Sir, – Political correspondent Gil Hoffman doesn’t even try to hide
his anti-Livni bias anymore.
In “PM suffers blow, Lapid emerges tall in
election” (January 23), he called Tzipi Livni’s party “[o]ne of the biggest
losers in the race,” despite the fact that this brand new party came in seventh
out of 32 parties.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Beytenu list
dropped quite a few seats, so Netanyahu was not exactly
Then, in “Grading the campaigns” (Politics, January 25),
Hoffman gave The Tzipi Livni Party the worst grade, an F, despite the fact that
Kadima, the party she left, performed abysmally, going from being the largest
party in the Knesset to just barely crossing the electoral threshold.
think Hoffman needs to reevaluate the way he pushes his own opinions into news
Jerusalem Gil Hoffman responds: Kadima was not expected to pass the threshold but did because of its persuasive campaign. The Tzipi Livni Party set its goal as serving as an alternative ruling party to Likud-Beytenu but finished with the same number of seats as Meretz. Anyone who has any doubts about whether I've been fair and impartial to Livni and her party should read my December 14 interview with her:www.jpost.com/Features/FrontLines/Article.aspx?id=295898Not America
Sir, – Yesh Atid’s Dov Lipman
(“An American in the Knesset,” Knesset Watch, January 25) is willing to give up
parts of the Land of Israel for peace. How nice! Obviously, he believes this is
America, where he can sit over a cup of coffee and speak common sense to his
I want to know if Lipman would be willing to lead all the Jews
out of their homes in Beit Shemesh for peace, or whether he wants to try for
peace only with someone else’s home.BARBARA GINSBERG
Platform of hate
Sir, – Ben Caspit (“The perfect Israeli,” Observations, January
25) says that “Yair Lapid is what we want the perfect Israeli to look like. The
good old Israel, liberal, secular, pragmatic and polite....”
fine and dandy if you don’t read Lapid’s lips: “I hate haredim.” A bad habit he
picked up from his father.
The younger Lapid can present so much hope for
Israelis and bring much-needed fresh blood to the old, worn-out political
system. So why did he have to base so much of his platform on hate?
Tel Aviv Their first time
Sir, – Last Tuesday was my first time voting
in Israel as a new immigrant, having made aliya in 2009. The experience was
quite remarkable and a good way to discern how elections here differ from the
I got to my Israeli polling place at 7:00 a.m., when voting was to
commence. The person asked my name and address, told me I did not belong at that
polling station and to go away. I politely asked if he knew where I was to
The answer was an abrupt no! I called my neighbor for his
recommendation. He told me that since I had not received a postcard from the
Election Committee informing me where I was to vote, I should go to a different
polling place within walking distance from the first.
Well, I showed up
there at 7:15 a.m. The people in charge were just setting up and said I had to
wait 20 minutes until they got their paperwork and other paraphernalia in order.
Their poll opened at 7:35, but not before I got a vocal concert from one of the
poll watchers. He sang native Iraqi songs, as well as many Shabbat songs, to
interesting melodies. He had a marvelous voice, but that was not the reason I
had come to the polls.
Lo and behold, my name was on the list and I was
given an envelope to take behind a partition, where I picked one of the many
party slips and inserted it into the envelope. The poll workers thanked me for
voting. I got another song and then went home.
Israel. Is this a great
country or what? PAUL SCHWARTZ
Sir, – I was very proud to vote in
Israel for the first time last week... until I saw the voting site in Talpiot:
up a hill and down a lot of stairs. There was a gentleman in a wheelchair with
his aide in the hallway. How did he get there? Did the aide bounce him down a
step at a time or did two people have to carry him and his wheelchair so that he
could exercise his right to vote? The next day I was on the bus alongside a
woman in a motorized vehicle with a breathing tube. I asked her if she had voted
and she answered that she could not get to the site assigned to
There might be sites that are suitable for the handicapped and there
might be transportation for them, but if it is not publicized we are depriving
our citizens of the right to vote. The information should be in several
languages on the voting card sent to our homes, and publicized in the
It is also wonderful that soldiers, diplomats posted abroad,
prisoners and those in the hospital got to vote. But others did not: airline
personnel, emissaries, people working or visiting sick relatives abroad, and
many more, including my cousin, a cardiologist, who was in the US explaining to
a Hadassah group a grant request that would improve services in the hospital
If we are indeed a democracy, we should make voting available to
all who are eligible.ROZANNE POLANSKY
Jerusalem What is ‘Israeli?’
– Uri Savir’s magnum opus “The Israeli” (Savir’s Corner, January 25) is, without
any doubt, hesitation or reservation, the finest and most comprehensive
definition of “Israeli” I have ever read.
In 1951, when I arrived in
Israel, I came as a Jew. I was 18 years old. For the past 62 years, when asked
to identify myself, I have replied: “I am Israeli.”
Being Jewish is
Being Israeli is more difficult to define.
In my early
childhood the most prominent colors were blue and black – marks placed on my
body by non-Jews who called me a Christ-killer as they beat me. Since my aliya
the most prominent colors have been blue and white, the symbol of my reborn
homeland, its identity and glory.
We Israelis are often called one people
despite our different cultures and origins. It is not our religion alone that
unites or defines us. It is our Israeli-ness.
Now, at age 80, I know who
I am, what I am and why I am – very proud, devoted and honored to be
Rishon Lezion Irish oys
Sir, – The lesson we
should learn from Sarah Honig (“That unwitting indecency,” Another Tack, January
25) is that we Israelis must choose our vacation destinations more
Many, if not most, Irish harbor anti-Semitic feelings. Having
grown up in Rockaway Beach, an Irish enclave of New York City, I can personally
attest to having fought off some of their gangs.Yet to be fair, there have been
some exceptions and friends such as Paul O’Dwyer, Tip O’Neil, Daniel Patrick
Moynihan and Cardinal O’Connor, all Irish-American politicians or communal
World-wide? Anti-Semitism has increased considerably in the past
few years. We know who our friends are, like the Czechs, the Canadians and the
Americans, to mention just a few closer to home.
Let’s spend our
converted shekels in countries that are more friendly to Israel and
Remember, boycotts work both ways.NAFTALI BERTRAM
Sir, – I must express my profound shock, dismay and revulsion at the “education”
of Irish children in certain schools in County Kerry, Ireland. Even more so as
an Irish Jew, and being Israeli-born.
I would hope Irish taxpayers
express their disgust at the hate being instilled in Irish school children in
Cahersiveen. Our minister for education, Ruairi Quinn, is a man who has
previously expressed support and admiration for Israel. He wants to separate
church and state in respect of education in Ireland.
It’s just a shame
Honig did not name the schools.DAVID NEWMARK
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