November 12: Katsav going to jail

I hope the former president will stop playing victim and will start taking responsibility... As low as he fell, just as high Moshe Katsav can still rise.

Katsav going to jail Sir, – My heart goes out to Moshe Katsav’s wife, Gila, and to Israelis of Sephardi extraction who took so much pride when Katsav was elected head of state.
I hope the former president will stop playing victim and will start taking responsibility. He should humbly serve the issue of women’s rights for the rest of his life to help us all slowly regain our dignity.
As low as he fell, just as high Moshe Katsav can still rise.
Sir, – If a man, while in office, is tempted by women who turn up at work provocatively attired, why should he be blamed and so heavily punished for his natural reactions? Sexual temptations have no place in public, and charges should be brought against the real offenders.
There should be a law in this country that female employees in any field of work, but especially in such a public domain as the president’s chambers, should be clean and tidy, and appear according to a respectable dress code.
Female assistants and receptionists are the ones at fault. They are not ashamed to display personal parts of their bodies in public and in my opinion they should be arrested for indecent exposure before enticing their male coworkers.
Necessary violence Sir, – Iranian exile intellectuals and activists opposed to the Iran regime are reportedly also opposed to military action against it on the grounds that democracy “does not come from the barrel of a gun” (“Iranian exiles worry about threat of attack on homeland,” November 10).
While perhaps a nice slogan, it is demonstrably false. From the time of the American and French revolutions, democracy has typically come about through the violent overthrow of dictatorships and monarchies that ruthlessly and violently suppressed political dissent and whose removal could only be accomplished by such means.
The two great success stories of democracy in the 20th century, Germany and Japan, came about as the result of a devastating war – started by them, to be sure.
Recent democratizing events in Libya (born in violence) and Egypt (less violence, but less democracy perhaps) merely prove the point.
If the Iranian exiles require further proof, they need only look at the results of the peaceful protests in Iran after the stolen elections to understand what is needed to truly bring democracy to the country, and peace and security to the region.
All about oil Sir, – The major reason China is opposed to strong Western sanctions against Iran (“In confronting Iran, experts say all roads go through China,” November 10) is its need for Iranian oil to power its hungry economy.
If the Sunni Arab countries of the Middle East (which fear an Iranian bomb and power as much as does Israel) were to promise to supply China with the same amount of oil Iran now supplies, and at the same price and terms, the Chinese may well go for the deal and then go along with the call by Western countries for stronger economic sanctions against Iran.
Jerusalem unrooted Sir, – I cannot fathom why listing a child as having been born in “Jerusalem, Israel” on his American passport “could further destabilize the region,” as claimed by the Obama administration (“US Supreme Court begins hearing Jerusalem passport case,” November 10).
An alien from outer space would get the impression that the city simply hangs in the atmosphere, unrooted to any place on earth.
The Zivotofsky case has dragged on for nine years. It is an absolute disgrace and reeks of anti-Israelism.
Sir, – If US President Barack Obama is reelected, how long will it be before US citizens who came into this world in Haifa, Lod, Nazareth and Tel Aviv-Jaffa cannot be listed on American documents as being Israeli-born?
IAEA on Iran Sir, – Israel knew of Iran’s genocidal intentions years before the International Atomic Energy Agency did (“IAEA: Iran designing parts for nuclear weapons,” November 9). And while there is no chance Israel will be the first to attack Iran’s nuclear program, Israel has other equally important options.
Once Iran has the bomb, Hamas and Hezbollah will be more aggressive.
Israel can defeat Hamas in Gaza before that happens. It must plan an all-out war against Hamas before the Islamists gain Iran’s protection.
Hamas faces us with the determination, planning and certitude that it will destroy us. If we face Hamas with a lack of determination, insufficient planning and uncertainty, our fate is sealed.
Sir, – After having issued its report, the IAEA should bring its former chief, Muhamed ElBaradei, to justice for not fulfilling his duties sincerely, faithfully and honestly.
ElBaradei received a fat salary and deceived the entire world by withholding the true evidence about Iran’s nuclear efforts and forwarding false reports. He should be tried in court for his misdeeds.
Demolitions in Zion Sir, – What a catchy phrase – “Demolishing Zionism, home by home” (Comment & Features, November 9 ) – though completely untrue! The article is totally balderdash.
It is full of half-truths, if that. It makes the army, which is only following orders from our defense minister, look like grave robbers trying to stifle the settlers’ ambitions.
I can only hope that this policy will remain with us, and not that which settlers used to build wherever they chose.
Give the poor Arabs a break for a change. They have to live, too (even if they’re not Israelis).
Sir, – Bravo to those who want to stop demolitions and allow all communities to remain in place.
The demolition of homes, no matter whose, degrades the human being. This should be a principle in all governmental rulings on the problem. It should apply to Jews and Arabs alike.
The problem of determining the ownership of land should be worked out case-by-case by authorized judicial bodies. This takes time and money, but it is the only way to achieve creative solutions. Compromise must take its place alongside existing law and proposals to change aspects of the law.
Thank you, Moshe Dann, for highlighting the issue.
Not by force Sir, – Jeff Barak (“Taking back the billboards,” Reality Check, November 7) confuses two different issues and is wrong on both of them.
The purpose of advertising is to sell products, not to make political statements. As much as I enjoy seeing a pretty woman in an ad, if the advertiser thinks it will damage sales he will not run it.
As far as women singing, I am all for that, too. I enjoy going to an occasional opera. But what is so important about listening to a woman sing that justifies compelling religious soldiers to violate their religious principles? Do we really want to force religious men out of the army? There is no law that compels the non-religious to attend prayer services. There should be no law compelling the religious to violate their principles.
The writer is a rabbi