Sir, – With regard to “Obama: Nelson Mandela was ‘a
giant of history’” (December 11), the former South African leader courageously
guided the elimination of apartheid for his people. He obtained peace between
blacks and whites by forming a government of national unity with F.W. de
Klerk in 1994. The two also shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
In matters of
foreign policy, however, Mandela’s principles were compromised by maintaining
warm relations with rogue nations and leaders responsible for numerous human
They included Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, whom Mandela
called his “friend,” and Cuba’s Fidel Castro, with whom he was often
photographed. He called trials in Iran “free and fair” despite a history of
innocents being put to death. And he often sided with the Palestinians, naming
Yasser Arafat “one of the outstanding freedom fighters of his
US President Barack Obama spoke at Mandela’s memorial,
comparing him to George Washington.
The difference, though, is that
Washington would have aided the world’s oppressed rather than seeking the
counsel of dictators.ANTHONY LEVATINO
Rochester, New York
Sir, – US
President Barak Obama hailed former South African president Nelson Mandela as a
“giant of history,” and expressed how inspired he was by Mandela’s attitude
I urge President Obama to pardon Jonathan Pollard. He
will give real honor to the memory of Mandela by emulating that
Sir, – Abundant thanks are due Nelson
Mandela for his successful stand against apartheid. Now, what about the
apartheid politics of our peace partner against Jews living in any future
Sir, – Thankfully, among the far-too-many articles praising Nelson Mandela, Michael Freund (“Misrepresenting
Mandela,” Fundamentally Freund, December 10) portrayed the truth. Simply put, he
hit the nail on the head.
This was a clear and honest review about
Mandela, who was no supporter of Israel.ORA LESHEM
Tel Aviv ...and a
flight too far
Sir, – With regard to “Edelstein leads delegation to Mandela
memorial” (December 10), the response of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to
the invitation to attend the memorial service for Nelson Mandela was demeaning
to Israel, damaging in many respects, and unbelievably short-sighted and
Sir, – In not going to South Africa
for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu missed
He should have represented us.
We did not even look at
the cost of such a trip the way we do his wasteful expenses. He could have used
one plane for himself and maybe two or three representatives of the government.
He could have explained that he was not bringing his wife, Sara, as a personal
sacrifice to reduce costs.
He could have arranged the flight so that he
would return home immediately after the service.
Netanyahu wastes many
thousands of shekels on personal, often frivolous, things, and then sacrifices
our interests to “save” money.
On his next visit to America he should use
a scheduled flight and take just two or three advisers.
He should leave
the press and his family here. Then we will believe he is serious about reducing
Bibi, for your actions I give you an F.REUVEN YAGIL
Beersheba Election fraud
Sir, – With regard to “Court order could be setback in
Beit Shemesh election appeal” by Yona Jeremy Bob (December 11), the recent Beit
Shemesh municipal elections were probably the worst case of election fraud we
The fraudulent steps were many and very
One included an almost invisible cut in the challenger’s
ballots; this probably would not be noticed by voters but would certainly
disqualify their votes.
The biggest problem in our electoral system is
the inability of voting station representatives to ensure without any reasonable
doubt that the ID cards in fact belong to the people requesting to vote. The
appearance of many of the voters in Beit Shemesh is very similar, and ID photos
are often from years ago. Only an ID card that includes the bearer’s fingerprint
can be relied upon.
With all due respect to the demands of the judges,
there is no reliable ruling other than to declare new elections. If the mayor
and his list are so sure they were legally elected, there would be no need for
them to invest millions to stop a new election.
In a fraud of such great
proportions in which the police have no chance in the short term to investigate,
the best solution would be for the court to instruct the interior minister to
appoint a temporary mayor and require all citizens of Beit Shemesh to be issued
with the sophisticated ID cards now being offered to the public.
this is done, hold a new election.DAVID GOSHEN
Kiryat Ono ‘Deja Jew’
Sir, – Reading Daniel Tauber’s “The hunting season” (For Zion’s Sake, December
11) evokes a powerful and tragic sense of “deja Jew.”
Now as then,
leftist elements, in a desperate rush to ingratiate themselves with powers that
do not have Jewish interests at heart, betray those of us who are steadfast in
our beliefs and our rights to our homeland.
Nowadays, however, when the
ideological descendants of the old Labor yishuv have moved on to post-Zionism,
the treachery is greater still.
No amount of empirical evidence showing
how right the Irgun and Stern Gang were can deter a newspaper like Haaretz,
parties like Meretz and foreign- funded NGOs like B’Tselem and Machsom Watch
from championing ideas that can only spell our demise.
Indeed, had David
Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann prevailed in the saison there would be no Israel
As the Pslamist said, Al tivtehu b’nedivim (Don’t put your trust
in princes). For those with a bit more faith, Yisrael, b’tah beHashem (O’
Israel, trust in the Lord).J.J. GROSS
Jerusalem Perpendicular logic
– Regarding “The ‘stupid Israeli’ within me” (Comment & Features, December
10), I am aware that parking in Jerusalem has its difficulties, but I have
always parked my car upright on its four wheels.
“Vertical” parking? Is
this a new space-saving idea, like books on a bookshelf? JOSH FEINGOLD
Capable of anything
Sir, – “Yadlin: Scope of Iranian retaliation to potential
strike is ‘exaggerated’” (December 5) addresses the assessment by ex-Military
Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin and Institute for National Security Studies
researcher Avner Golov of Iran’s possible reaction to an Israeli strike on the
country’s nuclear sites.
I believe Yadlin and Co. still think in the
manner I call the “pre-Yom Kippur War syndrome,” whereby we presume our logic is
the same as that of our enemies.
Nearly all the response scenarios Yadlin
discusses use very Judeo-Christian, Western reasoning.
But we are dealing
here with a fanatical Islamist regime that had no compunction in the Iraq-Iran
war, for instance, against sending to their deaths hundreds of children bearing
golden keys to heaven, by walking them through minefields, thus clearing a path
I can think of several responses not covered by Yadlin that
would have a devastating effect not only on Israel but on Jews around the
The bottom line: Never underestimate your enemy.I. SRUL