October 17: Where were you?

This ultra-hatchet job, replete with three columns of absolute vituperation, comes from an eternally avowed member of the tyrannical Labor Party.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Safety at stake
Sir, – Since the editorial writer considers it “anti-democratic” for Israel’s Arab citizens to be denied the right to vote in a referendum on territorial concessions (“3 important bills,” October 15), he or she should also oppose exempting them from army service.
This possibility is never raised, since it is obvious that army service for the Arabs would pose far too great a security risk. However, the same argument should hold good for the prospect of Israeli Arabs, many of whom do not have the country’s best interests at heart, being allowed to vote in a referendum on territorial withdrawals, which would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. This is because it is widely thought that territorial concessions will endanger Israel’s security, as has happened in the past.
Upholding democracy should not come at the expense of our country’s safety.
Race in Jerusalem...
Sir, – There was a time when the name Uzi Landau suggested honesty, forthrightness and principle.
But his public support for Jerusalem mayoral challenger Moshe Lion (“A clear choice and vision for J’lem,” Comment & Features, October 15) puts the lie to that.
A vote for Lion indicates a desire to return to the ways of the past, when politics was prisoner to payoffs, make-work jobs, favoritism, etc. I do not believe that this is what Jerusalemites want.
We already have a world-class mayor for our world-class city.
Why change that? CHAIM A. ABRAMOWITZ Jerusalem
Sir, – I agree with every word Isi Leibler wrote about Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s good works (“Electing the mayor of Jerusalem,” Candidly Speaking, October 15). But this does not compensate for me living in a dumpster with cats and rubbish on a street opposite the King David Hotel.
NITA WEISZ Jerusalem ...and down the road
Sir, – As a resident of Beit Shemesh I can tell you first-hand that the “negative tactics” reporter Sam Sokol referred to in “Beit Shemesh candidates accuse each other of running dirty campaigns” (October 15) are coming solely from the campaign of the incumbent, Mayor Moshe Abutbol.
I have received flyers telling me lies, that mayoral challenger Eli Cohen will have buses running on Shabbat – and they were received many days after Abutbol claimed he never said such a thing. Last week, rocks were thrown at a Cohen supporter – who is a rabbi and founder of a local charitable organization – when he questioned Abutbol’s workers about illegal campaign signs. If that wasn’t horrific enough, Abutbol posted advertisements showing haredi children behind barbed wire “begging” to be protected from Cohen.
It is a typical Abutbol falsehood to blame Cohen for the “negative tactics” he himself is guilty of using.
Sir, – Mayoral candidate Eli Cohen is an experienced manager and gentleman whose vision is to bring unity and progress to Beit Shemesh. He loves Beit Shemesh and yearns to see it blossom. That is why I joined his team.
He has been maligned for things only a fool would consider doing. For example, he has been accused of being in favor of allowing buses to run on Shabbat in this firmly traditional, if not religious, city. Such a move would invite riots. What a great way to foment hatred against him.
Eli Cohen has the support and admiration of many. I know him to be a mensch. He is an experienced manager whose vision is to bring unity and progress.
He doesn’t need the headache of being mayor – he already fills a position in upper management at Mekorot. He just wants to fix the place he calls home.BARBARA BROWN Beit Shemesh Doing double takes
Sir, – Reading the October 15 Jerusalem Post I did several double takes.
The first was with “What restitution?” (Letters). How many times over the years have we read in these pages of Holocaust survivors in Israel who cannot afford to pay rent, medical or even grocery bills? The Claims Conference should, first and foremost, be concerned with helping survivors in their remaining years, not managing a “super fund” for the day they are gone.
The second was while reading Yesh Atid MK Yoel Razbozov’s suggestion in the news item “‘Circumcision ceremonies should be held at Israeli embassies in Europe.’” Excellent! Of course, the Saudis might seek to extend the application of Shari’a Law and carry out the beheadings of errant European Muslims and infidels should they cross the threshold of Saudi embassies.
Lastly, and without implying any personal preference in the Jerusalem mayoral race, Francis Nataf (“Why I can’t endorse Barkat,” Comment & Features) wrote: “I am not completely comfortable voting for [challenger Moshe] Lion. I don’t know enough about his intentions...
Regardless, I will vote for Lion....”
Nataf is presented as a “Jerusalem-based educator, writer and thinker.” An educator? Probably. A writer? Well, he did write this piece. But a thinker? I bet most candidates would prefer not receiving such a thoughtless endorsement.GABE GOLDBERG Jerusalem
Where were you?
Sir, – Regarding Susan Hattis Rolef’s “The passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef” (Comment & Features, October 14), the only thing of a nearly complimentary nature she has to say about this Sephardi eminence is to call him rabbi.
This ultra-hatchet job, replete with three columns of absolute vituperation, comes from an eternally avowed member of the tyrannical Labor Party. This is, of course, the party whose forbears relegated Sephardim to virtual second-class citizenship, denying them status in government, chastising them for their “primitive” religious beliefs and lifestyle, and kidnapping their infants and reporting them dead.
Apparently, Rolef cannot stand the idea that this giant rose up to restore the Sephardi sense of pride and place, that they, too, could organize and become a force in education, finance, government and society, effectively causing a revolution in Labor’s social order.
At the time of the eulogies to slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on the 18th anniversary of his death, I searched high and low among the paeans for denigrating remarks referencing his (and then-prime minister David Ben- Gurion’s) dastardly murder of 16 innocents on the Altalena or his criminal involvement in the catastrophic Oslo Accords. Where were you then, Ms. Rolef? MARCHAL KAPLAN Jerusalem It’s protocol
Sir, – It is a lame excuse to say that Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Washington news conference was cancelled for “technical reasons” (“Lapid cancels Shabbat press conference,” October 13).
Since the establishment of Israel there has been a well known protocol that no official representative of the state would publically desecrate Shabbat. The question has to be asked: Why was the finance minister initially prepared to ignore this protocol and then, on behalf of the government, take part in telephone conversations with the press instead? One vividly recalls the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, which took place on Shabbat.
Both president Zalman Shazar and former prime minister David Ben-Gurion walked to the service at St. Paul’s Cathedral rather than desecrate Shabbat.
Lapid needs to be reminded of the protocol and that he cannot do what he likes. After all, he represents us, the citizens of a Jewish state, not a state of Jews where anything goes.
COLIN L. LECI Jerusalem