March 16: Leads and Endorsements

Responses from readers that address the upcoming elections, rallies being held in Tel Aviv and America.

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March 15, 2015 22:46
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Leads, endorsements

When political reporter Gil Hoffman says that the great majority of Israelis want a change (“‘Post’ poll: Zionist Union extends its lead,” March 13), it’s too vague. Just about everyone favors change! The political meaning depends on how the question is phrased.

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It could mean they want the current coalition to lead the change.

But the piece ties the vague desire for change to the supposed rejection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Why hide the question and deny the reader the opportunity to decide what the answer represents? Too bad the Post allows biased reporting of poll results implying that the public doesn’t want Netanyahu.

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If Hillary Clinton garnered 48 percent against the one Republican candidate’s 41%, it would be impressive. But Netanyahu’s 41% against all other candidates? That figure tells the opposite story! How come you chose not to reveal all the preferences? Does the plurality of those who answered really want Netanyahu? Why not say so? Or are we to conclude that this was all mere opinion? 

HAYIM GRANOT Petah Tikva

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If there was ever a news item that was not newsworthy, former president Shimon Peres’s endorsement of Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog is it. Did anyone expect Peres to do otherwise? Listening to the radio and watching the occasional, so-called news, it is hard to imagine a more biased media. I would say that the anti-Netanyahu coverage has reached tsunami proportions. Peres aside, Bibi and his team have failed to make inroads with the most influential group of people in Israel, and that is a serious shortcoming.

Sometimes I try to picture how the late Ephraim Kishon would handle this election campaign.

His genius at portraying our foibles and making us laugh at ourselves was unsurpassed. No Israeli stand-up or sit-down comedian today can reach the heights he attained.

I have no idea who he would have favored. Nevertheless, I am positive that he would have had a field day with quite a few of the candidates, especially the ones who presume to have the necessary skills and training to be prime minister, and perhaps the incumbent prime minister as well.

If Bibi is out and Buji and Livni are in, I don’t know when I, personally, will next feel like laughing.

LINDA WOLFF Sha’arei Tikva

What happened to this country that all of a sudden it reveres Shimon Peres on his every word? All of a sudden he knows everything? He restored dignity to the presidency but spent half the state’s yearly budget running around the world, costing us much more than Sara Netanyahu’s bottles. He’s still the same dangerous architect of the Oslo disaster.

LAURIE BENTNER Tel Aviv

Prof from Boise

Your editorial on the letter that Republican senators sent to Iran (“Dangers of partisanship,” March 13) notes that “many have criticized the Republican senators for a variety of reasons.” One reason is that with their letter, “they undermined the US Constitution that gives the president the power to direct foreign policy....”

This contention is manifestly wrong. Rather, as noted by Boise State University Prof. David Adler in The Constitution and the Conduct of American Foreign Policy: “The Constitution envisions the conduct of foreign policy as a partnership between the president and Congress. Perhaps, surprisingly, Congress is assigned the role of senior partner. This assignment reflects, first, the overwhelming preference of both the framers at the Constitutional Convention and the ratifiers in the various state conventions for collective decision-making in foreign as well as domestic affairs, and, second, their equally adamant opposition to unilateral executive control of US foreign policy.”

I. GENDELMAN Jerusalem

All that experience

With regard to Martin Sherman’s “My (initial) challenge to the generals – all 200 of them” (Into the Fray, March 13), with all the experience among the group calling itself Commanders for Israel’s Security, I ask: Do you really think for a single moment a left-wing coalition would eliminate Hamas and halt the Iranian nuclear program? Have you not learned that Hamas, Hezbollah and others have repeatedly stated that their objective is to destroy Israel? Have you forgotten that it was former general Ariel Sharon who laid the foundations for all that has happened in the Gaza Strip? That it was former general Ehud Barak who fled Lebanon and gave us rockets ensuring an ever-increasing threat in the North? You offer no solutions – just perpetual condemnation of the current prime minister.

The Zionist Union’s solution is to give until there is nothing else to give. History has already taught us that all we will get in return are rockets, wars and condemnations for defending ourselves.

You generals have not learned from history: Weakness ensures defeat. None of you would be alive today had weakness prevailed in 1939 – and it very nearly did.

I. KEMP Nahariya

In “Tens of thousands turn out for anti-Netanyahu rally in Tel Aviv” (March 8), you report that former Mossad head Meir Dagan gave the keynote address. And rightly so. Who is more erudite and well informed to criticize the government than he is? After all, it was he who in May 2011 told a closed military forum: “I do not think that the Muslim Brotherhood intends to take over Egypt.... I don’t think their goal is to have one of their men become the president of Egypt.”

We remember that the Muslim Brotherhood won the election in June 2012, and that Mohammed Morsi became president of Egypt.

By deliberately overlooking, or even hiding, these fundamental and delusional analyses of the situation we face, the media have become part of the “anyone but Bibi” campaign. Will the Israeli electorate realize it before it is too late?

BERYL RATZER Netanya

Smoke and mirrors

Gershon Baskin made a very good argument in “A cautious peace, but peace nevertheless” (Encountering Peace, March 12).

It made sense to me – until I reread it. It’s rather like a good magician who uses smoke and mirrors.

From “up above,” I’m a British/ Israeli Christian. The Bible I read makes references to places in the kingdoms of Israel and Judah that are now considered to be Palestinian. The binding force holding the Jewish nation together has been spiritual. So why have a homeland for the Jews that does not contain the Land of the Bible? From “below,” the land was allocated to the Jews as a homeland by the League of Nations. It is due to the British Foreign Office’s lure to the myth of the “noble Arab,” and its inability to fulfill its legal and morally mandated obligations, that Israel received just a fraction of its inheritance. It was thanks only to its many sacrifices that Israel survived, and to the 1949 cease-fire, by which time it had managed to claim back at least some of the land allocated to it under international treaties.

I assume Mr. Baskin is an honorable man and believes that by “giving peace a chance” he is helping the Palestinians, improving Israel’s image and allowing it to gain its rightful place among the nations. However, for many of those nations, Israel does not belong; they would be happy to see it disappear.

Unfortunately, the path he proposes helps with that desire.

BOB KNIGHT Modi’in

CORRECTION

The student who led the initiative mentioned in “Ban Ki-moon responds to letter by Judea, Samaria schoolgirls” (March 13) was incorrectly identified. Her name is Chana Alster.

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