letters good 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Honest and strong...
Sir, - "Riding the waves with Ami Ayalon" (January 12) revealed an analytical, honest and strong human being. To avoid our voting mistakes of the past we need to know more about our future candidates for leadership.
David Horovitz is a master interviewer. Keep 'em coming.
DAVID LEON HARRIS
...but hardly moderate
Sir, - In your January 12 issue Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as telling Palestinians: "The issue of the refugees is non-negotiable," meaning he continues to claim their right of return to Israel. This is not only ludicrous, but hostile. Yet Abbas is described as a moderate in both local and international forums.
I recommend that the Post, in referring to Abbas, adopt Ami Ayalon's term to describe the Saudi and Egyptian approach to Israel: "pragmatic." Moderate, he is not ("Focus on fighting occupation, not each other, Abbas tells Fatah rally," January 12).
Sir, - MJ Rosenberg's "Be smart on the prisoners," a call for concessions to the "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas, was ironically published on the same day (January 11) Abbas publicly called on his constituents to use their weapons against Israel, and rejected any compromise on the "right of return."
Sir, - In "Old dogs, new tricks?" (January 12) Anshel Pfeffer was correct that prime ministers Rabin and Sharon made comebacks "when Israelis felt a deep and desperate need for a seasoned and confident leaderâ€¦ someone who had shown in the past that he knew how to deal with our neighbors." But both Rabin and Sharon betrayed the public trust, made a 180-degree about-face and changed the platforms on which they were elected.
Rabin violated Israeli law and negotiated with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, resulting in the Oslo Accords. He was also ready to negotiate relinquishing the Golan Heights, contrary to promises he made during his election campaign.
Sharon roundly defeated Amnon Mitzna, whose campaign was based on unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. He then manipulated Israeli democracy to unilaterally destroy 22 Jewish communities in Gush Katif and expel thousands of Jews from their homes.
It is comments like Rabin and Sharon were "two of the most popular prime ministers in Israeli history, enjoying sufficient public support to carry out highly controversial policies" which make the media partners with those men in betraying the public trust. Unfortunately, both were stricken before standing the test of another election to see if they were indeed as popular as the media made them out to be.
The bottom line is that Israelis have neither the peace nor the security they entrusted to these men.
Sir, - Let's have more articles by Shmuel Katz ("Educating Mr. Sarid," January 10). We have much to learn from his in-depth knowledge of our history and his capacity for incisive analysis.
A debate between these two Titans among among our former MKs - 66-year-old Yossi Sarid and 92-year-old Katz - would be truly worthwhile.
Call him responsible
Sir, - Larry Derfner was way out of line calling Binyamin Netanyahu a bigot just because he discussed the Arab demographic problem ("A bigot called Bibi," January 4). This has been a major issue in Israeli politics for years. It was discussed publicly by prime minister Ariel Sharon and it has been discussed by PM Olmert. Their policy of selective withdrawals from Gaza and elsewhere, termed disengagement and other euphemisms, was precisely based on trying to reduce the Arab population in Israel.
Any Israeli leader who did not address this issue would be considered irresponsible.
Sir, - If Arab fecundity is reduced by removal of the financial encouragement to procreate, then surely fecundity in itself is not a value among the local Arab population. Some have suggested that fecundity be used by the Arabs as a means of warfare. If so, there is no more reason for us to underwrite it than giving them Kalatchnikovs.
Arab world: Give Palestinians work
Sir, - Before being hanged, Saddam Hussein was saying that Palestine is Arab. If this is true, is it possible to employ unemployed Palestine people to rebuild Iraq?
The Arab world should accept Palestine people to be real citizens of the Arab world and give them a possibility for work in Iraq and other countries. I can't understand why a lot of Filipinos are working in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries instead of Palestinians.
I ask all the Arab countries to give work to Palestinians.
JUHA MERIL INEN
Lax on tax
Sir, - Emanuel Feldman in his excellent "The blight of corrosive corruption" (January 14) discussed corruption among politicians. Unfortunately, it is also rampant in the private sector. One small example is that when one has maintenance work done at home, one frequently has the choice of getting a receipt for the work done and thus paying value added tax, or not getting a receipt and not paying the tax.
My husband and I insist on a receipt, often to the surprise of the workman, who obviously thinks we are freirim - suckers. I regret the rot in our society that such a corrupt practice exists.
Ice on HOT...
Sir, - While I am happy to see that others are as incensed as I am at HOT's latest projected withdrawal of channels, I would like also to enter a plea for the soon to be removed Eurosport. This is not the first time HOT has removed Eurosport from its package. It did so several years ago but brought the channel back shortly thereafter, presumably due to client outrage. I cancelled my subscription when it disappeared because I only signed up for cable in order to see the ice skating championships it carries, and renewed it when the channel was reinstated. I plan to cancel again if it is really taken off.
Sir, - Re HOT dropping BBC Prime: The cable company's customer relations are shameful. I went to its stand in the Hasharon mall to cancel my subscription and was told I had to telephone. Its representative also advised me that YES was dropping BBC Prime as well (totally untrue) and that the reason for dropping the channel was the BBC's refusal to supply Israel (also totally untrue).
I phoned the number supplied and found difficulty in locating an English speaker. Russian yes, English no. When I eventually did get through to someone at HOT, I was asked to hold on while they transferred me to another department. Twenty minutes later, while writing this letter, I am still holding on.
Well, HOT, hundreds, if not thousands, know how to deal with bad service.
Sir, - Here is the email address of HOT, for those many people who have been asking for it: Channels.email@example.com