Letters to the editor, October 26, 2022: Every vote does count

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

 A voting box in the last Israeli election in 2015 (photo credit: REUTERS)
A voting box in the last Israeli election in 2015
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Every vote does count

The plethora of recent articles regarding the coming election has been overwhelming. We are inundated by suggestions of why to vote, for whom to vote and how to vote. On this latter topic. I would like to comment on David Weinberg’s injunction to be “a principled voter, not a tactical one” (“Vote your conscience,” October 21), even if the result will be that one’s ballot goes to waste. 

I beg to differ. The most idealistic contender can have no influence on legislation unless he/she is elected to office. To paraphrase an old political adage, you have to be in (office) it to win it. Every vote does count in the future composition of the new government, and the more tactical one’s approach to the ballot will be, the more one will actually have an effect on the election outcome.

The bottom line in politics always has been and remains today to get out the vote. The job of the voter is to make it count.


 AN ELECTION CAMPAIGN poster of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, this week in Jerusalem.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) AN ELECTION CAMPAIGN poster of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, this week in Jerusalem. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Beit Shemesh

Doing absolutely nothing

I have always supported the essential work that Regavim has done in documenting the takeover of our nation by the Bedouin in the south and the Palestinian Authority in Area C. 

However, the assertions made by Meir Deutsch (“Days of awe, days of delusion,” October 24) are ridiculous in the extreme. He correctly assails our current government for its manifest failure in reining in the land grabbing in Yesha but is utterly blind to the 12 years of Netanyahu doing absolutely nothing as well.

To blame the current government for a situation that Bibi let fester for a dozen years is transparently biased and an insult to our intelligence. It is apparent to any intelligent observer that the policy of all the governments for the last 20 or more years is not to do anything about criminal behavior in the north, the south, Yesha, and the Arab community in general.

I would characterize it as, let’s not upset the natives, you know how violent they can be. This was our primary approach to survival during the 2000 years we lived under the kind beneficence of others, but this Diaspora mentality, which has yet to be shaken off, has no place in a proud people living under its own sovereignty in their own land.

Alas, I see no real leader with the fortitude to assert our rights and pursue justice for all. Keeping our heads down and hoping for the best is not a policy, but a recipe for disaster, which we see unfolding all around us.



Lose its soul

Regarding “Yair Lapid and a two-state solution” (October 23): The rationale behind the two-state solution was not that Yasser Arafat had changed and peace would be possible, but the existential concern that Israel could not maintain an occupation forever, otherwise it would lose its soul. 

Jews were not meant to be colonialists. The very reason for Israel’s existence would be destroyed. So the two-state solution was proffered even though all knew that the Arabs had no desire or capability to live in peace next to a nation that had defeated it. Israel faced something similar in 1973 when Egypt almost defeated it in the Yom Kippur War. Only then did Egypt regain its pride allowing it to negotiate with Israel as equals.

I do not see any possibility that the Palestinians can regain their pride militarily, but unless they feel like victors, the conflict will go on forever. I am sure that the Israeli government spends a lot of time pondering how the Palestinians can stop feeling like victims but so far nothing it has proposed has worked.



Why support a two-state solution? There are several reasons. Annexing all of the disputed territories would mean Israel would have to absorb a large population that has been taught to hate Jews and has grown up seeing people honored and rewarded for killing Israelis (this includes the millions of Palestine refugees who have been born in UNRWA camps over the past seven decades).

While an argument can be made that Jordan is already a Palestinian state, Israel has no power to induce King Abdullah to accept that position. Given the Hamas/PA conflict, one might argue for separate Palestinian states in Gaza and in Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria, but that could easily result in two states attacking Israel, in fulfillment of the PLO’s original aim of liberating Israel from the Jews.

 Palestinian Authority and Israeli flags (illustrative) (credit: Provided by the Lausanne Movement) Palestinian Authority and Israeli flags (illustrative) (credit: Provided by the Lausanne Movement)

Israel needs to change the tenor of the discussion. Israeli leaders should express support for “two states for two peoples,” a Palestinian state coexisting, peacefully, with the nation-state of the Jews, with members of minority populations in both states having full civil rights, just as non-Jews already have full civil rights in Israel.



Is the Torah racist?

Regarding “Damaging Israel’s Jewish character” (October 21): Yitz Greenberg is known in America for his liberal views of Judaism. Some label him as “Conservadox.” He uses the words “modern Orthodox” as a description of his religious beliefs. He describes and maligns the Religious Zionist Party as “racist,” “extremist,” “intolerant,” and “inhumane” with an “improper spirit,” “damaging Israel’s Jewish character.” So, I suppose that when the Torah tells us that God gave the Land of Israel to the Jewish people, and when the Law of Return applies only to Jews, that too is racist. And, when the Torah says that homosexuality is an “abomination,” that is “homophobic” to some people.

