At least Israel has elections

Voters in Israel have the right to choose their own leaders whether or not we like them.

Your editorial criticized the recent elections in Israel, but at least that country holds elections ("Bibi's costly victory," March 18).

The Palestinian Authority is greatly overdue for elections, but rather than hold them Hamas tosses its political opponents from rooftops. Lebanon, which is dominated by Hezbollah, has no real elections. Syria has rigged elections in which Bashar Assad, who slaughters his own citizens, got 90 percent of the vote last time.

Iran has elections but the candidates are hand-picked by the ruling clergy. Egypt had one election, but a military coup replaced the elected government.

Meanwhile, Jordan, the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia have absolute monarchs — no need for election there.

Yet Israel holds orderly, free and fair elections allowing citizens of all races, ethnicities, religions and political persuasions to participate. The United Arab party elected about 14 members to the 120-seat Knesset.

Though you accuse the Israeli government of anti-Arab racism, please note that the chairman of the Central Election Committee in Israel, which oversees the elections, is Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran — an Israeli Arab.

The ultimate result of this election may or may not be good for President Obama or the U.S. But the citizens of Israel have a right to elect whomever they want.

Irwin E. Weiss, Baltimore

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