No pityWith regard to “Olmert pleads to avoid jail: I respect the decision, do not take conviction lightly” (May 6), I have no pity for our former prime minister.Ehud Olmert was the front man for Ariel Sharon, sending out the “trial balloon” for the so-called disengagement from the Gaza Strip. He also spoke of a unilateral withdrawal from much of the West Bank.As per your article: “Both Olmert and his lawyer described the nine years of investigations and the impact on his family – including his grandchildren being asked embarrassing questions about him – as being punishment enough.” Well, whether he serves time or not, whether it is a long sentence or not, his punishment would not compare in the least to the pain and suffering caused the Gush Katif evacuees, nor the suffering caused to the entire population by thousands of rocket attacks last summer.I trust that Olmert’s statement regarding his original acquittal, that “there are judges in Jerusalem,” holds true, and that the current judges give him the severest sentence due.
See the latest opinion pieces on our pageAVRAHAM FRIEDMAN Modi’in Illit On the mark Gil Troy (“Say it ain’t so, Bibi: A Zionist critique of the coalition care-in,” Center Field, May 6) is 100 percent on the mark. As a supporter of Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, I am sure that those of his supporters who voted Likud now realize their mistake.Benjamin Netanyahu cares only about remaining prime minister. Any pledges made during his campaign mean nothing.As for the rest of the Likud MKs, how do you sleep at night? You have shown your true colors, and they are not blue and white.HAROLD ZUDICK Modi’in Gil Troy’s lament over the prime minister’s cave-in to the anti-Zionist, anti-modernist segments of the haredi world seems oddly naïve for a veteran observer of the Israeli political scene. In fact, Benjamin Netanyahu is getting pretty much the government he bargained for when he deliberately trashed an admittedly rocky, but workable, center- right coalition over an ego fit with Yair Lapid, and plunged us into an election that virtually nobody wanted and we could ill afford.Having effectively burned his bridges to Yesh Atid and its 11 mandates, caving in to the demands of Shas and United Torah Judaism became the prime minister’s sole path to a governing coalition – and the barest possible one at that. Mr. Netanyahu might have drawn a real victory from the jaws of his Pyrrhic March 17 success by making a call to Lapid for a sitdown and reset of their political relationship, in the nation’s interest. It would have called for an extension of the courage and statesmanship the prime minister has so fulsomely exhibited in his valiant battle against a loophole-laden Iranian nuclear deal.Is it still a bridge too far? BILL MEHLMAN EfratUnity in a carpetIn “‘The Bank Hapoalim Affair’” (Arts & Entertainment, May 6), Graham Lawson describes well the different layers of Ido Michaeli’s artful carpet. I would just like to point out that at the top, above a blindfolded man holding a scale and above two lions, there is a very small window with its shutters open in which two hands are shown in a handshake.This is the symbol of the Alliance Israelite Universelle – Kol Israel Haverim, the first international Jewish organization, founded in Paris in 1860. It has educated over a million children all around the Mediterranean basin, from Morocco in the west to Iran in the east.One can see the symbol at the top of the old Alliance school near Jerusalem’s Mahaneh Yehuda market and on the synagogue of the Mikve Israel agricultural school near Holon.DANIEL BRAUNSCHVIG Jerusalem The writer is a past president of Kol Israel Haverim.