April 15, 2019: The winner is... us

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The winner is... us
The three months of mudslinging are over, the fireworks have subsided, the constant text messaging and auto-calls no longer irritate us. Some people are smiling and jubilant, others are saddened and downcast.
But many miss the big picture.
We are no longer outcasts from our land. We are no longer pitied as the Wandering Jew. We are no longer called dhimmis or untermenchen. We are now back in our own bequeathed home after 2,000 years, given to us from the One above. We are able to choose our own government.
We are all blessed winners.
Ra’anana/New York
The picture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praying at the holy Western Wall before casting his vote was heartwarming. However, his impressive victory is clouded by the forthcoming investigation he faces where he has been reportedly been accused of taking expensive items, such as champagne and cigars.
To my mind, however, it is not the gifts that he allegedly took, but rather the “gifts” that he gave to our implacable enemies, i.e. 80% of our holy city of Hebron, millions of dollars to Turkey who sent an illegal flotilla in which they attacked and wounded our soldiers, and the freeing from prison of brutal terrorists who murdered innocent Jewish men, women and children.
Let us hope that the PM’s prayer at the Kotel included a resolve never again to make dangerous concessions to Israel’s enemies, which time has proven only increases terrorist attacks and weakens our country.
Victims of Arab Terror Int’l
Despite the nation-state law, the settlement increases and settlers in the cabinet, Netanyahu’s attempt to bring in Kahanism, posters of the PM and US president Donald Trump, rejection of a future Palestinian state and insulting characterization of the Obama period as a period of “pressure” (which means Netanyahu has always “lied” as a “supporter” of the two-state solution), still he won for the fifth time. We must wonder, since Israel has a deserved reputation for so much talent, why only one person can ever be prime minister.
The facts that Netanyahu promises to annex the West Bank and that West Bank Israelis could vote in the election involving avowed annexation, but West Bank Palestinians living in adjacent towns couldn’t lends a striking resonance to the issue of segregation and dual system of justice and rights and Jim Crow. Under these circumstances, the attitude of much of the Jewish Diaspora will probably be toughening. 

Cambridge, MA
No matter what your political affiliations, you must agree that it’s fascinating that one man who came into the political arena only a few months ago has changed the political map.
Herb Keinon’s article “Bibi-fatigue sets in” (April 10) was surprising and premature.
The election results show that in contrast to Keinon’s analysis, the nation was saying no to the demonization of Netanyahu in the media. The people were saying yes to his accomplishments, yes to our blooming economy, yes to his achievements in the world arena, yes to his stamina and yes to his courage in standing firm against all odds. Yes to his being a good prime minister and yes to his continuing to lead the country.
Netanyahu is not perfect, but he deserves credit for his accomplishments and the resounding “no” was to those who will not recognize the good that he has done for our country.
As I read “Palestinian officials: Israelis voted to maintain apartheid” (April 11) I realized Saeb Erekat would be just as distressed by whoever won Israel’s election. He is distressed that Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA.)
Where in MENA are Arabs better off than in Israel?
Netanyahu did not say he would annex territory. He said he would extend Israeli law to certain Israeli towns in the West Bank.
Even Hanan Ashrawi must acknowledge there never was a “Palestine” until the British Mandate, after WWI and until 1948, only Jews were called Palestinians. The local Arabs called themselves Egyptians or Syrians or just Arabs. In 1948, 50% of Palestinian Arabs were newcomers who migrated to the region in search of the employment opportunities created by the Jews and at the urging of Grand Mufti al-Husseini.
Shortly after 1948, 50% of Israelis were Jewish refugees expelled from Arab lands.
20% of Israel is Arab. 19% of Israeli medical students are Arab. 20% of Israeli doctors and pharmacists and 25% of its nurses are Arab. The Arab List is the 3rd largest group in the Knesset. An Arab sits on Israel’s Supreme Court.
That is not apartheid. That is citizenship.

