September 3: Golda said it

"Do you appreciate what it is to be the prime minister of five million prime ministers?"

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
Golda said it Sir, - Larry Derfner's "Debacle by popular demand" (August 31), blaming the Israeli population as well as its military and political leaders for shortcomings in the recent war, reminded me of a popular story doing the rounds some years ago. When Golda Meir met with the American president he asked her, "Madam Prime Minister, do you appreciate what it is to be the president of 250 million people?" To which she replied: "Mr. President, do you appreciate what it is to be the prime minister of five million prime ministers?" MONTY M. ZION Tel Mond Olmert, stay Sir, - Olmert must not go. As prime minister he took the two cardinal decisions: to start the war, and to stop it. As to the first, is there an Israeli who was not thrilled to the core by Olmert's "Ad kan (No more)"? As to the second, is there a reservist who saw action who disagrees? Certainly not my grandson. All the rest reflects only obliquely on Olmert himself (The Olmert government must go," Caroline Glick, August 15). BERNARD KOLAMAN Yehud Good stuff, this Sir, - I read your editorial "Wanted: A local Bill Maher" (August 31) several times. Reporters tackling their own war coverage was worth keeping and quoting from in the future. This piece had no redundant words, but did have background-revealing mind-sets and eye-opening admissions from a host of prominent, locally stationed political journalists from all sides. Considerations, principles, difficulties and mistakes brought into the limelight were clarifying and revealing. I'll take more of this anytime. M.M. VAN ZUIDEN Jerusalem Cart before the horse Sir, - Daniel Doron's "For a second war of independence" (August 31), while timely, missed a very important point. Yes, the economy is important, but he put the cart before the horse. Instead of concentrating on the economy, we must first change the electoral process. He writes: "The process of repairing the body politic must not stop with throwing the rascals out." He is wrong. It must begin there. The problem of non-representation of the body politic is self-evident in the way the economy is run, so we must change this first, and then the economy. The best remedy is to disallow the Knesset to be run by the parties elected. All MKs should be elected by the voters themselves so we can truly "throw the rascals out," making them accountable for how our tax money is spent. Thus can the economy be "medicated," and corruption dealt with. A. SLATIS-WEINBERG Rehovot Sir, - We were very interested to read that Daniel Doron fought in the 1948 War of Independence. He looks so young. We would love to know how he keeps his looks. Has he found the fountain of eternal youth? JUDY AND SHIMON CROWN Hashmonaim The Editor responds: Daniel Doron was born in 1929. He attributes his youthfulness to "good genes and engaging in life," and says "the best formula for maintaining one's youth is to use an old photograph." Soft-headed? Sir, - Greg Mills says "Iran knows how to use soft power" (August 30), particularly when it lavishes aid on the hapless residents of southern Lebanon. This reminds me of those Atlantic City casino deals where the prospective gambler gets a free bus ride, free meals and hotel, plus some seed money. Of course, when it all nets out it's only a deal for the house. Likewise, Iran forks over money for someone to rebuild his home right where a Katyusha rocket will be launched in the next jihad; at which point the home and maybe everyone in it becomes toast, or "martyrs." Not a great deal, really. But then, there's a sucker born every minute. DAVID KATCOFF Jericho, Vermont Reality check Sir, - Beyond all the op-eds in the Israeli press speaking for and against appeasing our mortal enemies, nothing says it better and more often than Alexander Zvielli's From Our Archives feature. The entry for August 30, 1981 records: Jews killed by Arab terrorists in Vienna; the French foreign minister looking forward to a meeting with Yasser Arafat; and Libya shipping arms to Lebanon. In the intervening 25 years little has changed in Europe and Arabia. Only in Israel do things change as its leaders stubbornly ignore the lessons of Jewish history, which they doom our nation to relive. It will take another 25 years for the next generation of Arab children to be brought up free of hate-indoctrination in Islamic madrassas. And that is the only generation of Arabs we dare ever think of as a realistic peace partner. SOL UNSDORFER London Forced to inherit Sir, - Your articles on the Lebanon war (UpFront, August 25) reminded one that the Land of Israel was given to the Israelites as a yerusha, an inheritance. Unlike the Torah, which was given as a matana, a gift, in Jewish Law there is no option for an inheritance to be rejected. Thus, despite Israeli leaders stating throughout recent history that "It is not our intention to declare independence, it is preferable to remain under the British Mandate"; "It is not our intention to keep Judea, Samaria, Gaza and East Jerusalem"; "We will never return to Sinai"; "We are prepared to return the Golan"; "We will never again rule Hebron"; "It is not our intention to return to Gaza," etc. etc., it seems that events, and our enemies' actions, continually belie all attempts to spurn the Divine inheritance, and that we are literally being forced to accept it! AMNON GOLDBERG Safed Wrong connection Sir, - Calev Ben-David was wrong to connect the death of Italian volunteer Angelo Frammartino - a cold blooded murder - with Rachel Corrie's accidental death. The only possible connection is that both individuals were working for Arab interests. A more accurate connection would be the death of George Khoury, a young Christian Arab citizen of Israel murdered on April 19, 2004 while jogging in Jerusalem. Khoury, like Frammartino, was a light-skinned youth who "looked Jewish." Both were murdered by Arabs for racial-political reasons and as a result of mistaken identity. Both were engaged in everyday activities - jogging and touring - at the time of their deaths, and were not involved in any overt political activity. Rachel Corrie's case had none of these factors ("An inconvenient and untimely death," UpFront, August 18). A. GOLDBERG Hatzor Haglilit Pro-Jewish Scots Sir, - I refer to Marilyn Bennett's concern that the Scots have failed to appreciate the danger inherent in the recent anti-Israel stance, which sullied the reputation of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival ("So unlike the Scots," Letters, August 30). Let me assure her that although there is an active and vocal minority in Scotland prepared, at the drop of a hat, to attack anything Israeli and egged on by a few arrogant and misguided journalists, there is no shortage of pro-Israel, pro-Jewish Scots prepared to speak up when required. Most of them are non-Jewish. May I also correct the assumption that the hatred she read about is from Muslim sources. It emanates from mainly white, non-Muslim, left-wing, American-hating groups - not in any way representative of Bonny Scotland. STAN GROSSMAN Hon. Secretary Scottish Friends of Israel Glasgow, Scotland