Choice of two
Sir, – Jonathan Rosen’s exhortation to Israeli voters (“Political
courage and responsibility,” Inside Out, January 17) is itself lacking in
By singling out relatively insignificant
members of party lists and suggesting a vote for these parties is primarily a
vote for these minor players, he avoids the fundamental truth of this election.
The true choice is between two potential leaders of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu
and Shelly Yacimovich.
Those who care for Israel will be focusing on the
question of who can best lead the country in the years ahead. Taking
responsibility in this case, as in so many others in life, means choosing not
the ideal and perfect, but rather the best of problematic
In my opinion, in this particular case it means voting for
the present prime minister, who is far beyond the alternative in experience,
qualification and ability to lead.SHALOM FREEDMAN
Jerusalem Not one
Sir, – Gershon Baskin claims there is too much discrimination against
the Arab citizens of Israel (“Close the gap in treatment of Israeli Arabs,”
Encountering Peace, January 17).
I read through his column a few times
and failed to find an example of what he claims to be governmental
discrimination, for which he says we should be embarrassed. No one can deny the
existence of personal discrimination, something that exists in all countries,
but I contest his claim of governmental discrimination.
As a believer in
true democracy, I am proud of the equal rights of all our citizens, such rights
being protected by our judiciary. The Arab citizens of neighboring countries do
not enjoy similar rights.MONTY M. ZION
Tel Mond Cheers to Khaled
Although considering myself somewhere to the right of Center, it was with great
dismay that I read “Facebook temporarily bans ‘Post’ reporter” (January
Throughout the years, Khaled Abu Toameh’s balanced, truthful
reporting has been like a tonic against all the jaded and warped semi-truths
that abound. Kudos to him for honest journalism with a fair outlook that paints
a dependable picture. May he continue for years to come.NAOMI FEINSTEIN
Nordiya Such a party
Sir, – Your January 16 editorial “The Arab vote” carries
the hope that someone will emerge to steer the Arab electorate away from
impractical, radical demagogues and toward a party that will join the government
and improve physical and social conditions in the Arab sector.
mentioning that the Hope for Change party is campaigning on precisely that
platform.MARK L. LEVINSON
Herzliya Right... and wrong
Sir, – Prof. Avi
Ben-Bassat, who attacks the country’s two-year budget, and Finance Minister
Yuval Steinitz, who has trumpeted its virtues, are both right – and wrong
(“What’s to blame for the deficit? It could be the two-year budget,” January
A two-year budget could be an excellent tool if it were regarded as
a strong guide (in modern terms, a “default position”) rather than immutable
“Torah from Sinai.” If properly used in this way it would proclaim a clear sense
of direction without the country being held hostage to sharp changes in economic
and demographic facts on the ground.
Such a budget should be a rolling
one, where necessary adjustments are made toward the end of the first year based
on underlying changes in the local and world economies. The changes should be
depoliticized, and thus in the hands of a non-partisan committee of experts from
academia and other authoritative sources. This might be particularly difficult
in a highly politicized country like Israel, but, if attainable, it would make
us much better off fiscally.JAC FRIEDGUT
Jerusalem The writer is an
economist and, as a vice president at Citibank, played a key role in analyzing
New York City’s budget after the city came to the edge of bankruptcy some three
decades ago Public spirit
Sir, – Regarding “Why there is no Anglo vote” (Comment
& Features, January 15), if there were a million of us, as there are
Russian-Israelis, we would have a party that represents us, the way Yisrael
Beytenu represents immigrants from the former Soviet Union. But even that party
is apparently being absorbed by the Likud.
I have had some experience
trying to build an Anglo political base in Israel to represent the specific
interests of Anglo Israelis.
My first attempt was with Natan Sharansky’s
Russian-based Yisrael B’aliya. With others we formed an Anglo section and ran in
the party’s second election run, when it gained only three seats.
few years we transferred to the Likud and formed an Anglo section there, but the
party was not really interested in helping develop an Anglo section, and all
support disappeared after it won the last election.
Now Jeremy Gimpel
feels he has found the magic Anglo formula – young, enthusiastic and right-wing.
But after the election, that will fade when Bayit Yehudi realizes there are
simply not enough Anglos to warrant making them a central fixture of its party
structure, even though we Anglos show more public spirit than most
Netanya Bennett is like Bibi
Sir, – In “Likud or
Jewish Home” (Comment & Features, January 15), Yoel Meltzer claims that
Naftali Bennett opposes a two-state solution. I suggest this is not
Bennett supports a one-sided Israeli decision to annex Area C in
Judea and Samaria, constituting about 60 percent of the area and covering all
the settlements, including approximately 365,000 settlers. The 50,000
Palestinians living in the area would be given Israeli citizenship or residency
permits, with Area A and Area B remaining under a form of Palestinian
Wikipedia explains “autonomy” as follows: the capacity of a
rational individual to make an informed, uncoerced decision or, in politics,
Self-government means that by annexing Area C and not
all of Judea and Samaria, Bennett is actually giving the Palestinian Authority a
state, and its own police force and army, in Areas A and B. And do we need
another 50,000 Arabs with Israeli citizenship added to our voting roles? I think
What Bayit Yehudi really is saying is the same as what our prime
minister said in agreeing to a two-state solution.
Any surrender of land
to the Arabs in Judea and Samaria is surrender. It is the beginning of a
two-state solution and, God forbid, an end to Israel.CHAIM GINSBERG
Ma’aleh Adumim Israel’s image
Sir, – I was very dismayed to read Atara Siegel’s
“Why Israel is losing support from Jewish students on US college campuses”
It seems to me that media bias is still alive and well in
the US. Of course, there are dozens of articles discussing every disgusting
incident or speech by a small minority of our people, which is later condemned
by the rest of us. Yet when Jews are attacked it’s business as usual, so it’s
hardly ever mentioned.
I’m not saying so-called price tag incidents are
right or that two wrongs make a right. I’m referring to Siegel’s contention that
they are a trend. They are not, and the media should not make anyone think
As to her part about asylum seekers, it’s true that many
people coming from Africa are seeking asylum, but not all. She should note that
the reason we got into this situation is because we gave asylum seekers refuge.
We are a small country.
We can’t absorb all those people.SUSAN