March 25: Who's at fault?

What incredible arrogance! Where is the hard-evidence?

March 24, 2015 21:28

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Who’s at fault

Ayelet Shaked has demanded three cabinet positions for her Bayit Yehudi party as compensation for the tactics that drew Bayit Yehudi voters away to the Likud. She based this number on how many seats she is certain the party would have won had Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu not committed this devious deed (“Labor confirms Netanyahu sought unity government,” March 22).

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What incredible arrogance! Where is the hard-evidence? I didn’t hear the prime minister tell people not to vote for Bayit Yehudi. As is the name of the game, he appealed to people to vote for his party! How does she know people were taken away, and how many? Signed affidavits by voters? Could it be that intelligent voters actually decide for whom to vote based on their own informed choices and decisions? Shaked obviously doesn’t think so, and of course shows contempt for the electoral process by demanding political favors as if there had been no election at all! I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.

Shaked has merely joined a long line of other politicians avoiding the more obvious, but all-too-painful, conclusion that election losses are a party’s own fault.

Hatzor Haglilit

It is said that the definition of chutzpah is when a son murders his parents and then pleads for clemency because he is an orphan.

I have seen reports of senior Likud figures insisting that as fellow right-wing political parties did not receive as many votes as before, these parties cannot expect senior coalition positions, which should go to the Likud. I think this is a bit rich.

The Likud did indeed carry out an excellent election strategy.

It saw the way the polls were going and focused on right-of-center voters who were supporting smaller parties. It pointed out, quite forcefully, that because of the potential spread of votes, voting for a preferred party, and not for the Likud, could be catastrophic. It could lead to the Zionist Union winning more seats and encourage President Reuven Rivlin to give it the first shot at forming a government.

The tactic worked. To now penalize these parties is simply, in the idiom of the old country, not cricket.


Our reality

It’s a story of three festivals.

Whenever we have elections in this country, we are told that it’s a “festival of democracy.”

So we just had one. But now comes the festival of hypocrisy. Imagine. We had our democratic election and US President Barack Obama doesn’t like the result.

What’s that? We are allowed to have democratic elections as long as we get the “proper” results? What chutzpah! And now we are going to be punished for expressing our views (“US may withdraw support for Israel at Security Council,” March 20), being stood in the corner like third-graders.

Doesn’t the word “democracy” mean that we get to express our beliefs? Herb Keinon put it brilliantly in “With eyes wide open” (Frontlines, March 20): “Israelis feel insecure. This is not made up, its not hype, it’s not phony or fear-mongering. It’s real, and it comes from kids getting kidnapped and murdered, rockets falling into living rooms, and passersby getting stabbed.”

This is our reality. We are trying to live and protect ourselves as best we can. It’s too bad that Mr. Obama’s feelings are hurt.

And while we are living our very threatened lives, here comes the third festival – Passover, our festival of freedom, which is just around the corner.

I hope the Almighty will continue to protect us as He did at that time. May we all have a happy and kosher holiday, a holiday free of terrorist attacks or bullying by our “friends.”


Petah Tikva

Actions count

Words matter, but actions matter more, and on both counts, President Barack Obama has been, by far, more insincere than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He would not meet with Netanyahu while the Israeli leader was in Washington because he did not want to be seen as meddling in another country’s political contest. Yet there are accusations that his State Department funneled funds to Netanyahu’s adversary.

Obama has not hidden his feelings. There was the vulgar name-calling of Bibi by an unnamed administration official, and there have been twofaced assurances of having Israel’s back – all while a two-state solution and the terms of a proposed nuclear deal with Iran would be suicidal for Israel.

Obama’s duplicity is not exclusive to Israelis. Regarding his healthcare plan, he repeatedly told the American people: “If you like the health plan you have, you can keep it.” He says he refuses to negotiate with terrorists, yet he swapped Guantanamo prisoners to free an apparent army deserter. He has also towed a soft line with the actors fueling the violence here and abroad; for example, he asked for world support to fight Islamic State and then failed to supply boots on the ground with the necessary arms to do the job.

These are just a few examples of words and (in)actions that have cost and continue to jeopardize the innocent lives of Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

New York

So Bibi said that the Arabs were going out in droves to vote. He was merely stating a fact, and nothing more. He was calling on Jewish voters to also go out in droves. He did not call to disenfranchise Arab voters, who have always had the right to vote (as opposed to some states in the US, where blacks were once required to take a “literacy test”).

Further, we have Arab Knesset members who represent the Palestinian Authority far more than they do the constituents that vote for them.

So sorry that Israel is not toeing the Obama line, but in the famous words of the late prime minister Menachem Begin, Israel is not a banana republic.


The White House apparently believes that our government no longer supports direct negotiations with the Palestinians.

Haven’t they been paying attention the last many years? Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas does not support direct negotiations either! Finally, Netanyahu agrees with him!



Why a light?

In “The gracious speech Netanyahu should give” (Center Field, March 19), Gil Troy mentions that Israel should be a “light unto the nations.” I disagree.

While this vision originates in the Book of Isaiah, the Pentateuch supersedes it in importance in Judaism. At the beginning of the exile, “Jacob told his sons, why do you make yourself conspicuous?” (Genesis 42:1).

Our sages tell us that the actions of the patriarchs are a sign for their descendants. Jews should always keep a low profile, not be a mannequin in a window.

One of the causes of the Holocaust was the high prominence of Jews in the professions in Austria and Germany in the 1930s, and the jealousy this engendered. Even at a time of so much jihadist barbarism in the Muslim world, tiny Israel, an oasis of culture and science, still ranks among the most despised countries in the world, according to polls.

The popular Aesop’s fable of the miller who takes his son and donkey to the market should warn us how difficult it is – especially for Israel, because many non-Jews are predisposed to dislike Jews – to satisfy people and be a paragon.


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