Ottawa, On. 
Start-up stone-age nation
As I was casting my ballot, I couldn’t help but get a feeling of schizophrenia. On the one hand, we are the “Start-Up Nation,” with state-of-the-art technology. On the other hand, we have a voting system (paper ballots stuffed into envelopes, then, placed in a box) bordering on the Neanderthal. 
Go figure.
Tzur Yitzchak
Unbalanced Barghouti coverage
The article “Israel stops BDS founder from boarding flight to US” (April 12) is about Omar Barghouti being denied a planned visit to the US. Most of the article covers his and others’ objections to this denial, mainly on the grounds that it is political. The tone is well expressed in Peter Beinart’s remark quoted at the end: “What a disgrace. I was raised to believe in a Judaism that feared no hard question or conversation.”
Only a short comment near the end by Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin touches on Barghouti’s “antisemitic hate.”
The overall impression from a quick read by the many readers who are not familiar with Barghouti’s history is that barring him from visiting the US is extremely unjust
The main message should be 1) the visit was denied because he is a powerful worldwide advocate for the elimination of the State of Israel (where he lives and attended university) as a Jewish state and the only homeland for the Jewish people, and 2) he actively works toward that goal by spreading lies about (in his words), “apartheid in Israel… practices reminiscent of the Nazis… racism… colonialism… legalized discrimination… a repressive regime… sadistic… ethnic cleansing… rights and privileges according to ethnic and religious criteria…” etc. 
Some clearer indication of what Barghouti stands for might have given the reader a more accurate impression of why he was denied his visit. That is what I would expect from an Israeli newspaper that is read in English throughout the world – instead of an article that can encourage anti-Israel bias.
Moshav Shoresh
I was surprised to see the headline “Israel stops BDS founder from boarding flight to US” and then read in the article that it was the US government, not the Israeli government, that prevented this man from boarding the plane.
This headline was misleading, to say the least, but many people read only the headlines.
Ill-considered remarks

In “Trump’s politics of hate” (April 11), Douglas Bloomfield has trouble recognizing the difference between legal and illegal immigration. Trump is against illegal immigration from his southern border.
So it’s not about where you were born but rather whether you came in legally or not. Bloomfield demonstrates the art of twisting of words to make fake news.
On another topic, in Lapid’s own words (“Blue and White denies unity gov’t on the way”) he is going to turn the Knesset into a battleground and embitter the lives of the people who were voted in democratically.
Seriously? This is how he envisions the spirit of democracy?
Petah Tikva
I was disgusted but not surprised to read Yair Lapid’s puerile remarks. He seems to have forgotten that the function of the opposition in parliament is to ensure that the wishes of those who are not represented by the government faction are taken into account when crucial decisions are made. It is not the function of the opposition to impede the smooth running of the country by irritating those endeavoring to do achieve this.
Being a member of the Knesset, whether in the government or the opposition, is not an ego trip, but a very serious adult responsibility, for the good of the country as a whole.
Beit Zayit
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the loyal opposition as “a minority party especially in a legislative body whose opposition to the party in power is constructive, responsible, and bounded by loyalty to fundamental interests and principles.” 
Yair Lapid with his statement, “As opposition, we will make them miserable” shows how small-minded and unfit for politics he is.
Shame on Yair Lapid for his remarks that “we will make them miserable, because that is exactly the opposition’s job.”
I am not sure what political science courses Lapid attended, but I was taught that a good citizen, whether a member of the ruling party or in the opposition, had a duty towards the betterment of the life of Israel’s citizens. 
Starting out with the stated purpose of making life miserable for the ruling coalition is a clear demonstration of what is wrong with politics and politicians. 
Until politics places loyalty to country over loyalty to party, we will continue to be the victims of a Knesset that does not address the concerns and needs of its citizens.
Beit Shemesh
Hamas’s man in Jerusalem

In “Hamas got its man in Netanyahu” (April 11), Anna Ahronheim quotes a Hamas report that brands Netanyahu as “a coward, desperate to avoid trouble and war.”
Although the rockets that were fired during this recent period luckily did not cause loss lives, however, a full scale war with Hamas no doubt would. Therefore, Netanyahu behaved pragmatically, as an all-out fight with Hamas would eventually mean our occupation of Gaza and the ramifications that would bring.
Her assumption that Benny Gantz and his Blue and White Party would have behaved more aggressively in regard to rockets and Gaza is just beating the drums of war for the sake of political scoring.
“Keep calm and carry on” should be implemented for as long as our enemies care more about destroying us than the betterment of the lives of their people. We must trust our elected government to protect our nation as a whole, not sacrifice many just for taking umbrage at derogatory remarks.
Tel Aviv
The arguments presented in “Hamas got its man in Netanyahu” are basically flawed and implode upon simple analysis. The decision to wage war and set its parameters is made by the government and executed by the military. In Operation Protective Edge, in 2014, Benny Gantz marched to the orders of Benjamin Netanyahu and his government. Why then would Gantz, as prime minister in 2018, be more likely to declare war on Hamas than Netanyahu, who has already done so in the past? 
The ultimate lesson from the election is that you can’t win by merely disliking and diminishing your opponent, but rather by presenting a candidate with proven abilities and experience.
It’s rocket science

Congratulations to SpaceIL for reaching the moon, even if it is now up to the next generation to make a safe landing. 
When I was a schoolboy in 1947, we were taught that it is impossible to reach the moon, since Newton’s laws explained that we must exceed the speed of sound to leave the pull of the earth’s gravity and everyone believed that it is impossible to exceed the speed of sound. That evening a plane did exceed the speed of sound for the first time. The following morning our physics teacher explained the new facts and started to dream of space travel, and the rest is history.
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