Hungry kids...

Sir, – It seems very sad that there is a great deal of discussion in Israel regarding the possible beneficial effects of eliminating the 18% value added tax on homes for young families while there is no mention of getting rid of the same 18% VAT on food (“Comptroller: Hundreds of thousands of kids underfed,” April 8).

I have heard that in some states in the US the tax on food is reduced or eliminated for poor people, and in some places for everyone. This must be true elsewhere as well. Does it not seem obvious to take a step in this direction?

MOSHE KAPLAN
Herzliya

Sir, – The government should consider introducing (subsidized, if so required) school lunches.

That way these children would at least have one good meal a day.

M. HAMMELBURGER
Jerusalem

Sir, – With apologies to Jonathan Swift I have a modest proposal by means of which to solve a number of Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s overwhelming problems.

The primary problem is that not having cut child subsidies down to the last agora, there remains a significant budget deficit. Step one, therefore, is to completely and totally eliminate all child subsidies. This will leave families even more desperately hungry, leading to step two, the most dramatic of all: Feed the children of those families that do not have a relative in the IDF to the children in families that do.

Think of the incremental benefits.

First of all, the former will provide a vast oversupply to the latter, resulting in an abundant source of cheap, nourishing protein with the added benefit of putting an immediate halt to the soaring prices of food here. In addition, with far fewer families cursed with large numbers of children, many smaller apartments could be built at cheap prices for army-linked families.

The most important aspect of this plan is that anyone who implements it will have the undying gratitude of the surviving young, who will grow up to be grateful to – and vote again and again for – a leader with such vision and courage.

Bon Appétit!

MARCHAL KAPLAN
Jerusalem

...and need for care

Sir, – In January I sent a letter to Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar via his Knesset email address but to this day have not received even an acknowledgment. I suppose I might have heard back if it were election time, so I guess I’m out of luck.

Sa’ar is responsible for work visas issued to caregivers. There was once an order that if caregivers had been here for over seven years and were out of work (for example, if the person they were caring for had moved into an old-age home or died), they had only one month to find new employment under a special visa. It appears now that Sa’ar has signed an order stipulating that after seven years no special visas are to be issued at all. Can I ask why? These are not “infiltrators” but people who came here on an official work visa and have cared for the old and incapacitated with great devotion. They have proved themselves, are used to the country and speak Hebrew, and come highly recommended.

So why insist on bringing in new caregivers who might not be all that good? The private agencies that the Interior Ministry and National Insurance Institute force us to work with are only too happy to bring in new caregivers, as these workers have to pay these agencies a few thousand dollars.

I need full-time care. Recently we interviewed two very highly recommended caregivers, but because they had the misfortune of being here for over seven years, they were being forced to leave the country.

We hear government ministers spout forth on having to ensure that senior citizens, Holocaust survivors and the infirm have the best care. So where do we see this in action? Name withheld Jerusalem J’accuse Sir, – While more or less agreeing with Rabbi Aron Lieberman (“The roots of Jewish assimilation are in Israel,” Comment & Features, April 8), I would like to add to his “j’accuse” list.

I blame the State of Israel for recognizing only Orthodox Judaism as the legitimate religious expression for Jews. I blame the Israeli education system, which insists on separating religious and secular children from kindergarten onwards. I blame a religious establishment that insists on extremely stringent practices in marriage and burial despite the fact that many of these practices are not halachically obligatory and thus result in turning many Israelis away from their heritage.

I could go on. Suffice it to say, Jerusalem, we have a problem! ELLIE MORRIS Aseret Mufti’s ‘escape’ Sir, – “The Grand Mufti’s Nazi connection” (Comment & Features, April 8) was correct as far as it went. But the immediate post-war history of Haj Amin al-Husseini deserves inclusion.

While the Allied powers wanted to put him on trial, he somehow managed to end up in French hands and was housed not in a prison but in a château outside Paris with his personal staff. The truth of the death camps and his contribution to the Axis war effort were known, but still he managed to elude his “guards” and find his way to an airport and a flight to Egypt.

The Grand Mufti escaped justice for his part in World War II and he continued his anti-Semitic efforts until his death. The French have never explained his successful “escape.”

HAROLD REISMAN
Carlsbad, California

Nothing better to do

Sir, – In response to “Amused, appalled” (Letters, April 8), the “Reformers” should be amazed and appalled at your reader’s attitude.

Close to $600,000 was raised to help cancer victims. This must not be ignored. Did these rabbis hurt anybody raising the money? This was a pure, unadulterated charitable act.

It seems the letter reflects the feelings of someone who has nothing better to do in life than try to find fault with the humane actions of other peoples.

MARTIN LEWIS
Ramat Gan

Not for kids

Sir, – I am finally writing about something that has been bothering me a lot.

I check Mako, Keshet’s website, for the news and recipes, and occasionally for some celeb gossip.

(I admit it!) But I won’t let the kids go there, and they are 16 and 13. This is because on most days there are close-to- Playboy-worthy pictures, with articles to match. And I don’t mean bikini-clad women, although some of those are X-rated as well. Even with blurring certain bits, the message on this supposedly family website is definitely not for families.


Well, I believe we are hearing about teens involved in group-assaults on others so very often not only because these kids are exposed so much to what they shouldn’t be, but their parents aren’t parenting. Even 18-year-olds, not to mention younger kids, need boundaries.

A couple of years ago, members of one 12th-grade class reportedly invited a stripper to their graduation party. The parents didn’t stop them! I heard one parent say on TV words to the effect that this was what the youngsters wanted. Even the newscaster couldn’t believe it.

She was speechless.

When sexual images are so prevalent even on mainstream media, the wrong lessons of morality are learned. Thank you, Jerusalem Post, for having more sense, and also for publishing this article.

BATYA BERLINGER
Jerusalem

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