February 10: Equal voting rights

As one who voted twice for Netanyahu, I can not be more disappointed regarding his latest first year in the prime ministry.

By .
February 9, 2010 22:06
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Equal voting rights

Sir, – As one who voted twice for Binyamin Netanyahu, I can not be more disappointed regarding his latest first year in the prime ministry. Not only has he forgotten what he said he would do when running for office (as most candidates do), but he has come up with proposals that completely contradict his party’s publicized policies.

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First blasting his predecessor Ehud Olmert for having a large cabinet and then more then doubling its size after the election, and now pushing for legislation allowing overseas Israelis to vote in a Knesset election (“Netanyahu to push legislation allowing Israelis abroad to vote,” February 9) – these moves, among others, are meant to help Netanyahu maintain a coalition and stay in office, not promote the best interests of Israel and its people.

Americans living in Israel have the right to vote for an American national election. But they are also required to file a yearly American tax form. Also, under certain conditions, they are required to pay Social Security, and if the US had an army draft law at the time they made aliya, their young sons living in Israel must sign up.

If overseas Israelis are given the right to vote (to satisfy Netanyahu’s silent agreement with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and not his promise to voters), then those who get the voting right must prepare and file a yearly Israeli tax form, pay National Insurance, and have their children and grandchildren fulfill their obligations to the Israel Defense Forces.

As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

SEYMOUR BRODSKY
Jerusalem

There should be an outcry

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Sir, – In reference to Gil Troy’s article last month on the Galilee rape case (“Anglos are enraged about the Galilee rape. Are others numb?,” January 12), as well as later articles and the current trial (“State gets 30 days to consider releasing teen allegedly abused in custody,” February 9), my mind refuses to accept what was allegedly done to this boy in jail. It is a disgrace to the State of Israel that such an event could take place, that Jewish youth could act with such a lack of values. Corruption of too many police is also well known.

My heart goes out to his parents and family, and I have no words of comfort. We were all at fault, as when our Temple was destroyed and Jewish society did not get involved – i.e., the story of Kamza and Bar Kamza (Gittin).

There should be an outcry from all of us, to analyze ourselves regarding what it means to be a Jew and to live up to Jewish values.

HENRY HIRSCH
Netanya

Proud to be Israeli...

Sir, – Contrary to Anat Hoffman’s assertion, we are not with Naomi Chazan (“We are with you,” February 8). It appears that most Israelis deplore not only the activities of the finally exposed NIF, but also the fact that an ex-MK has lent her name to such an effort.

Hoffman’s statement that Chazan’s activities make her “proud to be an Israeli” reminds me of Michelle Obama’s statement after her husband’s election, that now, for the first time, she is proud to be an American.

There are better reasons.

And let me remind Ms. Hoffman – who, rather than present a cogent argument, invokes plays on words – chazanim have been known to sing off-key.

Im Tirtzu has done us all a service.

DR. NETTA KOHN
Jerusalem

Sir, – Anat Hoffman is playing on a surreal field of political battle. The “bullies” of Im Tirtzu running roughshod over the “model of strength” of Naomi Chazan and her beknighted NIF? Is this a joke?

Im Tirtzu is a grassroots organization made up of the committed Zionist youth of Israel. Their budget is a rounding error of the NIF’s. These kids are the backbone of the country, and without the likes of them, we are in great danger. Particularly if the field is left to the likes of the effete blame-Israel-first crowd that the NIF finds so funding worthy.

The Left is so quick to self righteously criticize and even to threaten to undermine that which doesn’t comport to their sensibilities. But dare oppose them, and of course you are a bully.

Ms. Hoffman, your model of strength needs a much thicker skin.

DOUGLAS ALTABEF
Rosh Pina

... disappointed in the ‘Post’...

Sir, – A newspaper should protect its journalists – both staff members and regular (non-staff) contributors – even if that means turning down a lucrative ad that slanders one or more of them. To allow, on the pretext of free speech, an ad that smears a regular contributor is tantamount to quashing freedom of speech.

This is what happened in the case of Naomi Chazan and the New Israel Fund.

When NIF lawyers responded to the ad, The Jerusalem Post added insult to injury by stopping Chazan’s column. Not only did the paper fail to protect one of its journalists, it blocked that journalist’s opportunity to speak ever again on its pages.

It is a pity that a paper that prides itself on editorial balance should contribute so brutally to the diametric opposite of a free press.

ESTHER HECHT
Jerusalem

Sir, – We are totally shattered by your decision to fire Naomi Chazan, whose column was a refreshing, thought-provoking and intelligent assessment of what goes on in this country. Her position as president of the New Israel Fund is another feather in her cap, as that organization supports so many important social service programs in Israel.

We do have to commend you for printing the articles written by Ray Hanania (“We come and go,” February 9), Gershon Baskin (“A dark day for democracy,” February 9) and Anat Hoffman, all of whom express their support for Prof. Chazan, what she stands for and the things she has accomplished on behalf of Israel and its citizens. We totally agree with Mr. Hanania that there should be room for journalists with differing opinions on all newspapers.

We also think that The Jerusalem Post should have examined that vicious cartoon demonizing Naomi Chazan, before agreeing to print it. Does money overtake principles?

JUDY & STEW TELMAN
Mevaseret Zion

... and seeking a solution

Sir, – Am I being naïve in suggesting that a simple solution to the controversy over the New Israel Fund would be for it to cease acting as a center for receiving and dispensing funds, allowing the Israeli public to see exactly who is supporting what?

GERALD STANHILL
Rehovot

Nothing better to do?

Sir, – Meretz activist Shimon Bigelman may have nothing better to do with his time than get “ready for a lengthy struggle” trying to open the Jerusalem Theater on Shabbat (“Jerusalem Theater may be next battleground in capital ‘Shabbat wars,’” February 4). However, the article concludes with Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalou saying that he is “firmly behind the campaign and was also prepared for the long haul.”

Certainly, with all the problems in our city, our deputy mayor could find a better use for his time?

SHARON ALTSHUL
Jerusalem

Iran’s new dance step

Sir, – Jonathan Spyer was wrong in describing Iranian progress toward the bomb as “one step forward, two steps back” (“The Iranian quickstep: One step forward, two steps back,” February 4). That would be going in reverse, which would be progress for us, not for them.

In reality, they have devised a new dance step. They are going three steps forward and one step back. This succeeds in deceiving the West and is, indeed, Iranian-style progress.

BARRY SHAW
Netanya

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