Sir, – With regard to “Elder Palestinians protect settlers from
lynching” (January 8), the State of Israel, with or without Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu, must immediately bring the wild-eyed, fire-breathing
extremist rabbis under control now.
They are the principal instigators
behind settler violence and will be the root cause of the next intifada, which
is just over the horizon.
The religious people in this country need to
learn to live with those who might be a little different, and they must do so
quickly or we are all going to regret it.
Up here in the North, everybody
gets along fine.
Once these maniacal rabbis are brought under state
control, there will be peace in the territories as well.
Sir, – With regard to “Productivity and
poverty” (Editorial, January 8), there surely must be something drastically
wrong in this country when there are increasing numbers of working poor who
can’t make ends meet. They are indeed facing a three-headed monster of greed,
graft and corruption.
I fear we are in danger of being reduced to a
twoclass economy of rich and poor.
With the divisions in our society
widening, there is no time for complacency.
Without real leadership, I
foresee a potentially threatening scenario from many disaffected and desperate
citizens who might use civil disobedience against the present inept and
defective government. The “cottage cheese crisis” of 2011 would be like a
I don’t envy incoming Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug, with
a myriad of economic dilemmas facing her.
Your interesting editorial makes the point that reducing the gaps between rich
and poor requires a holistic approach. This is obviously correct. However, it
should be understood that Israel’s way of measuring poverty is to calculate a
mean income and then state that anybody who makes less is poor.
countries, poverty is defined differently. In the US, for example, a basket of
goods and services required by families is determined, and poverty is defined,
per family size, as the inability to purchase the required goods and
With the Israeli scheme there will always be many people
defined as poor because there is always a mean income, and by definition many
people fall below the mean. In fact, I once heard former Bank of Israel governor
Stanley Fisher say (with tongue in cheek, I presume) that he could lower the
poverty rate in Israel by reducing the number of those with large
A definition of poverty that is based on the realistic needs of
people and their families rather than a simplistic statistical determination
could lead to better targeted policies that would make it much more likely to
reduce real poverty.
Sir, – I want to compliment
you on an excellent editorial. It embraced a clear perspective. You had the
courage to state what is really going on.
It cost me and my family a
small fortune to make aliya legally. Perhaps we should have all tried to be
infiltrators or asylum-seekers instead.
Sir, – I congratulate Michael Freund on his latest column (“Can Israel
say ‘No’ to the US? Yes, we can!” Fundamentally Freund, January 7).
don’t think our prime minister has either the courage or the conviction to say
no. He is frightened of what the US and the world will say. He must remember
that we were here before the US, and we will be here after the Americans are
There will never be another prime minister like Menachem Begin. He
had it all – the charisma, the chutzpah and a Jewish soul.