dramatically.

Come November, will Obama poll more like Clinton or Carter? I have my guess – and it is based on more than Wald’s dubious generalities.


The writer is counsel for Republicans Abroad Israel

Not the time

Sir, – I came to Jerusalem in July of 1959. King George Street was my favorite walk every morning on the way to work.

It was not renamed when Israel became a free state. It also stayed the same after 1967, when Jerusalem was united.

I don’t know if we should change it at all (“Last signs of Britain,” Letters, July 31). One thing I am sure of – it is the wrong time. We need friends, not more enemies.


That editorial

Sir, – After reading the angry letters (“Horrendous editorial, July 31) that were critical of “Tisha Be’Av’s meaning” (July 29), I went back to the original piece, which had not inspired the same ire in me, to see if there was something I’d missed.

I came to the conclusion that both sides had missed some crucial points.

The derogatory usage of the term “holy slaughterhouse,” in describing the Temple, implies a misunderstanding of its role and why its absence today is so glaring.

Whether or not animal sacrifice is reinstated at the time of the final redemption is perhaps debatable even in the framework of traditional Jewish thought – Maimonides believed that God’s decision to allow sacrifices was a concession to human psychological limitations. But the concept of God’s presence among His people is the main theme of the Temple for which we mourn and yearn, and it is as relevant today as it’s been for the past 2,000 years.

On the other hand, while reading descriptions of a desolate, barren Jerusalem in Lamentations, we cannot help but be struck by the contrast to the thriving city that is our nation’s capital. For that reason the facts iterated in the piece pointing to our still precarious situation are worth pondering on the day of mourning, when we beseech God to restore His place among us and, in so doing, finally obliterate the threats from those who still seek our destruction.


Who’s the terrorist?

Sir, – When reading Sarah Honig’s “From Jean-Baptiste to Bon Jovi” (Another Tack, July 27) and learning about the American- sponsored Global Terrorism Forum, I was reminded of what I read 14 years ago in a Swedish Evangelical weekly magazine: “Laos is a forgotten country....

During nine years, between 1964 and 1973, the American aerial combat powers dropped... bombs over Laos every eight minutes, around the clock. They also dropped all kinds of poison, which contaminated water and destroyed the harvests. Laos has suffered the results of the Vietnam War to this day.... [A]t least one person is killed every second day because of old, undetonated bombs.”

The article continues with further examples of American terror.

Id anything has been rectified from the American side I have not yet read about it.


Sir Paul...

Sir, – I was surprised by Sir Paul McCartney’s choice of “Hey Jude” to herald the lighting of the Olympic flame. I thought the song not suitable – until I realized that this was his personal salute to the victims of the Munich massacre.

Jude, as we all know, is German for Jew. In Sir Paul’s own words (The Beatles Anthology, courtesy of Wikipedia): “I went into the Apple shop just before ‘Hey Jude’ was being released. The windows were whited-out, and I thought: ‘Great opportunity. Baker Street, millions of buses going around....’ So, before anyone knew what it meant, I scraped “Hey Jude” out of the whitewash.

A guy who had a delicatessen in Marylebone rang me up, and he was furious: ‘I’m going to send one of my sons round to beat you up.’ I said, ‘Hang on, hang on – what’s this about?,’ and he said: ‘You’ve written Jude in the shop window.’ I had no idea it meant Jew.... I swear it never occurred to me.”

“Hey Jude” – a salute to the victims of Munich and a barb directed at the IOC. Brilliantly done, Sir Paul!


...vs Gilady

Sir, – The International Olympic Committee not once, but twice, kicked Israel in the teeth at the London Games.

First, it refused to hold a minute of silence in memory of the Israeli sportsmen murdered at the Munich Games in 1972.

Then, at last Friday’s opening, the camera broke away as each country’s Olympic squad entered the stadium to show its head of state, head of government or other national representative.

But when the Israeli sportsmen entered, the camera showed Alex Gilady instead of Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat.

Why Alex Gilady? Is it because this Israeli is senior vice-president at NBC Sports, the US network that won the contract to televise the Olympics, or because he is the member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in charge of media relations? Knowing Gilady for many years I am convinced that, if he had wanted to, he could have persuaded the IOC to observe a minute of silence. Does the old adage “Being more Catholic than the pope” apply here?

Hod Hasharon

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