February 12: Dubious win

Why are the electronic media proclaiming repeatedly that Kadima won?

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Dubious win Sir, - I do not understand why Kadima is celebrating ("Kadima, Likud both claim victory and race to form rival coalitions," February 11). The party lost at least one seat in the Knesset - down from 29 in the election two years ago - while the Likud succeeded in doubling its vote to one seat short of Kadima's "great victory." Why are the electronic media proclaiming repeatedly that Kadima won? JOSHUA J. ADLER Jerusalem Sir, - The only real winner in this election is Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who can continue making policy and leading the country for the next few weeks until the results are sorted out and a new government is in place. I cannot imagine a democratic system of government more in need of reform than the one currently existing in Israel. P. BERMAN Shoham Prying eye Sir, - Re the AP photo of an Israeli Arab voting in Umm el-Fahm (February 11): How could a camera be allowed into an election booth that supposedly guaranteed privacy and a secret vote? I question the validity of a ballot cast in such circumstances. AHARON GOLDBERG Hatzor Haglilit Living in Israel... Sir, - The "Glad we came" op-eds by Harold Berman and Zev Stub (February 11) resonated with me. Like David Teich, to whom they were responding, I was also frustrated by an unsatisfying career in Israel (18 years) following a highly successful stint at the then preeminent Citibank in New York. However, beyond work there is the less tangible but more important issue of living in Israel. Experiencing Shabbat, living the Jewish calendar and, in my case, participating in all aspects of a vibrant Masorti synagogue in Jerusalem's East Talpiot neighborhood has more than compensated for my less than satisfying Israeli working life. JAC FRIEDGUT Jerusalem ...and working here Sir, - I don't want to prolong the debate with David Teich about why he could not find work in Israel. But his ad hominem attack ("Job fill = skill kill," Letters, February 9) calling the people who wrote about him "undereducated" and implying that they would "take [any job] at all" demands a response. That he makes these claims without having a clue as to who I - one of those letter writers - am reveals an arrogant and inflexible attitude that might explain his unsuccessful job search. I have a post-graduate degree (so much for "undereducated"), after which I served in important private- and public-sector positions in the US and taught periodically at university level before coming on aliya. Since arriving here, my problem has been time. I was president of the AACI, a director of four publicly traded companies, a senior officer of two successful high-tech firms, consulted with several not for profits, provided business advice to dozens of companies, am active in two organizations dealing with the environment, helped fund two start-ups, and teach English at a local college and privately to business and senior government executives. My employment during the 17 years since my aliya has been the most professionally rewarding of my career. I would be delighted to meet with Mr. Teich to share the tips I have provided at dozens of meetings and in articles for three aliya organizations on the subject of finding a job. He needs the help. STEPHEN J. KOHN Ra'anana First-line fundraisers Sir, - As the head of one of North America's largest federations, I feel I must respond to Marilyn Henry's "Federations in trouble," (February 4). While it is true that many federations are reorganizing and streamlining to be more efficient, this process is not a knee-jerk response to the current financial crisis but a long-term commitment to doing business more effectively and impactfully. It was undertaken long before Bernie Madoff's name became a household word. If anything, today's economic woes are being increasingly met by federations who are first-line fundraisers for times just like these. It is precisely because we rely in large part on community-wide donations and do not only solicit funds from major donors that we are still on our feet and committed as never before to making sure we weather this storm with confidence. Wide job losses, a severe depletion of retirement funds and significant increases in social service needs mean that we must be more vigilant in our work, not less. Sitting in our nation's capital, I can say that federations have, are, and will be there to sustain Jewish communities throughout the globe. Difficult challenges, however, never undermine the federations' fundamental commitment to Jewish peoplehood. MISHA GALPERIN, CEO Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Washington DC No apology needed Sir, - After two weeks in America I found my mailbox packed with issues of the Post. One treasure was entitled "Why apologize?" by Charles Krauthammer (February 3). Each of his sentences was a gem. Responding to Barack Obama's charge that America had disrespected and demonized Muslims and needed to seek "a new way forward" in relating to them, Krauthammer responded with the history of Muslim terrorism over the past 20 years. He summarized: America has not demonized and disrespected the Muslims. On the contrary, "It is remarkable that over the past 20 years the US has done more than any other nation to alleviate the suffering of the oppressed Muslims, despite their terrorism." Krauthammer asks a justifiable question of Obama: Why be needlessly defensive and apologetic? THELMA BLUMBERG Kiryat Arba Sir, - Re "The age of Obama" (February 9): If Barack Obama walked on water, Charles Krauthammer would write a column condemning him for polluting the water. DENA RUBENS Metar To clear the confusion Sir, - Thank you for your article on the late Rabbi Noach Weinberg ("Aish Hatorah head Weinberg dies at 78," February 6). There seems to be a bit of confusion, however. When Rabbi Weinberg attended Ner Yisrael yeshiva in Baltimore, it was headed by its founder, Reb Yaakov Ruderman. Only many years later, after Rabbi Ruderman's passing, did his son-in-law Rabbi Shmuel Yakov Weinberg take over. Baltimore's Rabbi Weinberg was a regular visitor to his brother's Aish Hatorah yeshiva in Jerusalem. JOSEPH FELD London Lincoln & the Jews Sir, - I commend David Geffen on his outstanding ("'This protection they shall have,'" February 10) on Abraham Lincoln and the Jews and call your readers' attention to a superb and most comprehensive collection of Lincolniana on the second level in the main reading room of the National Library in Jerusalem. It was donated some years ago by an American collector of books on Lincoln. Another volume of interest is Abraham Lincoln - A Tribute of the Synagogue by Emanuel Hertz, published in 1927. This volume, more than 670 pages, contains, as its name indicates, sermons and articles, including some in German, dating from 1860 to 1927. It reflects the outpouring of esteem America's Jews had, and have, for the "Great Emancipator." SHALOM BRONSTEIN Jerusalem