There are some people who mischaracterize what the Jewish character is. They believe it to be more in line with liberal democracy, and less in line with the Torah and Jewish law. This might upset some people in America – mainly in the Democratic Party.

To some people, The New York Times is their bible, but that is not the basis of the Jewish religion.



Especially egregious

In your editorial “Fallen rapper” (October 13), you correctly condemned Kanye West for his outrageous and disgusting remarks regarding Jews. As usual, very few of the Hollywood elite had anything to say because after all, it’s only Jews who are being targeted.

What makes these remarks especially egregious is that some of Ye’s comments were made in an interview with Tucker Carlson on his show. Mr. Carlson edited out the offensive remarks to avoid justifiable criticism. Mr. Carlson is a very smart person and he should have canceled the entire interview. Instead, he left a very false and misleading impression of Kanye West.

Shame on all of them.


Petah Tikva

Spouting hatred

Regarding Gershon Baskin’s “It is not normal” (October 13): Any truly sane person must agree that it’s not normal for someone to shoot and kill a young woman named Noa Lazar and a young man named Ido Baruch.

Likewise following such heinous actions it is only right and normal that the perpetrators are caught to face justice for carrying out such atrocities. If on resisting arrest they use further violence to avoid capture and are killed in self-defense, that unfortunately is normal.

What is not normal is that the leaders of persons carrying out these murders spout hatred that only increases those violent acts, with no thought of ever wishing to achieve normalcy.

To use that well-worn phrase, until they hate us less and wish a better future for their people, normal will regrettably remain that place at the end of the rainbow.


Tel Aviv

Running out of options

Dave Anderson in his opinion piece, “The peace summit needed now” (October 12), equates Russia, the aggressor, and Ukraine, the victim of aggression, by saying  “the leaders of Russia and Ukraine do not appear to have peace as their number one objective at this time” and “they [the Ukrainians] are seeking to keep as much of their own territory as possible.” No kidding!

Appeasing Russia is not the answer. What kind of world would it be if a nuclear-armed country would gobble territory from a non-nuclear country and threaten the use of nuclear weapons if the non-nuclear country resisted, and then insists on peace negotiations while keeping the occupied territory?

Russia has been losing the war and is running out of options. Earlier this month, Russia started targeting Ukrainian civilian infrastructure with massive rocket attacks, the most intense since the invasion on February 24. 

According to military expert Yuri Fedorov, in the mid-1990s, Ukraine, following the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, transferred to Russia some 580 X-55 long-range cruise missiles. These missiles are the very ones that Russia has been using to attack Ukrainian civilian energy facilities. What were the US and UK thinking back then?

The West needs to stand up to Putin’s nuclear blackmail. And it has been doing so by issuing deliberately vague threats of unprecedented consequences for any Russian use of nuclear weapons and being prepared to follow through with conventional military strikes on Russian forces if deterrence fails. 

Yes, the world is in the greatest danger since the Cuban Missile Crisis. But even Russian generals who now approve of the massive targeting of Ukrainian civilian energy targets know that using nuclear weapons is not an option.



‘Obstacles and opposition’

Rabbi David Stav writes in “Re-embracing principles of Jewish unity” (October 9), that he and his organization Tzohar have dedicated the last 25 years to creating programs toward advancing such principles of Jewish unity.

In this and the desire to “return to the ideals of what it means to be an Am Yehudi, a Jewish nation,” he closely resembles the goals and efforts of Rabbi Isaac Breuer (1883, Frankfurt-1946, Jerusalem), founder of Poalei Agudat Yisrael. Rabbi Breuer describes in his autobiography Mein Weg (My Way) published in 1946, how he tried endlessly and unsuccessfully for over 30 years “in the face of many obstacles and opposition” (Rabbi Stav’s words), in Rabbi Breuer’s case mainly from the Agudah itself, to do the same.

Rabbi Breuer ends his book with the words, translated from German, “Not the Jewish state, but the Jewish society is the real problem of the Jewish national home.” 

It is to be hoped that Rabbi Stav and his Tzohar organization will be more successful.



The most horrendous genocide

Shmuley Boteach and Aram Suren Hamparian (“What if Armenians supported a Holocaust-denier for Congress?” October 11) mention that the US Senate in 2019, a hundred years after the event, finally recognized the massacre of over two million Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians by the Ottoman government, but they fail to mention that three years later, the State of Israel, home of those who were targeted by the most horrendous genocide in modern history, still has not recognized the events of 1915-23 in Turkey.