January 22: Readers voice last-minute thoughts on election

If the Palestinians get statehood, Putin & Co. will be lining up to arm the fledgling state.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sir, – Whether Hillel Horowitz’s comment (“Bayit Yehudi’s Horowitz calls for resettling Gaza Strip,” January 21) portends things to come, one thing is certain: If the Palestinians get statehood, Putin & Co. will be lining up to arm the fledgling state, overtly or covertly. Not to be outdone, France and Britain, with their burgeoning Islamic populations, won’t be far behind. Iran will then become only a “minor problem” for Israel.
The question for many of us on this election day is not resettling the Gaza Strip, but whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is so vehemently opposed to Bayit Yehudi because he really believes in a two-state solution. If he truly believes in a Palestinian state, then the day after elections many of us who voted for him might find ourselves stunned, once again, as we were with Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon.
Sir, – It seems to me it’s open season on Bennett-bashing, which got under way with the extreme viciousness of Likud Beytenu’s election ads against individual candidates on the Bayit Yehudi list.
If the lists of other parties were examined with such thoroughness by going back years into each candidate’s background, the mind boggles at what revelations would almost certainly be uncovered.
Yet this distasteful witchhunt appears to be conducted only against Bennett.
I shudder to think that we have returned to the bad old settlerbashing days of the 1990s.
Sir, – Uri Dromi (“The paradox of Israeli politics,” Comment & Features, January 21) writes that polls indicate two out of three Israelis say they favor a two-state solution, and that even Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has expressed consent to a demilitarized Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. At the same time, Dromi predicts that more and more Israelis will vote to expand settlements, presumably precluding the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.
This is only partially true.
Every Israeli wants peaceful coexistence with our Arab neighbors, but facing reality is more sobering. The Arabs and Palestinians have preached incitement against Israel for 65 years. They have demonstrated unbridled hostility by open war, constant terrorism and attempts to delegitimize it as a Jewish state.
Let’s be real: Why does even our so-called peace partner, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, continue to incite against us in the PA’s mosques, schools and media? Aren’t the Palestinians clearly saying to us, We don’t want you here, no matter what Israel does? Is there any reason for us not to suspect the seriousness of their ultimate aim – our destruction? For this reason the two-state solution cannot be a solution for now, despite the arguments of our peace activists. Perhaps in another generation or two, when the Palestinians finally realize that their best interests lie in genuine coexistence, we can pursue such a solution.
In the meantime, let’s look at the record: Every compromise, every withdrawal, every peaceful gesture Israel made has only brought more terrorism, more threats and further demands. The withdrawal from Gaza is the best example. What other proof do we need? The Left argues that we must negotiate now. Negotiate what? How to make further concessions in order to make Israel more vulnerable? How and when they will destroy us? The answer is a strong rightist government that expresses the will of the Jewish people.
RON BELZER Petah Tikva
Sir, – The nerve! Is Binyamin Netanyahu so confident he will win that he’s already talking about an additional term (“Netanyahu says he will run for fourth term,” January 20)? That’s really chutzpah.
He has some gall. Does he really think the average man or woman on the street is dying to keep him in office? Evidently he does.
He deserves to be defeated just because of his oversized love of himself!
Sir, – With regard to “Livni calls to disqualify US-born candidate for talking about Temple Mount being blown up” (January 20), Tzipi Livni and her henchmen had better watch out! I am sorely tempted to appeal to Israel’s electorate to disassociate themselves from her as an MK and former party leader who failed to safeguard the Temple Mount from actual destruction by the Wakf Muslim religious trust.
Sir, – As a former officer in the IDF and senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center of Tel Aviv University, Prof. Elie Rekhess (“The end to parliamentary politics in Arab-Israeli society?,” Comment & Features, January 20) surprised me when he cited the decline in participation of Arab voters without mentioning a similar lack of interest among Jewish voters. The two go hand in hand.
Rekhess writes that “the twostate solution leaves the Arabs in Israel in the lurch.” Does he mean that if there were a real state of Palestine (not the one Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently proclaimed), Arab citizens of Israel would be in a quandary over where to vote? What Middle Eastern state is democratic besides Israel? The PA and Gaza votes were “One person, one vote, one time.”
Rekhess also says that the appeal of separatist organizations is growing among Arabs here.
That dovetails nicely with the desire of many Jewish Israelis to establish a border that excludes populous Arab towns near the Green Line, and includes Jewish blocs beyond the Green Line.
That sounds like a plan.
STEVE KRAMER Alfei Menashe
Sir, – I cannot believe what the reader who wrote “Not one example” (Letters, January 20) said – that there are equal rights and no discrimination for Israeli Arabs.
Our politicians try to deny access to elections for an Arab party. One of the Arab politicians has to go to the High Court of Justice to overturn her more-or-less disbarment. Some Arab villages still don’t have running water, electricity or bus service.
Democracy? No discrimination? David Ben-Gurion is probably turning in his grave.
Sir, – Is anyone in Israel worthy of ruling over fellow Israelis? The record has shown that practically every Knesset member becomes a petty despot, unaccountable to the public and ready to change his political allegiance as frequently as he changes his socks. Furthermore, our politicians regularly decline to campaign among and woo the electorate during election periods. They are concerned mainly with the retention of power than the art of government.
Israel has consequently become one of the most rotten, corrupt and scandal-ridden democracies in the Western world.
The Greek philosopher Plato observed that democracy is the second-to-the-last stage toward tyranny. And how the past century has borne this out! The most rotten democracies have given way to the most horrendous tyrannies: Bolshevism in Russia, fascism in Italy, Hitlerism in Germany and Maoism in China. Must Israel, too, teeter into this abyss?
Sir, – Israel has had a very devisive election campaign. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was the object of real hostility, and so were two or three political parties.
Now the moment of truth has come and the results of this very dirty campaign must be accepted not only by the public but by the politicians.
Most important is that all parties acknowledge that their priority is to ensure a strong, safe Israel, a national will to create technology to sustain us in the future, a national goal that “no child be left behind,” and conduct that will show us to be a light unto the nations.
This is a vision of Israel about which we can all be unified.