Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Time for Russian-speaking Israelis to dump Lieberman

Of all the things said about the Avigdor Lieberman's joining the Likud, there has been no mention of the Russian-speaking sector. The lack of media interest in this sector stems from a misinterpretation: The media see the move as a merger of the right-wing parties, whereas in practice Lieberman merely transferred the Russians' "home" from the State of Israel to the Likud party. Political critics viewed the move as exposing the radical nature of the Likud, while left-wingers rushed to urge all the abandoned moderates to find a new political home.

The Russian-speaking voters saw once again how someone who presumes to be their representative uses them to accumulate personal power and then sells them for a seat with another party. For two elections, Lieberman has been appealing to the Russian population in their language and enticing them to support him. His slogan, which brought him power, is simply, "Da, Lieberman." For years he has been a senior minister and talked to the Russian community using the same determined rhetoric, while in practice, ignoring the issues of concern to them.

With the support of immigrants from the CIS, Lieberman became foreign minister. Now he has decided "it is much more appropriate to run the country with large parties." In other words, he has had enough of being the representative of a specific group.

It seems that Lieberman has realized that he now faces a glass ceiling; as the representative of Russians, just like any sectarian representative, there is an upper limit to the number of voters he can attract. The polls also indicated that at most he would maintain his current standing.

If so, in a smart move for his political survival, Lieberman is dropping the Russian connection at the height of the sector's support for him. After he used that support to gain a comfortable position in the Likud, he expects to hand over the Russians to Benjamin Netanyahu. Like a flock that moves from one shepherd to another.

Russian speakers should free themselves from Lieberman as their representative. The man who spoke Russian to them, sold them out to Netanyahu behind their backs in order to be able to return to the Likud's embrace.

The Russian public should change the way it votes and stop searching for a representative, because these always end up exploiting them. Every Russian-speaking person should vote independently, checking which of the parties is closest to representing his positions and which one will place the welfare of the immigrant population as a whole and specifically, of the Russian immigrant population, at the forefront.

Matheo Cohen

Ramat Gan

'Superficial' errors in op-ed on Israeli support for apartheid

In response to "Errors and omissions excepted," by Gideon Levy, October 29

In his op-ed piece, Gideon Levy attacks right-wing elements for focusing on superficial errors in his article which, in the Hebrew edition, ran under the headline "Most Israelis support an apartheid regime in Israel." Levy criticizes the focus on a few isolated errors that appeared in the article instead of on the essence and significance of the content of the piece. He claims the right-wing grabbed onto "negligible errors" rather than looking at the broader picture, in order to deflect criticism.

Indeed, if Levy is aware of this method, why does he offer right-wing elements the same loophole? If, as he writes, the findings should in any case cause a scandal why not get the facts right?

The same "unfortunate mistakes" are not only professionally damaging, but also provide right-wing supporters with the knife the writer claims they are using to stab the nation in the back.

Idan Soncino

Petah Tikva


The comparison Gideon Levy makes in his article between a survey he reported on and a theoretical survey in France are misguided. The Jews never initiated violent acts against the French; the opposite is true. Israelis' attitude stems from their accumulated knowledge of Arabs, the violence they use, the hatred, the education toward religious wars, the unwillingness to recognize Israel and to compromise. The Arabs are the ones who time after time came out against us with acts of violence and continue to act against us.

Haim Nisani

Kfar Sava

I prayed for the planes to bomb

In response to "Maybe Roosevelt couldn't have saved the Jews from the Nazis after all," October 26

Tom Segev cites historian Prof. Yehuda Bauer as saying that during the Holocaust it was not possible to bomb the concentration camps, among other reasons, because thousands of Jews imprisoned in them would have been hurt. I was "there." After the Nazi conquest, I was imprisoned in the Vilna ghetto for two years and before it was emptied, I fled and fought with the partisans in the forests of Belarus, some 180 kilometers away from Vilna.

In the fall of 1941, one night Soviet planes passed over the Vilna ghetto heading westward toward eastern Prussia. I prayed, and many others did as I did, that the pilots would bomb the city, knowing that a bomb could fall on the ghetto and injure us. And I still ask: why didn't the allied planes, including those of the Soviet Union, drop fliers in the local language on the occupied territories on which they could have written that the gentile neighbors of the Jews and the various informers would bear responsibility for collaborating with the Nazis and their helpers?

Given my experiences then, this would have encouraged the Jews and especially those who found shelter with the gentiles, who would later on become Righteous Gentiles. I have yet to receive an answer to this question. Anti-Semitism in America surged during the war; this is a fact. I was "asked to wait" four years to receive permission to immigrate because of the well-known quota. Prof. Bauer says a person can ask why the U.S. did not intervene with the British during the war when two million Indians died of famine. However one injustice does not cancel out another injustice.

Litman Mor (Moravchek )

Tel Aviv