October 16: Criminal comeback

What is public office if not a position of public trust? Breach that and one has forfeited any right to hold public office.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Criminal comeback
Sir, – I have lived in Israel for only 14 years so perhaps I can be forgiven for not understanding the current wave of Olmertmania that has afflicted our chattering classes. It is seriously being canvassed that Ehud Olmert return to public life as prime minister.
Yonah Jeremy Bob writes (“Legal clouds, game changers, elections and Ehud Olmert,” Analysis, October 12), that he was convicted “of only breach of public trust.”
What is public office if not a position of public trust? Breach that and one has forfeited any right to hold public office. I cannot conceive of any way to explain how Olmert has expiated his conviction to pave his path back to public office. Those who support this preposterous notion demonstrate their own moral bankruptcy and thereby disqualify themselves from holding public office. The time for cleansing our public life is long overdue. Let’s not miss the opportunity to do so.
Sir, – The suggestion that Olmert could or should return to politics is so bizarre, that when I started reading Ben Caspit’s column, I thought it was a crude attempt at humor (“Run, Olmert, run!” Observations, October 12). It was not till I reached the end that I discovered he was serious.
To convict a criminal, the prosecution must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. In Olmert’s cases, as yet, they have miraculously failed to do so. However, this is far from proving him honest.
Would one want to buy a used car from him? It may be that we, the Israeli electorate, do not expect honesty from our political leaders, in which case we will likely get what we deserve. The ethical and personal characteristics for leadership, as laid down in the Torah, are for “able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain.”
I do not think that Olmert qualifies.
STEPHEN COHEN Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – The heat generated by election fever has undoubtedly excited the nervous systems of the many and various politicos that abound in Israel. Eager to get back into power they are attempting all types of maneuvers and intrigues to achieve this aim. Assuming, falsely, that the Israeli public has forgotten what total failures they have been, most are simply wasting their time and energy.
None more so than Ehud Olmert who has the dubious honor of being the only prime minister in Israel’s history to bring that office into total and absolute disrepute. Let us hope that whoever wins the upcoming election will finish his tenure with a record as squeaky clean as that of the present incumbent Binyamin Netanyahu.
DAVID S. ADDLEMAN Mevaseret Zion
He gets it
Sir, – It was so encouraging to read Herb Keinon’s article “It’s not the economy, stupid” (Frontlines, October 12).
He gets it! I look at the state of world economies and see that Israel has done amazingly well in the ongoing global financial crisis.
Every nation is hurting with higher prices, so why should the Left and social-justice campaigners in Israel try to paint Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s leadership as a replaceable failure in securing prosperity for all? Get a revelation people! Netanyahu has been hugely successful in maintaining your lives against all odds! Surely that is a higher priority/value in wise Jewish minds.
If terrorists and the surrounding Islamic regimes have their self-confessed way with us, we won’t have to worry about rent and food prices. We will be consumed with burying our dead and trying to survive moment by moment. Security must be the main concern of the wise considering the hostile world in which we live. I pray that when the election in January rolls around, we will have a massive turnout of wise voters to return Netanyahu to the office of the prime minister.
High praise
Sir, – Your issue of October 12 contains, among others, two excellent articles detailing the relationship between us and our hostile neighbors and providing sensible advice. Hirsh Goodman, well remembered for his expertise as military correspondent for the Post in years gone by, makes a plea for an attack on Hezbollah’s missiles as a response to their drone which they boast as having succeeded in breaching our skies (“Drones and consequences,” Postscript, Observations).
He correctly points out that such retaliation would have to be regarded as acceptable and would result in little international outcry.
Barry Shaw (“We want peace, but let’s get real,” Observations) points out clearly that peace with the Palestinians is impossible unless and until they accept that we will dictate the terms that will ensure our permanent safety with unequivocal acceptance of Israel as the Jewish State.
Sir, – Bravo to Barry Shaw.
Finally we have an op-ed writer who is a straight talker. Shaw doesn’t analyze in long paragraphs nor indulge in polemics to get across his point of view.
He writes as he talks: clear, concise, factual. Finished. May we please have more pieces from this writer.JAN GAINES Netanya
Democracy at work
Sir, – In “Only the Right can?” (Savir’s Corner, Observations, October 12), Uri Savir displays precisely the failure in thinking for which he excoriates the other side. He criticizes the Right’s “loyalty to ideology” and its “total mistrust of the other” that leads to “nondemocratic values,” because the Right thinks it is “not just always right, but also better.”
However, a few paragraphs later he states unequivocally, “The Left knows the good of the country better and is open-minded to a changing globalized world, expressing the values of the land.”
He seems untroubled by an ideology that blithely asserts the Left’s intellectual superiority, rejecting anyone who disagrees.
Savir blames the Left’s failures on internal divisions and its inability to “mobilize its troops.” But the emergence of the Right as the dominant force in Israeli politics may in fact demonstrate true democracy at work. While Savir and other stalwart leftists continue to peddle their timeworn ideology, many of their followers have evaluated the real-world outcome of these policies and have found them wanting.
It may not be too much of an exaggeration to suggest that what the visionary Leo Pinsker wrote nearly 150 years ago could describe how the PA views Israel today: “You [Jews] are foolish [in the eyes of other nations] because you expect of human nature something which it has never produced – humanity.”
EFRAIM A. COHEN Zichron Ya’acov
American interests
Sir – It is not difficult to fully agree with Caroline Glick’s October 12 column (“US Jewry’s cherished values,” Column one, Observations).
Her quote from Milton Himmelfarb that “American Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans” has had reference ever since he first made the comment. Recently, a New York state assemblyman astutely observed that American Jews had a greater interest in same sex marriage than Israel.
Obama’s ideological struggle does not sit well with centrist America. In many ways, he can be characterized as a contemporary replica of Jimmy Carter. And who can forget that it was Carter who grandfathered the modern day rise of radical Islam? Commencing with the notorious Cairo speech, we have repeatedly been reminded that the problems we face in Islamic fundamentalist terrorism are attributable to a few “extremists.” If this were the case, why the silent majority? Where are the voices of the thousands of imams whose mosques enjoy the benefits of complete freedom in every Western country? Contrary to Obama's assertion, America is not in debt to the world of Islam and he is not entitled to being excused for his confusion.
ALEX ROSE Ashkelon