May 10: Readers react to news of surprise unity government

The outcome of the new pact between Kadima and the Likud has produced three winners.

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Sir, – The outcome of the new pact between Kadima and the Likud (“Netanyahu, Mofaz surprise nation by forming largest coalition in 28 years,” May 9) has produced three winners.
Winner number one is the citizens of Israel. We have been spared the expense and aggravation of an early election. We are going to receive a revision of the Tal Law, which will finally bring about equality with regard to army service, plus a change in the electoral system, which has been so elusive.
Winner number two is Binyamin Netanyahu, who has proved himself to be the political fox of foxes. The prime minister has the strength and cunning to lead us at a time when Israel has a list of problems that would stagger an ordinary man.
Winner number three is Shaul Mofaz, whose Kadima party stood on the edge of being obliterated. He has given Kadima new life. He has done more for his party and the country in two short weeks than his predecessor, Tzipi Livni, did in years.
Sir, – In his otherwise perceptive analysis “Winners & Losers: Good for Barak, bad for Barack” (May 9), Gil Hoffman misses the boat by saying that neither Prime Minister Netanyahu nor Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz belongs among the winners.
Regarding Netanyahu, while his prime ministership is not affected, his deft stroke outflanked the incipient rebels in the Likud ranks (who had virtually humiliated him in the previous evening’s maneuvering over the planned Likud convention chairmanship) and showed them that he is definitely still the boss.
As for Mofaz, the Israeli voter will forget and/or forgive his zigzagging if his new, elevated position facilitates growth in his stature as a national – as opposed to factional – leader.
Sir, – I, for one, would prefer new elections rather than taking Kadima into the government.
This is not what the people voted for.
It is time the people were listened to.
Sir, – Your front-page article “Netanyahu, Mofaz surprise nation by forming largest coalition in 28 years” stated: “Contact on forming the unity government began at a low level while Netanyahu was sitting shiva for his father, Prof. Benzion Netanyahu.” That was not the most sensitive way of describing events.
Prof. Netanyahu wrote in the preface to the first edition of his book, Don Isaac Abravanel: “This volume deals with times and views which may appear not only remote and foreign, but also bizarre to a modern reader.”
The political shenanigans of the last few days certainly appear bizarre to this modern reader.
Sir, – The sour grapes that Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich is exhibiting are understandable (“Shocked Yacimovich calls coalition deal ‘embodiment of political evil,’” May 9).
Here she thought she was on a sure winning streak, and behold, the ground is cut away from under her. However, “embodiment of evil” is misplaced.
She is probably not old enough to remember Shimon Peres’s “stinking ploy” when he tried to outflank Yitzhak Rabin in the Knesset, and Rabin’s own ploy, when he bribed MKs Alex Goldfarb and Gonen Segev to abandon those who voted for them, and thus pushed through the infamous Oslo Accords by a vote of 61 to 59.
Both of these ploys were in truth the embodiment of evil, for which we are paying today.
And both were executed by Yacimovich’s own Labor Party.
Sir, – I must say that the only voice I hear and believe is that of Shelly Yacimovich.
This latest move is truly a shocker. We can only hope that the new coalition will be true to its leaders’ promise to promote a new Tal Law, for that is the only good thing that might come out of this political “evil.”
Should Prime Minister Netanyahu and Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz make good on this promise, all the rest can be forgiven.
Sir, – Regarding “Lapid: Kadima is back ‘home’” (May 9), Yair Lapid also called the unity coalition “the old politics, dim and ugly.”
He is right about that. Mofaz is dim, and Netanyahu plays ugly.
Sir, – In the wake of a pledge by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz to “advance electoral reform,” your editorial “Reform time” (May 9) gave me an idea.
Since no one wants to give up his Knesset seat, the best way to create proper electoral representation is to double the number of seats, with half reserved for regional representation.
The current lack of direct representation makes for a feeling of detachment from the state we live in.
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick (“First thoughts on a unity government,” Comment & Features, May 9) feels that “all in all this is a great day for Netanyahu.”
Regarding the prime minister’s “refusal to commit seriously to any binding position on the Palestinians,” in theory that is exactly what he does every time he opens his mouth to beg the intransigent terrorist-ina- suit Mahmoud Abbas to come back to the negotiating table.
Netanyahu built his present power due to the weakness and failure of the rightists in the government to stand up to his left-wing policies, which were shown when he made the antisettler Ehud Barak defense minister.
The columnist also hopes that Netanyahu “won’t use his new strength to destroy his political party as Sharon did before him.
No previous action on Netanyahu’s part lends to that conclusion.”
Wake up, Glick. What do you think he was doing when he publicly accepted, completely against the ideology of the Likud, the legitimacy of a Palestinian state within our land, using a gimmick he knew could never be kept – that the state be demilitarized? What about his continuous offer of painful concessions, starting with the eviction of hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria, the previously unheard-of moratorium on Jewish building there, the removal of essential security barriers and allowing the constant humiliation of Jews trying to pray at their holy sites? The list is endless.
Glick, like many others, unfortunately is unable to accept Netanyahu’s calculated move to the Left, away from any rightwing ideology he may have toyed with in the past.
Sir, – On May 8 you ran a Reuters report headlined “Dinosaur flatulence may have warmed Earth, say scientists.”
In light of the recent political developments in Israel and the hot air expended over the past few days, I assume we can expect a really hot summer.
• The article “Hebrew U discovery reshapes understanding of First Temple” (May 9) neglected to give credit to Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Saar Ganor. Ganor is codirector of the excavation site of Khirbet Qeiyafa with Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor Yosef Garfinkel.
• Reader Michael Quastel (Tomatoes, migrants,” Letters, May 9) was referring to Jay Bushinsky’s column “Integrate the Africans in Israel!” (Observations, April 27), and not as stated. The letters editor apologizes for the editing error.