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.
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.
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