Tag Archives: Israeli elections

Open Letter to the Editorial Board of the NY Times regarding article about Israeli Elections

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Dear Editorial Board,

The first 3 words of this letter already tells so much of the story.  To be forced to start a letter “Dear Editorial Board” makes you wonder why no individual had the intestinal fortitude to use his or her name when going on the attack as they did against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu one day after his election victory.  For those of you reading on this self-perceived holier than thou and smarter than the rest of us board, here is how criticism is given when you are not afraid to stand by your convictions.

My name is David Groen.  I am a proud American, a proud Jew, and proud Zionist. I am also an ardent supporter of Benjamin Netanyahu who found your editorial titled “An Israeli Election turns ugly” to be not only offensive, but skewed to suit your political agenda and a contradiction to the factors that make democracy great.

CLICK HERE TO READ NY TIMES ARTICLE

Israel is not only a great democracy, it is the only real democracy in the Middle East.  You speak of Benjamin Netanyahu as though he is some fascist dictator on the rise.  This is a man who leads a nation constantly under attack from terrorist organizations and threats from rogue nations such as Iran calling for its annihilation.  Yet somehow you have a problem with Netanyahu trying to defeat the Arab vote knowing full well that their agenda would be to go against his political strategy of how to keep Israel safe and secure.  I’m not debating whether or not his strategy is right or wrong because this letter is not so much to debate his tactics, it is to debate yours.

There is no evidence that voters were harassed, be they left-wing Jews or Arabs, and no reason to believe this was an election ripe with any significant corruption. What it was instead was an example of an ambitious politician using democracy to his advantage.  It is almost comical to me that the NY Times, that great defender of freedom and civil rights would have a problem with democracy functioning on a prime level.  No one forced anyone to vote for Prime Minister Netanyahu.  The Arab population had a big vote in the election.  Their representative party has seats in the Knesset.  They have a say and a role in the Israeli political system.  How many Arab nations have Jewish representation?  None.  Because in most Arab nations the Jews were run out of town.  If “you” don’t like Benjamin Netanyahu that’s fine.  Just don’t attack him for utilizing his country’s democratic structure.

Which bring me back again to that question.  Who is the “you” in all this? Who am I actually writing to? The entire Editorial Board is in agreement on this issue?  How about signing all of your names to it so we know how many of you there are and know you are all in agreement.  Not because I believe there should be anything heinous done to you, but because if you are to criticize someone who speaks to the people just because you are upset he got what he wanted, don’t you think you should at least let everyone know who you are when you criticize him?  To hide behind the title “Editorial Board” is a level of hypocrisy that totally destroys any credibility you have left.  Whoever “you” actually are.

What Benjamin Netanyahu did this election was nothing different from what any other politician would do in any democracy.  He did what he felt he had to do to win.  Creating this perception that his words were racist attacks on the Arab population of Israel is either irresponsible on “your” part, or even worse, an attempt at manipulating the minds of your audience.  But here is the difference between “you” and me.  I accept your right to do this in a democratic society with free speech, and when I don’t like “your” methods, I sign my name to my criticism.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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Calling the President’s bluff on Netanyahu’s Speech

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I am not naive.  I realize that the reasons people are showing opposition to Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to the U.S. Congress are at least partially based on an anti-Israel sentiment.  That being said, I am somewhat pleased as to what has transpired.  First of all, I am all for the concept of smoking out the enemy, so to speak.  I don’t necessarily believe that those boycotting the speech are automatically the enemy of Israel, but if nothing else they are the enemy of common sense.

The most high-profile politician to state that he will not be attending the speech is Vice President Joseph Biden.  Not that I ever saw him as a credible candidate anyway, but should he declare himself as running for president in 2016, it’s good to know that not only can Israel not count on him when needed, but that he didn’t even have the character to admit it openly and honestly.  Biden’s reason for not attending the speech is “a scheduling conflict”.  I guess when an administration has chosen to dumb it down  for this long, why stop?  No reason to stop insulting our intelligence now.

It just so happens that there is a solution to all of these so-called political maneuvers.  That solution is rescheduling.  The only thing not to be rescheduled should be the Israeli elections.  As of now everything seems to be running in 2 week intervals, with the elections smack in the middle.  Bibi’s speech is scheduled for March 3, Israel’s elections for March 17, and an outline for an agreement with Iran for March 31.  If the president is sincere about all of these issues then the best solution is the following.   Reschedule the target date for the proposal with Iran for one month later and reschedule Bibi’s speech for after the Israeli elections.  In doing so it would appear as though everyone is getting what they want and the accusations of politics being injected into a crucial security issue can be dismissed.  That would be great were it not for one very important factor.  Politics is always part of the equation.

First of all, despite the fact that I, as a supporter of Benjamin Netanyahu appreciate Boehner pushing for the speech, I also am aware that he has spent most of his time over the past 6 years fighting this administration.  Therefore it is clear that in circumventing the White House he gains satisfaction and at least in his mind some political gain.  That being said, of all the important issues surrounding this matter, Boehner’s tactics are the least important, and the least dangerous.  There are 2 other parties that are happy keeping things exactly as they are today and have far more impact on our future.

The first party that wants today’s status-quo to remain intact is the current President of the United States.  Whether it is out of a Chamberlain-like mentality of appeasement or the extreme view some hold that this is some master plot to destroy the U.S. as we know it, the president seems to want to make a perceived nuclear deal with Iran part of his legacy.  Common sense would dictate that it makes no sense to negotiate nuclear deals with a nation that not only sponsors worldwide terrorism but calls on the destruction of Israel and its allies in the west, but unfortunately the only way any of this makes some sense is if we believe those in charge are dangerously naive or that they have the very worst of intentions.  Should the rescheduling take place, calling the Obama administration’s proverbial bluff, I have no doubt that we would find that when all is said and done this has very little to do with whether or not the American political structure impacted Israel’s elections.  I am confident the opposition to the speech would remain.

The second party I see resisting a rescheduling of events is Iran.  It makes more sense that Iran would prefer to keep Netanyahu in power than to see Israel run by a more liberal and pacifist government.  No one in their right mind believes Iran is honest about their intentions, and should an Israeli government be elected that is willing to capitulate to Iran even in some fashion, Iran’s bluff would be called as well. Israel could have a government that would openly declare the willingness to do anything they want for peace, and Iran would still declare their desire to wipe Israel off the map.  So with a more conservative Netanyahu-lead government, Iran can continue its international deception of being a country dedicated to peace.

Regardless of anything else that happens, the one thing all the hoopla surrounding the speech has given us is a clear picture of where everyone stands in future U.S. elections.  Since Iran is a threat to American and Israeli security, I hope all those with a vote realize the larger statement being made by those putting a misguided policy ahead of what keeps all of us safe.  That statement seems to be that sleeping with the enemy is more important than working with your friends.  A very concerning and ultimately tragically dangerous approach.

 

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