August 25: Double Standard

I wish to remind Justice Grunis that in the 1988 elections, the late Meir Kahane and his Kach list were disqualified because the High Court said they racist.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Double standard
Sir, – Regarding “Grunis: Disqualifying Knesset candidates is too extreme” (August 22), Supreme Court president Asher Grunis claims that MK Haneen Zoabi’s presence on the Mavi Marmara “comes especially close to the forbidden area of activity.”
He also claims that her presence on the ship should not be taken lightly.
Of course not. Passengers on the ship were equipped with lethal weapons. They attacked our soldiers with poles and sticks, wounding many.
I wish to remind Justice Grunis that in the 1988 elections, the late Meir Kahane and his Kach list were disqualified because the High Court said they racist. That decision was a bald lie because the dictionary explains racist as one who believes that “one race is superior to others.” Kach and Rabbi Kahane never claimed as such.
Polls showed that Kach would receive up to 12 seats in that election, thus the court’s decision was political, not the rule of law.
Double standard? You bet.
We deserve it
Sir, – I am absolutely amazed at the lack of response by the Israeli government and Jewish organizations to the sentence a US military court gave Bradley Manning (“WikiLeaks soldier Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison for espionage,” August 22).
Manning’s crime was far more dangerous to the US than was Jonathan Pollard’s, yet he will be eligible for parole in just a few years. If Manning’s name had been Bernie Markowitz, he’d be sitting next to Pollard for the rest of his life.
Unless there is a secret protocol attached to the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority regarding Pollard’s release, he will die in prison.
Silence from the Likud, from Avigdor Liberman, Naftali Bennett, Uzi Landau, the Anti- Defamation League, the “official Jews” and the Israeli media. We deserve what we get.
A lot to learn
Sir, – Two statements by Andrew Hamilton (“Israel, the un-apartheid state – a comparison with Australia,” Comment & Features, August 22) are correct: Israel is not an apartheid state and never had specific racist laws. However, beyond that, Hamilton’s view is somewhat blinkered.
Australia has come a long way since its racist past and made conscious efforts to change. It has had an official policy of multiculturalism, with laws, institutions and educational means of implementation. The fact that few Jews are seen in elected positions is not proof of discrimination, but rather that they don’t seek office for all kinds of reasons. (Australia did have two Jewish governors-general.) While Israel never had discriminatory laws, in practice things happen here that would not be possible in Australia today: A government-paid official (a rabbi) calling publicly on the population not to make housing or employment available to a minority; the segregation of public buses; and official support for entire groups to be exempt from military service, broad school curricula and paying taxes.
So it is not the legal situation that matters, but the political will to build a fair and equitable nation where prejudice and discrimination are unacceptable and offenders get dealt with accordingly. In that respect Israel has a lot to learn from Australia.
URI THEMAL Kiryat Tivon The writer was executive director of multicultural affairs for Queensland
Bad on Livni
Sir, – Isn’t it somewhat presumptuous of Tzipi Livni, whose party received six mandates in the last election, to advise Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to oust Bayit Yehudi and replace it with Labor so we can arrive at a two-state solution and live happily ever after (“Livni says peace would be easier without Bennett,” August 21)? Livni claims to be speaking in the name of peace, but she persists in the misconception that Israel is the impediment by indicating that the new culprit is Bayit Yehudi. What the general public seems to be grasping, and some Arab publicists are willing to say, is that the Palestinians are the ones standing in the way of peace because they refuse to negotiate without preconditions and are either unable or unwilling to make concessions.
By releasing the unrepentant perpetrators of vile terrorist attacks against its citizens, Israel has made more than enough of a gesture toward peace. Let’s wait and see what the other side comes up with before embarking on this precarious road.
Perhaps Livni should try selling her two-state solution to Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan and Lebanon before applying the model to Israel.
LINDA WOLFF Sha’arei Tikva
Sir, – Recent statements by our chief negotiator with the Palestinians, Tzipi Livni, are very worrisome.
She says peace will demand big sacrifices. From whom? From the Palestinians? No way. They have never moved one iota from their bargaining positions.
There will be no concessions or sacrifices from the Palestinian side, therefore her statement is directed only to the people of Israel. The Palestinian negotiators only laugh at her, as she is doing their job so splendidly.
Why are the negotiations being held in secrecy? In order not to divulge the details of one-sided concessions and withdrawals Livni might agree to. If these details become public, large anti-government demonstrations can be expected. They might ruin the capitulation process and maybe even topple the government.
Livni uses the term “peace process,” thereby hiding the actual process of capitulation.
Therefore, Bennett must stay in the government. For his firm stand, the public will be grateful to him at the next election, where Livni will probably end her political career.SHLOMO FELDMANN Givatayim
Good on Livni
Sir, – With regard to “Livni asks Gavison to draft definition of Israel’s nature as both ‘Jewish and democratic’” (August 20), Prof. Ruth Gavison is ideal for this appointment.
The need for a revision of the electoral laws of Israel is pressing.
We need not merely an upward revision of the thresholds for party entitlement to seats, we need a constituencybased electoral system so that Knesset members are representative of, and answerable to, an electorate of geographicallydefined constituencies as in other democratic, civilized countries.MICHAEL BRUNERT Modi’in
Hardly appetizing
Sir, – You ruin my breakfast when you give such a prominent platform to the spokesperson of Gush Shalom (“Supreme Court to rule on legality of settlement boycott,” Comment & Features, August 21). I am sick of the selfincriminating Jews of Israel who care more about those who feed on a diet of hate and vilification than they do about the lives of Israelis.
Why is this country so tolerant of groups like Gush Shalom, Peace Now and B’Tselem, which incite to destroy Jews and are lavishly funded by the anti-Semites of Europe? Why does The Jerusalem Post feel a need to spread their venom? Don’t we get enough of that from non- Israelis?
Sir, – Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller is right when he states that the Boycott Law constitutes an unacceptable violation of freedom of speech and political action in Israel.
Israel, as a democratic and liberal society, should respect the fundamental right of harassing Jews and telling them where they should or should not live, especially if they are thought to be, by their mere existence, an obstacle to peace.