It needs saying that Israel is no more monolithic in its politics than we are.
It needs saying that Israel is no more monolithic in its politics than we are ("Obama distances himself from an ally in need," Letter of the Day, Sept. 26). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has plenty of opposition at home to both his settlement policies and his blustering, warmongering rhetoric. We seldom get to see what the opposition in Israel has to say. Here's an example from the Jerusalem Post:
"Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz blamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for what he called the deteriorating relationship between the US and Israel, in a special meeting during the Knesset's summer recess on Wednesday.
" 'Mr. Prime Minister, tell me, who is our biggest enemy, the US or Iran? Who do you want replaced, Ahmadinejad or Obama?' Mofaz asked in the plenum. 'How low are you prepared to drag relations with our closest ally?' "
It is not clear whether the nonviolent interference by a government in elections being held in a foreign state can be considered an outright breach of international law. However, it is generally agreed among democratic states that such interference is unacceptable.
What would Netanyahu say if two months before the elections in Israel, TV channels 22 and 10 were to hold interviews with a foreign president or prime minister in which they criticized Israel's settlement activities in the West Bank, and its reported plans to attack the Iranian nuclear facilities with or without American backing, arguing that all this constitutes a threat to human justice and world peace? Not only would Netanyahu be furious, but also those of us who do not support him would feel that the foreign leader had overstepped himself.
JAMES WALLACE, EDEN PRAIRIE
* * *
It has always been puzzling to me that, as stated in "Voters divided over health care law" (Sept. 26), 49 percent of seniors favor repeal of the Affordable Care Act. That position defies logic. This is certainly true for a 79-year-old Minnetonka man, who stated that "anytime the government gets in there, your health care is going to suffer. It's going to deteriorate."
Is it that he doesn't understand that "the government," through Medicare, has already paid for most of the health care for his four significant illnesses? Seniors who have paid in to Social Security and Medicare have reason to "bristle" when those programs are denigrated as "entitlements." However, the programs do stand as living proof, as the Minnetonka man agrees, that government health care programs provide "excellent treatment" with "insignificant" cost to seniors.
The ACA is a market-based system, not a government-run plan. However, the expanded coverage and benefits for all age groups should be welcomed by seniors who already have them.
DIANE BARNETT, EDINA
* * *
I want to publicly thank Al Quie and Arne Carlson, two former Minnesota governors who have continued to work for the common good long past their retirement. Gov. Quie has worked tirelessly to reform our process for choosing judges. Gov. Carlson has spoken out consistently on issues, most recently pointing to the flaws with the voter ID amendment.
During their years of public service they were singularly focused on the needs of citizens. They never used Minnesota as a stepping stone for larger aspirations. They took no extreme pledges to outside interest groups. They based their political positions on the needs of the state, and not on the changing whims of the fringe. They fought for their principles, but frequently compromised with their friends across the aisle.
At the end of their careers, either could have easily traded his powerful influence with others for personal gain and become a lobbyist. Instead, each took the road less traveled, and it has made all the difference.
Our state is forever indebted for their leadership.
DAN DIMICK, NORTHFIELD, MINN.
* * *
A Sept. 21 letter spoke of "redistribution" and suggested that our "founding fathers" would not recognize America today. Well, let's look at what the founding fathers wrote in our Constitution: "We the People ..."
Note the "We." The introduction to the Constitution went on to include the phrase "promote the general welfare." Further, in the closing paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, it is written: "... we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
I didn't write this stuff. I'm just quoting our founding fathers -- but I can live with it.
PETER BERGLUND, SHOREVIEW
* * *
When Chicago teachers walked off their jobs two weeks ago, the calls for negotiations to get them back to work were nothing compared to those that followed the "Monday Night Football" game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. Americans' outrage over the inefficiency of the replacement referees calls to question which is our bigger priority: returning our football entertainment back to the way it was, or whether kids, the future of this country, will be in school?
It is hypocritical that many antiunion Americans are now in approval of getting union refs back to work immediately, no matter the cost. When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tweets, "After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs," it causes me to ask what the real priorities of America and its politicians are.
SHEA BRENNAN, EDEN PRAIRIE
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.