October 27: Last week’s elections

So many people are talking about the turnout in the local elections. Well, if my area is anything to go by, it’s no wonder.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sir, – So many people are talking about the turnout in the local elections (“Voter turnout low across country in municipal races,” October 23). Well, if my area is anything to go by, it’s no wonder.
On my small street there were two voting stations, one more than on the general election day earlier this year when there was only one, right facing my block of apartments. But who was listed to vote there? People from many streets away! My own station was listed in the other direction, just under a kilometer distant. Quite impossible for the many aged and disabled people in my building to make it to vote.
My protests from last time were responded to with assurances that the matter would be looked into, but in reality they produced no positive reaction or change.
When elections come around in the UK, pensioners and people with disabilities receive phone calls offering car lifts if there is a distance to cover. With an aging population here, this problem can only get worse unless more thought is given to locating voting stations in relation to where voters reside.
Sir, – I really had to laugh at “To seal or not to seal” (Reporter’s Notebook, October 23).
I had the same dilemma when I was in the voting booth. As the envelopes had the sticky flaps on them, I did seal my envelopes. I was not told not to do so by the monitors. There was no garbage can in sight anywhere in the room, so I just put the discarded flaps on the ledge in the voting booth where others had put theirs.
I agree with David Brinn when he writes: “Israel’s democracy is strong and vibrant, even if we don’t know whether to seal the envelope or not.”
Also, why did The Jerusalem Post not include in its pre-municipal election coverage some information about the party lists for city council? There were many lists, and it took time to read through them all to see which parties were running.
Had there been some information beforehand it would have taken less time in the polling booth.
Sir, – You reported on the municipal elections in a selective way. You did note some of the more interesting and newsworthy races, however you missed out on some quite interesting stories.
There was no reporting of the various party leaders going to the polls. These leaders and “spiritual” leaders should have been photographed and reported as going to the polls.
If these people of influence did not exercise their right and duty to vote, they cannot morally (or halachically) tell others how to vote.
BARRY RYDER Hatzor Haglilit
It’s healthy, too
Sir, – In “What’s hiding behind attacks on circumcision?” (Comment & Features, October 23), Manfred Gerstenfeld states that Jews perform male circumcision because it is one of the core commandments of the Jewish religion, not out of health considerations.
While this is historically correct, notice should be taken of the writings of Jewish philosopher Philo (20 BCE – 50 CE), who, in Of the Special Laws, Book 1, wrote that circumcision protects against disease.
In recent years, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported and published that male circumcision lowers the risk for penile cancer and sexually transmitted disease (STD), and for cervical cancer as well as STD in female partners.
Thus, very many secular Jewish parents have opted to have their sons circumcised.
Their choice of the religious ritual relates to the awareness of the exceptional skill of the mohel as well as the fact that the risks of metzitza b’peh (oral suction) have been eliminated by the use of a glass suction apparatus. The pain experienced is hardly more than that felt after all the mandatory vaccinations given to somewhat older babies.
The writer is a retired physician
We come first
Sir, – Perhaps reader Masse Bloomfield of Canoga Park, California (“Computers for peace,” Letters, October 22), could donate money to Israel so that each Israeli student has his or her own computer.
I do not want to “help all the Arab people in the West Bank,” some of whom shoot at my children and have made them victims of terror.
Before we educate those who do not want peace with us, let us educate our own.
Not in the stars
Sir, – Throughout the long, arduous process of selecting a governor for the Bank of Israel, I was confident that, eventually, common sense would prevail and the obvious candidate everyone was overlooking would be nominated.
I therefore was quite taken aback when reading “In surprise turnaround, Karnit Flug nominated as BoI governor” (October 21).
Another contender for the position, a highly successful figure in the economics sphere, had withdrawn from the race following accusations that some of his decisions were influenced by an astrologer. Naturally, I assumed it was only a matter of time before the astrologer was nominated.
YONATAN ZLATNIKOVICH Jerusalem X rays and trains
Sir, – With regard to “New X ray system at Allenby to increase Palestinian exports by 30%” (October 21), the Dutch government donated the equipment and Israel will now invest NIS 35 million to build the infrastructure for the new system.
Delighted to hear that we always find the money when it comes to bolstering the Palestinian Authority, no matter that it continues with its incitement of hate and destruction, and continuously reiterates its mantra: Not one Jew will live in Palestine.
It seems the train left the station the day Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in his Bar- Ilan speech, legitimized the Palestinians’ so-called right to a state within the Jewish land. The train left the station with its brakes off. There was no one in the government with the will or foresight to derail it at the source.
I rest a very sad case.
YENTEL JACOBS Netanya Trust Ashton?
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick is to be commended for her insight into how history repeats itself today, as if nobody is aware of what previously occurred (“Israel and the new Munich,” Column One, October 18). Perhaps our erstwhile leaders should take to reading old magazines where pundits’ predictions based on our leaders’ not-so-carefully-worded statements are shown to be totally inaccurate.
It is somewhat ironic that at the Geneva talks aimed at getting the Iranians to discontinue their nuclear march, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, had the temerity to say, as reported by Glick, that she was “committed to making concessions to Iran as quickly as possible.”
Back in the late 1970s Ashton was an administrator for the UK Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Subsequently she was its national treasurer, and then a vice chair. After failing to secure a nomination to stand for parliament she was made a life peer in 1999, and then advanced through the ranks until rewarded with the EU position in 2009.
Subsequent to her peerage one did not hear a peep out of her that Iran should refrain from its nuclear program despite the broad publicity provided by the office of the US representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. It appears she abandoned her CND principles to further her career. How can she be trusted?