Myth laid to rest
Sir, – J Street’s director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, states that he
does not favor a US veto over the proposed UN resolution that Israel immediately
and completely ceases all settlement activity, including in east Jerusalem (“UN
Security Council expected to vote soon on anti-settlement resolution,” February
17). This lays to rest the myth that J Street is a Zionist, pro-Israel
The definition of “east Jerusalem” in this proposal is those parts
of the city that were outside the pre-1967 armistice line, and thus includes
Ramat Eshkol, Gilo, Armon Hanatziv, Ramot, East Talpiot, Ramat Shlomo and Pisgat
If J Street believes we should cease all activity in these areas,
it is either strongly anti-Israel or completely ignorant of facts on the ground.
Either way, Ben-Ami’s latest declaration indicates that no Zionists should
support it.ROBYN ROTBERG
Kfar Saba Not-so-good guys
Sir, – Here in the
US, the media don’t know what to do with the story of Lara Logan (“CBS newswoman
sexually assaulted by Cairo mob chanting ‘Jew! Jew!,’” February 17).
accepted narrative has been that the protesters are the good Egyptians, while
Mubarak’s people are thugs. The problem is that Logan was assaulted by the good
Egyptians celebrating their freedom.
These good Egyptians also yelled
“Jew, Jew!” as they assaulted Logan, a fact ignored by all but one media outlet
What to do with such inconvenient facts? The media have largely
chosen to ignore them. Maybe, just maybe, the good Egyptians aren’t as good as
CBS and CNN would hope them to be.
I suspect that we will see Egypt turn
into another Iran before we see it turn into another Israel, but will the media
know what to do when that happens? ABE KRIEGER
Highland Park, New Jersey
Termination writ large
Sir, – “Gazans who lost jobs because of the disengagement
not entitled to severance pay” (February 16) says that according to the judge
“there had been no act of termination.”
The disengagement was an act of
termination writ large, not at the innocent employer’s initiative, but at our
government’s. So shouldn’t our government pay? On the other hand, our government
disengaged from Gaza because the Palestinian Authority’s failure to halt terror
made normal activity impossible. So what the government should do is dip into
the funds earmarked for the Palestinian Authority and use them to compensate the
workers who lost their jobs because of the terror from Gaza.MARK L.
Herzliya Change the system
Sir, – I read with interest Jonathan
Surasky’s letter (“Wider electoral reforms,” February 16).
It has long
been a bugbear of my friends and me that there is no one lawmaker who represents
Netanya or parts thereof.
The systems in the US, UK and elsewhere are not
perfect, but at least there, one votes for a local politician to whom one may
come with local problems. The drawback of our own system is that we vote for
parties, all of which have lists of members who will obtain a Knesset seat based
on the pecking order.
Laying aside the question of how self-seeking they
may be, these politicians certainly do not care about local issues. Perhaps if
Knesset members stopped thinking solely about themselves and thought of the
poorly served and underrated population of this lovely country, we might get
less sleaze and more action to redress the wrongs that go on in
We are able to be united as a people, but there is too much
mudslinging between factions.HARVEY GREEN
Sir, – The Knesset
doesn’t represent the voters, no matter how heterogeneous they may be. It
represents political parties that choose candidates for election to the House.
There are no primaries for people to select their candidates for office.
Candidates today are responsible solely to the parties whose names appear on the
ballot, and not to the people.
Under our present and unworkable
proportional representation system, no one party has ever secured a clear
majority of votes.
Any party aspiring to leadership must enlist smaller
parties to join its coalition. The small parties call the shots by threatening
to leave the coalition and bring down the government if their demands are not
Almost always, governments fall after two years. A citizen may shout
himself hoarse in a demonstration but will have no effect at all on anyone. No
one in the Knesset represents him as an individual.
He has no one to turn
The present form of elections must be replaced with a constituency
form of elections in which candidates represent the people of defined voting
districts, to whom they must give an accounting of their actions in the House or
be replaced. This would create three to four parties in the Knesset (instead of
the dozen or so today), with one possessing a clear majority and able to
legislate its political platform into action. Without this change, things will
only go from bad to worse.
The hitch is that in order to enact this
change, it requires a majority vote in the Knesset – whose members will be the
last ones to vote for losing their seats.
Last month, Susan Hattis Rolef
wrote an exuberant article titled “Tu Bishvat – the Knesset’s 62nd anniversary”
(Comment & features, January 20), describing our Cave of the Winds as “a
well functioning institution which well represents the country’s heterogeneous
social makeup.” I didn’t know that the Post published fiction.ELIEZER
Jerusalem Loud and clear
Sir, – Regarding “Egyptian opposition figure
calls to rethink Camp David Accords” (February 14), the Israeli government
should make it clear that if Egypt abrogates the peace treaty, it, too, will
cancel the treaty, rescind its concessions and consider reoccupying the
The treaty is a contractual undertaking by both sides and requires
the faithful performance of all obligations.
It is unthinkable that Egypt
can retain all the tangible concessions while Israel simply loses all it had
been promised – peace and recognition.
If Egypt rescinds the treaty, the
US should also end the more-than $1 billion in aid it gives Egypt each
By highlighting the significant negative consequences of abrogating
the peace treaty, Israel and the US would reduce the likelihood of Egypt doing
so, and might play a stabilizing and restraining influence on
Cairo.MORTON A. KLEIN
New York The writer is national president of the
Zionist Organization of America Worthy cause
Sir, – The students from Yeshivat
Eretz Hatzvi who plan on running the Jerusalem Marathon to raise funds for
Tikvot should be commended for their admirable initiative (“Born to run,”
Sports, February 17). Exhibiting such maturity and displaying a willingness to
give back at such a young age is a tribute to their families and to their
At the same time, I would like to introduce your readers to
“Tzevet Daniel,” another worthy group of runners who are participating in the
marathon to raise funds to build a special musical park in Alon Shvut. The park
is being built in memory of my son Daniel, a 24- year-old soldier who was killed
in 2003 while apprehending terrorists near Nablus.
For more information
on this worthy endeavor or to sign up for Tzevet Daniel, please go to
www.daniel-mandel.co.il or e-mail me at email@example.com.CHERYL