November 14, 2016: Out of tune

We want to know our time differences to have an idea when that store or office will be open or when our friend might come home from work or go to sleep.

November 14, 2016 21:52

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Out of tune

With regard to “Playing by the rules” (Editorial, November 13), enough is enough already! What actually happened here? The prime minister, who, together with his family, has been the subject of ad hominem attacks for many years from biased leftwing journalists, suddenly has the chutzpah to give as good as he gets. In the case of investigative TV reporter Ilana Dayan, her left-wing agenda and journalistic misdemeanors are well recorded.

You just don’t get it. There has been no “storm of protest” as to what the Benjamin Netanyahu said about Dayan. The only protests are from left-wing mainstream media personalities and their elitist cohorts – they hate Bibi and all he stands for, and have still not gotten over their loss of privileged power in 1977.

Fortunately, the majority of the electorate (the amcha so despised by the Left) is not stupid and does understand this, as evidenced by the fact that it has elected Netanyahu on four occasions. It further understands that the prime minister has presided over the transformation of this country from what was a socialist backwater to a prosperous, thriving and exciting free-enterprise, technology- based economy with a GDP growth rate of 4% – the envy of most western economies.

Netanyahu’s claim of an “orchestrated stigmatizing of the prime minister, which is meant to bring down the rightwing government and establish a left-wing government” is not far from the truth. I will be sad if The Jerusalem Post is joining the ranks of that orchestra.


More on Trump

Caroline B. Glick (“Israel in the Trump era,” Column One, November 13) and Melanie Phillips (“The uprising of the scorned,” As I See It, November 13) appear to have declared a holiday with the election of Donald Trump.

Whatever one thinks about Mr. Trump, he is no fool. And he will know the following: • Notwithstanding a continuous campaign to demonize outgoing President Barack Obama (including, unceasingly, by these two columnists), Obama leaves office with a very respectable popularity rating (no doubt rigged).

• The US system of government is bicameral plus a president, and the president has to take Congress with him on most things. Although both houses will be Republican on January 20, mid-term elections in two years’ time could change that.

• The Democrats actually increased their representation in both houses, and small swings could alter things.

• Unlike in Israel, packing the Supreme Court requires the consent of Congress (which is also aware of the electoral cycle).

In short, the American system of checks and balances ensures that any president has limited degrees of freedom.

This is the major shortcoming of the Israeli system. Here, a minister from a party with 6% representation can bring in draconian laws because the coalition parties are too terrified to say boo for fear of losing their seats and cash. Whatever the costs, Israel needs a second legislative chamber to limit the degree of freedom of the governing group – just like in other western democracies.


Upon reading the many articles and responses by pundits and readers regarding the Trump victory, one notices two recurring themes that dominate the arguments.

The first is the destructive impact a Trump administration will have on the hallowed institution of democracy. In light of his tempestuous personality, his ignorance of the intricacies of domestic and foreign policies and his exploitation of the anger and hatred of the masses, his rantings remind us of pre- World War II dictators.

The second theme, however, teases us with an agenda that is much closer to home. With his victory, the president-elect has destroyed the Obama-Clinton plan to isolate Israel. With an Israel-friendly group of advisers and statements indicating a radical, pro-Israel change to US Middle East policy, a Trump regime promises a breath of fresh air.

With these two contravening leanings of what a Trump presidency will bring, we are still in the same twilight zone of a bipolar administration whose direction is still a mystery.


The diatribe penned by Jeremy Sharon (“Trump’s advance puts democracy in retreat,” Observations, November 11) tells us more about the Left than it does about Trump. It is typical of left-wing arrogance that the rejection of its divine right is equated with the death of democracy.

The essence of democracy is rule by the people, not by self-appointed elites, a point Sharon misses. Trump won in spite of huge handicaps: He was outspent 3:1; the mainline media supported his opponent; and even the Republican Party was at best lukewarm toward him. He won because ordinary people were fed up.

In a democracy, the people are entitled to elect their leader, and they did. They are also entitled to make mistakes, and they often do. In 2008 and again in 2012, Americans made the mistake of electing a smoothtalking socialist leader who promised the world and delivered nothing.

Historians will mark Barack Obama as one of the worst presidents ever. But America survived, and if Trump messes up, America and democracy will survive that, too.

Ma’aleh Adumim

In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory, the media keep reporting lunatic plans in California to secede.

Individual states cannot decide they want to take their marbles and leave. This question was resolved a century and a half ago with the end of the American Civil War.

Talk is cheap, but anyone who tries to do something about it would be subject to arrest.

Petah Tikva

When I was a very young man in the 1930s (I am 87 now), before television, computers, cell phones or even house phones, everybody used telephone booths in candy stores.

We kids were in the street all day, playing with a ball, a can and baseball cards.

We also tossed pennies. Whoever played and didn’t accept the results was called a sore loser. This was a very derogatory term.

If you play the game, accept the results. Don’t be a sore loser.

Tel Aviv

‘Earth time’

Typically, the smartest people get the simplest things wrong.

In this case, James Gleick pleads for a universal “earth time” (“Time to dump time zones,” Comment & Features, November 13) so that we won’t have to wonder anymore what time it is Petropavlovsk. He misses that then, we would have to ask the locals what time they sleep and maintain office hours because that is what we mean by asking what time it is.

In our global communications, we are not really interested in what numbers show on people’s digital clocks or where the arms on analogue clocks point. We want to know our time differences to have an idea when that store or office will be open or when our friend might come home from work or go to sleep.

Gleick calls time zones arbitrary.

They are not. They are an approximation.

He once wrote a great book on fuzzy logic, but making everything fuzzy is not helpful. The time for the idea of universal time has not yet come, and never will.


CORRECTION “The big idea” (Comment & Features, November 14) was written by Warren Goldstein, chief rabbi of South Africa, and not as stated. We apologize for the error.

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