November 26: Unwashed and infuriated

I commend Livni for her forthrightness, but seldom have I heard such an anti-democratic rant from a democratic leader.

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
November 25, 2010 21:43
3 minute read.
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Unwashed and infuriated

Sir, – One of the delights of reading The Jerusalem Post is that on any given day, for example November 23, you can always find something to infuriate you.

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Whether it is the tired recycling of Gershon Baskin’s peace plan (“Five minutes to midnight, Encountering Peace), which espouses total capitulation to Arab demands except the right of return – and good luck with that! – or Larry Derfner’s perennial delight in sticking a finger in Israel’s eye (“The face of Israel in a West Bank courtroom,” Rattling the Cage), or someone’s opinion about how we should behave or the latest antics of the haredim, there’s always something to drive you nuts.

But the winner has to be Tzipi Livni, whose astonishing comments were so far down into the article (“Knesset okays referendum bill on ceding parts of Golan, east Jerusalem”) that I wonder if I was the only one to read them. They were mind-boggling, so bear with me while I quote them: “These are decisions that leaders who understand the scale of the problems and are exposed to all of its aspects are supposed to make. The public is not a substitute for good leadership....

This is not about asking the nation, but about giving a veto to decisions made by the elected government and the Knesset.”

There you have it! Who the are these little people who dare question, nay, even presume to overrule, the decisions of their betters? The very idea, the nerve, the chutzpah of the common slobs to tell their elected leaders what to do! I must say I commend Livni for her forthrightness, but seldom have I heard such an anti-democratic rant from a democratic leader.

Speaking on behalf of the unwashed, I say the more referenda the better.



YISRAEL GUTTMAN
Jerusalem

Close the circle

Sir, – I would like to congratulate Gershon Baskin and the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information for taking the initiative of making available to Israel’s Hebrew-speakingpublic a significant Egyptian cultural artifact (“Novel approaches to Arab-Israeli conflict,” Comment & Features, November 22).

This cultural sharing has the potential of confronting stereotypes and promoting understanding, empathy and appreciation, thereby bringing possible reconciliation a step closer.

The attitude of the Egyptian author toward Israel and Israelis, as exemplified by his refusal to share his work under the fear of “cultural normalization,” is a really sad commentary on the huge gap that exists between us.

To my mind, his rejection and fear epitomize the place that Israel occupies in the Arab world. By accepting and condoning the bogeyman of “cultural normalization,” the novelist actually proves the necessity of such cross-cultural acts.

I would suggest that the most appropriate response is the translation into Arabic by Baskin and IPCRI of an appropriate Israeli novel, which would help complete the circle, explaining why we are here and emphasizing our common human qualities.

YORAM GETZLER
Moshav Aminadav

Glick gets it

Sir, – Regarding “The future of South Africa?” (Comment & Features, November 21), I lived there for more than 50 years before making aliya four years ago and I confirm that Caroline B. Glick (“Out of South Africa,” Our World, November 9) has her facts spot on.

At least a third of the Jewish community has left South Africa (and this figure could even be as high as half, for there are no accurate statistics). Emigration is the ultimate test of “voting with your feet.”

If the South African Jewish community and its leaders are unable to tolerate the constructive criticism of a committed Zionist, then one wonders how they are going to cope with the destructive criticism they will eventually receive from the anti-Semites and anti- Zionists of South Africa, who outnumber them by substantially more than 10 to one.

IRWIN GUTKIN
Jerusalem

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