February 10: Liberate us - but from whom?

Actor Patrick Murray said "Politicians are like nappies [diapers] - they should be changed regularly, and for the same reason."

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February 9, 2009 21:45
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Liberate us... Sir, - I am for women's liberation ("Activists urge women to vote to advance rights," February 9). Today, please, liberate us from that woman Tzipi Livni. BARBARA OBERMAN Herzliya Pituah Sir, - As actor Patrick Murray said "Politicians are like nappies [diapers] - they should be changed regularly, and for the same reason." SARA SHAW Kfar Saba Sir, - It's sad, but the fact that politicians of the caliber of Netanyahu, Barak and Livni are apparently afraid of him is the best reason I can think of to cast my vote for Avigdor Lieberman ("Hardline hero offers simple answers in a polarized Israel," February 5). GERSHON JACOBSON Jerusalem ...yes, but from whom? Sir, - Re "400,000 undecided voters now have on-line 'compass' to steer by" (January 30): As a third-generation Pittsburgher and niece of Myron Cope, the late, great color commentator for the Steelers, I had no trouble knowing whom to root for in the Superbowl. On the other hand, as an Israeli for the past 29 years, I have no idea whom to vote for in this election. If I don't vote Likud, I'm giving Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak an edge - but how can I vote for Likud? In the Likud posters, "Bogie" Ya'alon appears on Netanyahu's right hand and Benny Begin on his left. If only I believed that these two men, the only two in Israeli politics who stand for integrity, would really be on Bibi's left and right hand were the Likud to win.... However, Bibi is frank about his desire for a broad-based unity government. That means it's more likely we will have Barak for defense, and Livni holding an important portfolio. Bogie and Benny may be edged out to make room for them. A vote for Likud means a vote for more of the same. It means voting in the man who pledged there would be reciprocity, then gave away the holy city of Hebron for nothing. As an American schoolchild, I learned to be serious about my civic duty and to maximize my vote. However, the last time I did that, I voted for a man who forced his and my own people out of their homes. These dispossessed now live in milk-carton-like spaces and the area they vacated is being used to attack my fellow civilians. So this time, I will be throwing my vote away - on a small party to the right of the political spectrum that, at least, mirrors the sentiments of my heart. VARDA EPSTEIN Efrat Terribly transparent Sir, - The actions of the ruling "triumvirate" of Olmert, Livni and Barak regarding negotiations with Hamas for a cease-fire and the release of Gilad Schalit are transparent ("Rafi Eitan: Schalit deal is possible before PM steps down," February 9). For the sake of appearing to achieve certain goals on their waning watch, they are making concessions that undo whatever victory we achieved militarily. On Saturday, Hamas leader in Gaza Mahmoud Zahar came out of hiding, reportedly with Barak's sanction. With the announcement of a "window of opportunity" for securing Schalit's release, the triumvirate are now prepared to release more Hamas prisoners of greater culpability, trading national security and dignity for personal goals. One must hope that everyone even considering voting Kadima will think again in the face of this latest affront. ARLENE KUSHNER Jerusalem Go with the flow. (Not) Sir, - On the eve of Israel's 60th Independence Day you ran an excellent editorial entitled "Water independence" (May 6, 2008). On election day, the question must be: Why have none of the political parties given any attention to this vital security issue when - to quote the editorial - "a dearth of deeds today will cause certain thirst tomorrow"? COLIN L LECI Jerusalem State... Sir, - Why does The Jerusalem Post find Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's rejection of the Olmert fire sale so mind-boggling? ("Kadima slips," Editorial, January 30.) Hasn't it figured out yet that the only entity in the Middle East that wants a Palestinian state is Israel? Egypt and Jordan are clearly happier without it, and the Palestinians certainly don't want one. Yasser Arafat made their position very clear when he rejected the Barak giveaway in 2000, preferring to launch a terrorist war. Had he been at all interested in a Palestinian state he would at least have made a counter-offer, but the Barak and Clinton offers were clearly getting too close for him to take such a chance. Abbas's refusal to accept anything short of a return to the 1949 borders and the "right of return" is all that has prevented Ehud Olmert from giving away the farm. As we saw in a recent Torah reading, "God hardened Pharaoh's heart." How many times do Israeli leaders need to come knocking on the Palestinians' door with the gift of a state, only to find no one at home? WARREN ZAUER Jerusalem ...and static Sir, - Based upon various news items, I understand that: 1. Mahmoud Abbas carries no authority with the Palestinians, the vast majority of whom look to Hamas as their true representative; 2. Hamas does not, or will not, recognize the right of Israel to exist; 3. the Hamas charter points to the destruction of Israel as its main aim. Why, then, does the West continue to see a peace pact between Israel and the Palestinians as a logical possibility? ("Abbas: IDF attacks on Gaza were war crimes," February 5.) DAVID LEE London Lush funds Sir, - I am as surprised as Hamas must be at the UN's angry reaction to its theft of supplies intended for the people of Gaza ("UNRWA suspends aid to Gaza after Hamas again seizes supplies," February 8). After all, it let Yasser Arafat steal around $1 billion worth of aid meant for ordinary Palestinians. The UN did not complain, and the West was silent. Stranger still, no one has asked for a return of the money. Meanwhile Arafat's widow lives in bizarre luxury in Paris. They say crime doesn't pay. Sometimes it does, handsomely. DOV AARONS London Comfort zone for kids Sir, - "One in three Israeli kids remains below poverty line" (February 9) noted that 400,000 children are considered at immediate risk by social services. Without effective intervention, this tragic cycle is likely to perpetuate itself. In the US, relationship skills-building classes - education, not therapy or counseling - have become increasingly popular as significant research has validated their impact on couples and parents seeking to create and sustain healthy, loving relationships. The most effective interventions employ usable, easy-to-learn, research-validated skills that promote open communication, deepen empathy, expand emotional understanding and healthy expression and teach conflict resolution tools that focus on practical behavioral changes. Positive results are often immediate. As a new government considers national priorities, these recent reports highlight the urgency of implementing a national campaign to promote healthy relationships, strengthen marriages and families, and improve the home environment for all of Israel's children and their parents. SETH EISENBERG PAIRS Foundation, Inc. Weston, Florida

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