October 14: Pied Piper

Well, it’s now official: Even non-haredim are beginning to see Finance Minister Yair Lapid for what he really is.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Pied Piper
Sir, – Well, it’s now official: Even non-haredim are beginning to see Finance Minister Yair Lapid for what he really is (“What an idiot!” Into the Fray, October 11).
The King is naked. Completely naked. He did not obtain a matriculation certificate in high school and has no clue about economics, political science or history. He only has good looks.
Lapid knows how to talk and knows how to ride a populist wave that is empty of ideology.
And he is supposed to chart the way to a better economy. Blah, blah, blah. He reminds me of the Pied Piper, happily tooting his horn, the mice happily following him wherever he goes.
Life is too serious to just sneeze him away (as he deserves). The repercussions of his disastrous policies will have effects long after he is gone from the scene (which I hope is very soon). I can’t help but feel pity for all the Israelis who follow him, but the damage being caused here and abroad is enormous.
There is no time for pity. The government has to get its act together and our lawmakers must reorganize to save Israel from the Pied Piper.
Sir, – Many have complained about Yair Lapid’s comment that Jews are safer in New York than in Israel. However, I find his other comment, about the lack of importance of the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, even more worrying.
This demand had been made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu only days before. In the context of the peace negotiations with the Palestinians, it is one of Netanyahu’s stated requirements. Such a comment by Lapid undermines not only his prime minister, it undermines Israel’s position at the bargaining table. One would think a finance minister would show more loyalty and common sense, and just keep his mouth shut on such delicate matters.
That was one further strike against Lapid.
Sir, – It gave me great pleasure to read Martin Sherman’s description of the limitations of Yair Lapid as a member of the government. Having seen parts of the interviews with Charlie Rose, I had formed a similar opinion.
The question arises as to how Lapid was able to fool the voting public to obtain such strong support. The answer is found in the power of the electronic media, notably television, to influence even intelligent people.
Experienced and talented politicians should take advantage of this power and endeavor to appear on television as much as possible, where they can expose the limitations of people like Lapid.
Sir, – Martin Sherman got it right yet again. But who’s listening? Certainly not our “enlightened” leaders, for it would seem that success in Israeli politics depends more on energy and drive than it does on intelligence.
Yair Lapid is truly a stupid leader – all style and no content, and dangerous to boot. But what does this say about the swamp of Israeli politics? Surely, Lapid’s rise to political importance is an indictment of the paucity of quality parliamentarians in Israel. It is also about an electorate that gave him a large vote of confidence.
It is said that every country has the government it deserves.
In a democracy, people get the leaders they deserve.
MALCOLM DASH Zichron Ya’acov
US aid cut
Sir, – Regarding your recent editorial “Egypt, US aid and Israel” (October 10), it is very good to emphasize the importance and the fragility of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, but there will not be a treaty if the Muslim Brotherhood returns to political representation.
The focus ought to be on the latest development, the most woeful twist in US policy that intends to reduce the capabilities of the Egyptian military – the most recent posture in submissiveness to activist Islam somehow dreamed up by the Obamaites.
The whole wrongheaded policy of forcing democratic forms on societies whose socio-religious lineaments do not require it, request it or allow it ought to be looked at again. If these arbitrary, incendiary constructions blow up (literally) in your face, who is to blame?
PAUL RABOFF Jerusalem Out of the limelight
Sir, – Reading “It’s the Torah, stupid!” (Fundamentally Freund, October 10), I was reminded of a similar occurrence that took place after the death of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in February 1995.
Rabbi Auerbach was completely unknown outside the Orthodox community yet over 300,000 took part in his funeral.
To quote Sarah Shapiro of The Jewish Observer, “the big-circulation Israeli newspapers were full of bemused speculation as to how this rabbi’s death had managed to bring together religious Jews of all stripes and how the largest funeral in the country’s history had been held in honor of a man whom the journalists themselves, and most of the readership, had never heard of.”
As opposed to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Rabbi Auerbach kept out of the limelight. Perhaps because of that and because of his love for all Jews, he was revered by all streams of religious Jews.
DAVID WILK Ma’aleh Adumim
Back on key
Sir, – From reading “Off-key suggestion” (Letters, October 10), it seems that some Post readers misread or misunderstood my piece “What about an international anthem out of Israel?” (October 8).
I in no way suggested that any international anthem replace, lessen or, indeed, have anything to do with the Jewish national anthem. They would be completely separate and in no way connected, two very different anthems that in no way diminish one another, especially Hatikva.
The Jewish anthem would remain as is and in its place in Jewish life.
STAN MARKS Melbourne, Australia
Ponds apart
Sir, – As an English teacher originally from the UK, I reluctantly began teaching American spelling to my Israeli pupils some years ago, as that has become the preferred method.
But I also show them the English alternative, as much of the literature contained in the matriculation exam syllabus is by English authors. I also point out the different terminologies (e.g., pavement and sidewalk) when the occasion arises.
While I sympathize with reader Deborah Poznansky and her problems with the daily crossword puzzles (“Hitting a nerve,” Letters, October 10), on behalf of all the ex-Brits here I beg The Jerusalem Post not to change them. So many articles published in your paper these days are taken from American newspapers and deal with topics mainly of interest to Americans.
Please don’t take away the one thing that we Brits like and can understand.
And while on the subject, why can’t we have more articles by British journalists taken from British newspapers?
LOLA S. COHEN Jerusalem
Sir, – I have the best of both worlds. I was born and educated in Australia, where British English and spelling are taught. And for all the clues relating to English counties, towns and rivers I have a lovely English neighbor (neighbor?) who puts me out of my misery.
Also, as I write for a number of American publishers and newspapers I long ago learned to drop the letter u from words like color and favor, and adopt a more phonetic spelling, even though sometimes it makes me cringe.