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January 15, 2003

Tibi and Bashara

Shira Herzog really took the gloves off in Israel's Arabs could determine Ariel Sharon's fate.

Ted Belman takes issue in letter to editor.

First of all to qualify the statements by Tibi and Bashara as "allegedly" made seems off base as most of the remarks were recorded or in print were they not.

Secondly to identify motives of the central election committee as "crass" and "partisan" is to take a giant step and perhaps opens her to the claim that she is being crass and partisan. I personally think these candidates should have been barred because their remarks were treasonous or seditious. This doesn't make me partisan. I also think judicial activism interfered with the law as the Knesset intended it and imposed what the Court wanted it to be.

You state that "the judges were certainly concerned with more than the politicization of the electoral system" while acknowledging that the decision had not yet been released. How would you know? It seems to me that the court was politicising, as you put it, the judicial system. You go on to state" that the Court recognized that disqualifying them [Tibi and Bashara] could result in widespread Arab alienation". I object, the law is the law and should have been applied. I prefer the separation of powers.

You further show your partisanship when you point out that Israel's response to the riot by the Israeli-Arabs caused a chill over the partnership of Israeli-Arabs with Israel's Jewish Left. I prefer to look at the Arab riots as the cause of the chill and not just with the Left but with most Israeli Jews.

I also note that you were quick to use the word "racist" when mentioning the late Meyer Kahane. I for one don't believe that one who advocates separation of Jew and Arab and the transfer of populations as the only rational solution to this conflict, should be branded a racist. Unless you have other grounds for doing so.

I would be interested to know how you reconcile "the oath of loyalty to the state and its institutions" with the remarks made by Tibi and Bashara.

Ted Belman