November 7: Typically hypocritical

Nothing is more undemocratic than banning eligible candidates from running for public office and, even worse, preventing the public from voting for them.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Typically hypocritical
Sir, – How ironically typical, how hypocritical that an MK from Meretz, the party that criticizes every initiative prop0sed to limit the tyranny of the judiciary as undemocratic, proposes a bill that would limit the right of citizens to reelect a mayor they believe is doing a good job (“38 municipalities vote in mayoral runoff elections,” November 6).
Nothing is more undemocratic than banning eligible candidates from running for public office and, even worse, preventing the public from voting for them.
Short-sighted cousins
Sir, – In declaring that he “never found that money is the inhibitor” to the expansion of Jewish education, North American Jewish Federation president Jerry Silverman has reiterated a half-truth that continues to obfuscate the real reason behind the devastating revelations of the Pew Research Center study on American Jewry (“Leaders of Jewish Federations to focus on demographics during Jerusalem confab,” November 6).
To be sure, Bernard Madoff’s depredations notwithstanding, there’s no shortage of American Jewish money around for philanthropies and pseudo-philanthropies, Jewish, non-Jewish and anti-Jewish. It’s only when the issue of a multi-billion-dollar trust fund to finance the education of the current and coming generations of American Jewish children is raised that the cupboard is reported bare.
The fact is, while American Jewry is forfeiting two out of every three school-age children to a day-school tuition system ($15,000 a year and up, with which most young Jewish families are unable to cope), Mr.
Silverman finds himself precluded from raising the funding issue to an affluent, influential constituency – which, while educating its own children at the most expensive non-Jewish private academies, remains politically wedded to crumbling public school systems as the only acceptable venue for insuring the Americanization of the rest of the Jewish flock.
However commendable, the preschool education program Silverman is pushing will lead nowhere unless it is followed by eight years of primary education at an accredited Jewish day school – and that would take serious planning and very serious money.
I suppose that we here in Israel should feel grateful to our short-sighted American cousins for the continuing influx of young American families seeking to escape the tuition crunch. But until those who truly care about the future of American Jewry come to their senses, the sign “No Jewish Child Left Behind” that I once saw over a Jewish day school should be changed to “Only the Wealthy Need Apply.”
Fighting the mobsters
Sir, – With regard to “Fighting organized crime” (Editorial, November 6), business is booming in the underworld. That is why there is the wealth to wage wars to wrest lucrative branches of crime from criminal competitors.
Members of the underworld are not bothered by “regulators”who inquire into the millions they are making. They do not have to pay taxes, and the police do not have the budgets, and hence the manpower or technology, to bring the “anti-mafia war” into the criminals’ daily lives.
Only by investigating and monitoring the crime bosses’ activities and sources of income 24 hours a day will it be possible to jail them, as the US did decades ago to Al Capone and many others.
Profits from illegal activities are subject to taxes, but the sums collected today are a joke. All we need now is for the government to set up brave “tax commando” units to engage members of the underworld intensively so that they will no longer have time to continue liquidating each other and endangering the public. If these units do a good job harassing the mob, the criminals might just take their business elsewhere.
Kiryat Ono
Pretty low
Sir, – Having read “Mixed messages from DC” (Analysis, November 5) about Washington’s understanding of Iran, American credibility on this matter has dropped to that of “Baghdad Bob” during the 2003 war in Iraq.
Valid alternative
Sir, – With regard to “It’s time to reassess Israel’s strategic assumptions” (Our World, November 5), in 1938 and since there has been an opinion that Czechoslovakia should have fought the Munich Agreement, that even had Hitler entered Prague he would have “black eyes” that would have clipped his ambitions and power base. Israel did this in 1948, Having sketched the Obama demolition of the US-Israel alliance and hinted at new strategic opportunities, can Caroline B.
Glick, along with Yaakov Amidror, now expound on the (de)merits of China and India, or even Russia and India, according to how they pick enemies, without forgetting the backdrop of Sunni distaste for Iran? Changes occur only when there is a valid alternative, as when Austria after 1748 switched from Prussia and Britain to France, and when newly unified Germany, by building the High Seas Fleet, pushed Britain into France’s entente.
Prestwich, UK
Who needs them?
Sir, – In answer David Newman’s “The future of Israel-EU research” (Borderline Views, November 5), the countries of the European Union with Calvinist and Catholic orientations have an anti-Semitic tradition augmented by their large, anti-Israel Arab populations. Their violation of the sovereignty of the State of Israel by seeking to offer money for determining its borders is what Prof. Newman encourages, although the government has taken a proper stance to preserve the honor and integrity of our country.
EU research cooperation is not an absolute necessity. Israel’s world-renowned computer programming development is not connected with Europe, but rather with Silicon Valley in northern California.
There is also serious and good research in Japan, India, Russia and South America.
Universities are places of teaching.
Unfortunately, many among the upper staff devote their time to writing research papers and less to students. Israel has excellent research institutes, and they should be the place for professors to whom teaching is secondary.
It should also be pointed out that Newman’s basic premise is that whatever is over the so-called Green Line is “occupied territories,” disregarding that elected governments of Israel have annexed some parts of these lands and encouraged 300,000 Israelis to live there. Perhaps the designation of these parts of our country should be “captured lands.”
Ramat Gan
Insignificant entity
Sir, – Regarding “Liberman to South African Jewry: Leave before there’s a pogrom” (November 4), South Africa is in the forefront of the countries vilifying Israel.
There are major countries Israel must not offend, even if they abuse it, such as China and Russia.
But South Africa is an insignificant entity. Israel has a moral duty to teach it the concept of menschlichkeit, human decency.
It must be tough against a country that is a world leader in evil and disregard for human life and dignity.
South Africa is infamous for its murder rates, traffic fatalities caused by recklessness, the number of men with AIDS who in turn infect their girlfriends and wives, and the disparity between rich and poor. It has, however, one distinction that overshadows them all: It is the rape capital of the world outside a war zone.
Each day a staggering 180 rapes are reported. Many others go unreported. Few rapists are ever convicted. And just last month, the horrifying rape and murder of two toddlers
Overlooked date
Sir, – How could November 2 go by without recognition of its significance? On Channel 1, in a segment on nostalgia and what happened on that day in history, there was no mention of the Balfour Declaration.
When I was a youngster in the Bnei Akiva movement in Brooklyn , we memorized the Balfour Declaration!