Letters to the Editor
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While I am happy to join in your cheer for Governor Pataki’s vetoes of overly generous capitulation to the state’s public unions [Editorial, “Pataki’s Vetoes,” August 18-20, 2006] I think that you go too far in claiming that conservatives will miss him. While he has been more responsible than most of Albany’s political infrastructure, Mr. Pataki has lacked the willpower and self-restraint necessary to discipline New York State. Although in the beginning he was a better man than his predecessor, in the end his budget increases have been the biggest since Governor Rockefeller’s.
His initial competence in appointing Benno Schmidt to reform City University of New York has been partially undone by his reluctance to reappoint Jeffrey Wiesenfeld as a CUNY trustee, sending a message that competence and outspokenness are not so important as fundraising. Similar cynicism is seen in the Empire State Development Corp.’s use of eminent domain during the Pataki years, during which the Empire State has led the nation in private use eminent domain thievery.
Although by New York’s standards Mr. Pataki looms large, I do not think him deserving of a place on the national stage.
Department of Business and Economics
‘”Convergence” In Doubt on West Bank’
The “Convergence In Doubt on West Bank” [Eli Lake, “‘Convergence’ In Doubt on West Bank,” August 17, 2006] ably described the growing concerns over the wisdom of the prime minister’s plan to withdraw from the West Bank. This change in public opinion is a very positive development. The key point is that Israel is in a state of war with Iran and Syria.
Any evacuated territory will be immediately claimed by their various proxy terror organizations. Any temporary calm that might follow any Israeli withdrawal is simply the result of Israel’s enemies desire to more properly prepare for the next war.
Secondly, Israel faces more than two options in dealing with the Palestinian Arabs besides negotiation (with which it has no partner) and unilateral separation (which rewards terrorism). In reality, Israel ceased its military occupation ten years ago and disengaged from the Palestinians when it turned over the governmental responsibility to the PA in both the West Bank and Gaza.
The status quo without retreat from the West Bank is the best that Israel can hope for, unfortunately, for the foreseeable future. Any unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank will simply lead to a 3 front war instead of Israel’s current two front war.
New York, N.Y.
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