July 28: Tax curse
No one wants higher taxes but no one should be in the position of having to balance out the international and domestic situations we have now.
Letters Photo: Thinkstock/Imagebank
Sir, – In your July 26 paper there was a report on the front
page headlined “Tax hike, budget cuts to pass despite opposition.” I think the
more correct headline would have been “Death of social justice.”
government has just undone any good that was accomplished in the past
This is especially bad after the op-ed piece “Where’s the money”
(Think About It, July 9), which said ministries and state agencies were owed
some NIS 125 billion and the country’s “black economy” was thought to be NIS
200b. per annum.
Attacking those figures would easily raise the money the
The British prime minister has said it is morally wrong
to avoid taxes. Where are those who show us what is morally correct? Why do they
keep silent and not denounce the actions of those who avoid paying debts and
MICHAEL H. DAVIS
...except on sin
Sir, – Regarding “Taxes
raised on cigars, cigarettes and beer” (July 25), this is a sensitive issue
because it hits poor people the most. However, it might also help them opt for
better, healthier lives.
There are a few more products that should
qualify for a “sin tax”: white flour, sugar, junk food, soft drinks and mineral
water, imported foods, all meat, fish and milk products, cars, gasoline, air
conditioners, light bulbs, plastic, revealing clothing, cosmetics, perfumes,
computer games and TV sets (except for use by the home-bound).
revolt could be prevented by canceling taxes on or even subsidizing the
following: whole grain products, beans, locally grown produce, public
transportation, hiking and biking equipment, desert coolers, neon lighting,
respectable clothing, soaps and shampoos, non-virtual games and toys, sport and
fitness activities, and real books, magazines and newspapers.
everyone can agree – except where it concerns our own
MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Sir, – I must say I won’t shed
many tears over raising taxes on certain “sinful” items – for me, personally,
these taxes will mean nothing since I don’t use any of the items affected (but
I’m sure there are many, many people who are grinding their teeth). However, it
seems to me a good thing since it will provide much-needed funds for the
Now, if the government would only do something about the haredi
young men (and Arabs) do not serve our country. All I hear and read is how
important it is to equalize the burden.
When is this government going to
Sir, – I know that
everyone is castigating the prime minister for the increase in VAT and cuts in
ministry budgets (“VAT set to rise at least 1%,” July 25). However, to me it is
very obvious that he is preparing for all eventualities, including war with
Syria and Iran.
Wars are very costly, as we all know, and somehow have to
be paid for. We are probably also receiving special arms from the United States,
which are of course not being given to us but are purchased. The prime minister
is no fool and therefore anticipates what must be anticipated.
Israeli public will grumble but the increase in the VAT is necessary. Israel
stands isolated and somehow must continue to be able to cope with the horrendous
Syrian conflict at its very doorstep, the terrible nature of the Iranian threat
and the constant marches of the social justice groups, all while increasing
productivity. This agenda faces no other country in the world.
wants higher taxes but no one should be in the position of having to balance out
the international and domestic situations we have now. We must tighten our belts
for the good of all.
Sir, – Regarding the
government’s recommendation to raise the VAT, Shaul Mofaz’s disgusting comment
is matched by your decision to place it as a sub-headline on your front
Shame on both you and Mofaz.
Sir, – Seth J. Frantzman’s expose of the attempt to further raise the
tariff walls that keep olive oil imports from competing with domestic production
(“Drowning in olive oil... prices,” Terra Incognita, July 25) is a microcosmic
example of the cartel cronyism that has infected virtually every area of the
Israeli food distribution system.
Armed with a license for the most
shameless price gouging ever witnessed, the perpetrators of this outrage have
turned Israel into arguably the most expensive basic commodities market in the
developed world while helping push 35 percent of our population below the
Being a lifelong advocate of free-market price
determination, the thought of price controls is anathema. But absent some real
self-restraint on the part of the cartels and/or a significant lowering of the
tariff obstacles to overseas competition, I can see no other way of lifting this
onerous yoke from the neck of our people.
By the way,
Sir, – Mitt Romney will be visiting Israel soon (“Romney takes campaign
abroad for a week,” July 25). Do the country’s leaders have the chutzpah to ask
him to denounce his church (Latter Day Saints) for retroactively baptizing Jews
murdered during the Holocaust? As an American Jew who lives in Utah I feel it’s
outrageous that the Mormon church has baptized Jews.
Matters of taste
Sir, – You used nearly a third of a page to feature a
silly article about someone who tried to make jellyfish edible (“Vengeance
against jellyfish turns out to be more rubbery than sweet,” July 25).
writer admitted that jellyfish were prohibited under the laws of kashrut – this
on a page dedicated to the French apology for the wartime roundup of Jews, an
appeal by the widows of the murdered Munich athletes and the restoration of
awareness of the Jewish past in Poland and Slovakia.
Those items related
to Jews who suffered because they were Jews, and who were Jews because they and
their ancestors adhered to Jewish customs and traditions.
Had the piece
been printed on the first of April it might have got a laugh but during the nine
days leading up to Tisha Be’Av it was offensive and in bad taste.
Sir, – With Britain’s latest insult to
Jerusalem (“Israel sparring with BBC for right to have capital listed on Olympic
site,” July 22), surely the time has come to consider renaming the capital’s
second most important thoroughfare.
King George Street was imposed on
Jerusalem during the mandate era and commemorates the irrelevant fact that
George V was Britain’s monarch at the time that Gen. Allenby conquered the
The continued use of the name is aggravated by the fact that George
V himself made no contribution to society. He sired a son who was a Nazi
sympathizer and a great-grandson who thought it fun to dress up in a Nazi
His granddaughter, the present monarch, has visited many tin pot
dictatorships and also invited the Butcher of Bagdad to tea. However,
Israel is not and has never been on her itinerary.
Surely the time has
come to submit a name with historical Jewish significance that would remove the
stain from this important byway. Yitzhak Shamir Street, perhaps?