May 28: Olmert’s sentence

This political opportunist used his public positions to advance his career as a serial criminal, not as a trusted and responsible servant of the public.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Olmert’s sentence
I am both amused and bewildered at the trivial sentence given our insidious former MK, Jerusalem mayor and prime minister, Ehud Olmert (“Olmert sentenced to additional 8 months behind bars after Talansky retrial,” May 26). He has continually made a fool of our weak, politicized justice system with delaying tactics of numerous trials and appeals, and by pleading for sympathy for years of greed, graft and corruption against the Israeli public.
Olmert’s penalty is a tiny slap on the wrist for stealing thousands of dollars in the Talansky bribery case. The proceeds were used for his own lavish lifestyle, not for the use of Israeli citizens.
This political opportunist used his public positions to advance his career as a serial criminal, not as a trusted and responsible servant of the public.
He asks the court what he is going to tell his grandchildren about the suffering he will have to go through in prison. I say to Olmert: Tell the truth, for a change. Tell them you were a characterless crook who damaged the morality and trust of the Israeli and Jewish people.
Ehud Olmert basically pleads the pathetic “I’m an orphan” argument against the length of his sentence, as did the metaphorical parent-killer who asked for mercy based on his new status.
That Olmert has “suffered” is inevitably part of the justice process.
That he was found guilty and now sentenced, the same.
The Almighty’s gift
In “Antitrust commissioner David Gilo resigns in dispute over natural gas” (May 26), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quoted as having said that the bountiful offshore natural gas discoveries were a “gift we have received from nature.”
Unfortunately, the prime minister – who otherwise is doing a fine job – misspoke. Surely, the leader of the Jewish state must know that the natural gas was a gift from the Almighty, not some amorphous nature.
The Riskin doubts
If what you report in “Chief Rabbinate throws doubt on tenure of Shlomo Riskin” (May 26) is true, then so is the adage: Great people rarely have children who can follow in their footsteps.
I have known Rabbi Riskin for almost 50 years. I was his student, and also served as his director of public relations in Israel.
In my opinion, few rabbis in this generation have the vision and the concrete ability to deal with the weighty issues of conversion and women’s rights as does Rabbi Riskin. He has been a catalyst not for change, but for growth.
This childish attempt – if it’s true – to cast aspersions on such an individual says more about the Chief Rabbinate and its council than it does about Rabbi Riskin.
It was both sad and upsetting to read your article about Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.
Rabbi Riskin is more than just a great and scholarly rabbinic leader and promoter of Torah. He is an exceptionally caring and warm individual who is a rabbinic leader in every sense of the word. No one can imagine Efrat without him.
I trust that this witch hunt against him will end soon – for his sake and for the sake of the thousands who love him.
Having said that, I am sorry your report did not emphasize more the fact that the chief rabbis themselves were opposed to this move. I think you missed an opportunity to show them in a positive way. They often do deserve such recognition.
Deliver thyself
Regarding recent readers’ letters about the Israel Postal Company (“No laughing matter,” May 25; “Advantage: Tortoise,” May 20), I must say that the postal system here is beyond a joke.
I posted a registered birthday present to my granddaughter in New Zealand early in November, as her birthday was at the end of December. After requesting a search, the parcel turned up in New Zealand at the end of February, with no comment. I sent an unregistered letter to a friend in New Zealand last November.
It still hasn’t arrived. Last July, I sent a registered parcel to Germany.
It took six weeks.
On April 28, I sent a birthday card to a friend in Australia. The postal cashier asked if wanted to send it by regular mail or registered mail. As it was only a card, I contemplated regular mail but commented to her that nothing I post overseas seems to arrive.
Without batting an eye, she said: “Oh well, you’d better register it then.”
As of this past Monday, my friend still had not received the card. When I checked the serial number of the piece of mail on the postal company’s website, it appeared not to have even left the country. When I complained that day at the post office, the clerk wouldn’t tell me if it had left the country or not. He told me to come back on June 1 if it hadn’t arrived by then.
The Israel Postal Company really needs to upgrade its carrier pigeons. They are hopeless.
Kiryat Tivon
Horrifying litany
What a horrifying litany of information about the arms agreement with America (“Massive US arms deal with Israel ‘not linked to Iran deal,’” May 22). We are very far from beating our missiles into plowshares! This information is supposed to reassure us that America has our back. However, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon et al also have the backs of our enemies.
We are pawns of the arms factories.
We are the test drivers of the latest weapons of mass destruction, while the ghoulish murder and maiming institutions and their scientists laugh all the way to the bank. (Also laughing are the politicians who have their palms greased to keep the flames of warfare sizzling while we are forced to turn our young people into cannon fodder.) The Jerusalem Post should do in-depth interviews with munitions CEOs. We should know how much their paychecks are.
We are forced to support them while existing in limited financial circumstances ourselves.
Are we ever going to eradicate the evil at its source?
Bovine turd
As one who attended the recent BESA conference at Bar- Ilan University devoted to the critical subject of US-Israel relations, my incredulity quickly mounted when listening to David Makovsky’s attempts to defend US Secretary of State John Kerry’s handling of Israeli- Palestinian peace negotiations.
It reached its peak when he informed the audience that much still could not be revealed.
When reading the next day in the Post “Makovsky: Most settlement tenders announced during peace talks were for land Abbas agreed would be Israel’s” (May 13), wherein he is quoted as claiming his ex-boss was “treated unjustly” by the Israeli public, I was convinced that we were being presented with an overly generous portion of “bovine turd” to help pave the way for a renewed attempt to restart the talks.
Security, Jerusalem, refugees, borders and recognition of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people are some of the core issues of the conflict, and each is of existential importance to Israel.
They permit no possibility of progress toward an agreement if the sides do not have an equally genuine desire for peace.
It has been proven time and again that the Palestinians lack that desire. Before real negotiations can take place, Kerry, Makovsky, President Barack Obama and the Palestinian Authority must accept this truth.
Petah Tikva