Streamline the system
I made aliya nearly four years ago. This Election Day was the second time I was disturbed by the huge waste of money spent on some 25 different printed ballot slips as well as on self-seal envelopes.
Surely it would be cheaper to print the names of all the parties on one piece of paper, with a space next to each party name in which to mark your vote. The paper could then be folded and placed straight into the ballot box.
Where I voted, there were long lines to get into the different polling stations. They would allow in only one person at a time, as there was only one booth in each station. In the UK, where the population is considerably larger, there are always several booths in each area and, consequently, virtually no queuing.ANDREW BRAUDE
Jerusalem Wrong direction
One wonders about the veracity of Gerald M. Steinberg’s analysis of the Likud’s current situation (“Dysfunctional Likud,” Comment & Features, March 17).
Dr. Steinberg asserts that the Likud’s faltering fortunes can be analogized to the fate that has befallen ruling political parties in other western democracies, including the Democratic Party in the United States following Bill Clinton’s eight-year stewardship.
Surely, he is aware that in the election of 2000, a majority of the American people cast their ballot for Al Gore, Mr. Clinton’s vice president and selected successor, and not for George W.
Bush, the candidate of the Republican Party.
Mr. Bush’s victory in that election cycle resulted from the structure of the American political system – the rules of the game – and not from the principles of democracy. The people wanted more of the same but the system overturned their wishes.
The Likud’s falling fortunes demand an explanation from our top-tier political scientists.
Unfortunately, Dr. Steinberg’s effort does not seem to point us in the right direction.AVI BERKOWITZ
Efrat No clothes
The chance of losing office (and its concomitant lifestyle) seemed to strike fear into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heart in the days leading up to your elections. Or, it stripped him of all pretenses, allowing us to see the real Bibi.
The candidate showed his true colors by saying Israel would continue to build in Jerusalem, adding thousands of housing units (“Netanyahu tells TA rally: We can close gap with Herzog,” March 16) – although on privately owned Palestinian land annexed unilaterally by Israel and recognized by... no other nation on Earth. He is now refusing to allow a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside Israel (“PM calls his past support for two-state solution ‘irrelevant,’” March 9).
Netanyahu’s words, actions and policies demonstrate repeatedly that he’s no partner for peace, regardless of the Palestinians.
His recent speeches in America echoed his fear of losing office. His pre-election words illustrated that Emperor Netanyahu has no clothes.JUDY BAMBERGER
O’Connor, Australia No mention at all
Tova Lazaroff’s “How the parties stand on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” (March 15) is misleading. It mentions the Likud’s division of Hebron without explaining that it was merely implementing a legally binding agreement reached by Labor.
The Likud didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Hey, let’s divide Hebron.” It was bound by Labor’s previous concession.
The article mentions Likud concessions while entirely omitting the massive Labor Party concessions made under the Oslo Accords.
Ra’anana Forgive us
Despite the blatant anti-Israel bias and actions of the Obama administration and the US State Department, the vast majority of Americans still stand with Israel.
Indeed, we are ashamed and in disbelief that our government has abandoned Israel and has chosen instead to pursue an inane and senseless agreement with Iran that would ultimately assure it a nuclear weapons capability that could clearly be used to intimidate and potentially destroy Israel.
Please accept our sincere apologies for the deplorable manner in which this administration has treated the people of Israel, and its glaring disrespect toward your prime minister again and again. It disgusts us that members of known terror groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, are warmly received by our president in the White House while he refuses to extend even the most common courtesies to your leaders. You have always been a loyal and dependable friend, and certainly you deserve much more respect than this.
We also hope you can forgive us for the surreptitious moves by this administration to influence your elections to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and replace the Likud Party.
Please understand that this kind of subterfuge is not what real Americans do.
Tremendous damage will surely be done over the next two years if Israel does not hold its course, remain vigilant and control its own destiny.LAWRENCE LYTLE
Raleigh, North Carolina Big, bad wolves
The big, bad wolves are at our door, and if we don’t face up to it they will eat us alive (“EU flags flying over illegal PA construction,” Comment & Features, March 11).
Where else would an outside entity have the gall to illegally build in another people’s sovereign state and get away with it? It appears that due to the presence of the European Union symbol and the threat of action against Israel by the EU, the government has yet to do anything.
Am I to assume that the EU symbol has more importance to us than the Israeli flag? Why are we voluntarily emasculating ourselves? We see it in the government’s fear of declaring sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. We see it in the fear of taking back control of the Temple Mount. We see it in the concessions and surrender to that terrorist in a suit, Mahmoud Abbas.
The big, bad wolves are always angry and can never be satiated with anything but our life’s blood, which one way or another they are draining from us. If we cannot stand up to such as the EU when it is blatantly breaking our laws, how can we call ourselves a sovereign state? How can we justify the thousands of people who have given up their lives so that we might live as a free people in our own land? PHYLLIS STERN
Netanya Complimenting El Al
During my most recent trip to North America and return to Israel, I required assistance from El Al due to an injury that had prevented me from walking. The courtesy, compassion and care I received was more than one could have expected.
I am grateful to the entire staff of the airline for going beyond the call of duty in making this a pleasurable trip. Yasher koach, El Al.MOSHE STERN
Beit Shemesh A nod to Paddy
According to legend, Saint Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans. So I wondered why some of the Jewish press chose to accept St. Patrick’s Day advertisements and thereby inadvertently assist Israelis unaware of its history to celebrate the day.
Then the light shone. Everything suddenly became crystal clear. The ads were aimed at Israeli-Irish Christians! After all, lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.
It must be this, for most Israeli Jews have just about recovered from Purim. Or am I being naive?LEONARD BOOK
The writer is a rabbi.