Safety at stake
Sir, – Since the editorial writer considers it “anti-democratic”
for Israel’s Arab citizens to be denied the right to vote in a referendum on
territorial concessions (“3 important bills,” October 15), he or she should also
oppose exempting them from army service.
This possibility is never
raised, since it is obvious that army service for the Arabs would pose far too
great a security risk. However, the same argument should hold good for the
prospect of Israeli Arabs, many of whom do not have the country’s best interests
at heart, being allowed to vote in a referendum on territorial withdrawals,
which would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. This is because it
is widely thought that territorial concessions will endanger Israel’s security,
as has happened in the past.
Upholding democracy should not come at the
expense of our country’s safety.RHONA YEMINI
Givatayim Race in
Sir, – There was a time when the name Uzi Landau suggested
honesty, forthrightness and principle.
But his public support for
Jerusalem mayoral challenger Moshe Lion (“A clear choice and vision for J’lem,”
Comment & Features, October 15) puts the lie to that.
A vote for Lion
indicates a desire to return to the ways of the past, when politics was prisoner
to payoffs, make-work jobs, favoritism, etc. I do not believe that this is what
We already have a world-class mayor for our
Why change that?
CHAIM A. ABRAMOWITZ
Sir, – I
agree with every word Isi Leibler wrote about Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s good
works (“Electing the mayor of Jerusalem,” Candidly Speaking, October 15). But
this does not compensate for me living in a dumpster with cats and rubbish on a
street opposite the King David Hotel.NITA WEISZ
Sir, – As a resident of Beit Shemesh I can tell you first-hand that the
“negative tactics” reporter Sam Sokol referred to in “Beit Shemesh candidates
accuse each other of running dirty campaigns” (October 15) are coming solely
from the campaign of the incumbent, Mayor Moshe Abutbol.
I have received
flyers telling me lies, that mayoral challenger Eli Cohen will have buses
running on Shabbat – and they were received many days after Abutbol claimed he
never said such a thing. Last week, rocks were thrown at a Cohen supporter – who
is a rabbi and founder of a local charitable organization – when he questioned
Abutbol’s workers about illegal campaign signs. If that wasn’t horrific enough,
Abutbol posted advertisements showing haredi children behind barbed wire
“begging” to be protected from Cohen.
It is a typical Abutbol falsehood
to blame Cohen for the “negative tactics” he himself is guilty of
Sir, – Mayoral candidate Eli Cohen is
an experienced manager and gentleman whose vision is to bring unity and progress
to Beit Shemesh. He loves Beit Shemesh and yearns to see it blossom. That is why
I joined his team.
He has been maligned for things only a fool would
consider doing. For example, he has been accused of being in favor of allowing
buses to run on Shabbat in this firmly traditional, if not religious, city. Such
a move would invite riots. What a great way to foment hatred against
Eli Cohen has the support and admiration of many. I know him to be a
mensch. He is an experienced manager whose vision is to bring unity and
He doesn’t need the headache of being mayor – he already fills
a position in upper management at Mekorot. He just wants to fix the place he
Doing double takes
Sir, – Reading
the October 15 Jerusalem Post I did several double takes.
The first was
with “What restitution?” (Letters). How many times over the years have we read
in these pages of Holocaust survivors in Israel who cannot afford to pay rent,
medical or even grocery bills? The Claims Conference should, first and foremost,
be concerned with helping survivors in their remaining years, not managing a
“super fund” for the day they are gone.
The second was while reading Yesh
Atid MK Yoel Razbozov’s suggestion in the news item “‘Circumcision ceremonies
should be held at Israeli embassies in Europe.’” Excellent! Of course, the
Saudis might seek to extend the application of Shari’a Law and carry out the
beheadings of errant European Muslims and infidels should they cross the
threshold of Saudi embassies.
Lastly, and without implying any personal
preference in the Jerusalem mayoral race, Francis Nataf (“Why I can’t endorse
Barkat,” Comment & Features) wrote: “I am not completely comfortable voting
for [challenger Moshe] Lion. I don’t know enough about his
Regardless, I will vote for Lion....”
presented as a “Jerusalem-based educator, writer and thinker.” An educator?
Probably. A writer? Well, he did write this piece. But a thinker? I bet most
candidates would prefer not receiving such a thoughtless
Jerusalem Where were you?
Sir, – Regarding
Susan Hattis Rolef’s “The passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef” (Comment &
Features, October 14), the only thing of a nearly complimentary nature she has
to say about this Sephardi eminence is to call him rabbi.
ultra-hatchet job, replete with three columns of absolute vituperation, comes
from an eternally avowed member of the tyrannical Labor Party. This is, of
course, the party whose forbears relegated Sephardim to virtual second-class
citizenship, denying them status in government, chastising them for their
“primitive” religious beliefs and lifestyle, and kidnapping their infants and
reporting them dead.
Apparently, Rolef cannot stand the idea that this
giant rose up to restore the Sephardi sense of pride and place, that they, too,
could organize and become a force in education, finance, government and society,
effectively causing a revolution in Labor’s social order.
At the time of
the eulogies to slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on the 18th anniversary of
his death, I searched high and low among the paeans for denigrating remarks
referencing his (and then-prime minister David Ben- Gurion’s) dastardly murder
of 16 innocents on the Altalena or his criminal involvement in the catastrophic
Oslo Accords. Where were you then, Ms. Rolef?
Sir, – It is a lame excuse to say that Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s
Washington news conference was cancelled for “technical reasons” (“Lapid cancels
Shabbat press conference,” October 13).
Since the establishment of Israel
there has been a well known protocol that no official representative of the
state would publically desecrate Shabbat. The question has to be asked: Why was
the finance minister initially prepared to ignore this protocol and then, on
behalf of the government, take part in telephone conversations with the press
instead? One vividly recalls the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, which
took place on Shabbat.
Both president Zalman Shazar and former prime
minister David Ben-Gurion walked to the service at St. Paul’s Cathedral rather
than desecrate Shabbat.
Lapid needs to be reminded of the protocol and
that he cannot do what he likes. After all, he represents us, the citizens of a
Jewish state, not a state of Jews where anything goes.COLIN L. LECI