Ounce of prevention

Sir, –

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich’s “It’s possible to be healthy” (Health & Science, October 27) is very encouraging. Finally, the Health Ministry will start placing emphasis on disease prevention and a healthy lifestyle.

There is ample evidence for health benefits when eating whole grains instead of white, refined flour products, and when eating less sugar and salt. Unfortunately – and for no good reason – the price of whole grain bread is higher than that of white bread, and there is no regulation regarding their contents.

Similarly, diet products are sold at a higher price than similar items containing sugar.

To encourage people to eat healthy foods, the first priority of the government should be to make sure that whole-grain products and diet products are not more expensive. Certainly, the ingredients are not more expensive.

The old adage is true: An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.

ALFRED HASSNER
Rehovot

Blame on target

Sir, –

Kol hakavod to Liat Collins (“One city, one vote, one world,” My Word, October 25), who, when citing dirty sidewalks, says: “I blame the people who litter.”

I remonstrated with my young neighbor when her little boy threw his candy wrapper on the sidewalk in front of our house.

She told him to pick it up and he did, but she disregarded another piece of paper beside it. It wasn’t “hers.”

No matter who the mayor is or how many times a street is swept, with that attitude (and it seems to be the majority) we will always have littered streets. Too bad!

E. PORATH
Jerusalem

Logic, eloquence

Sir, –

Thank you for the article by Moshe Dann (“Are settlements worth it?” Comment & Features, October 25).

There are few who are able to combine logic and eloquence in their writing like him.

MORITZ ORSZEWCHOFSKI
Nitzan

Barkat’s the man

Sir, –

I was delighted with the election result for the return of the personable Nir Barkat as the principled mayor of Jerusalem for the coming five years (“Mayors of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa reelected in municipal races,” October 24).

Barkat has an enormous challenge not only to administer and improve the “three R’s” of local government – rates, rubbish and roads – but just as important ,to change the psyche and lack of aspiration of his non-voters. I believe he will need guts to take on the radical ultra-Orthodox rabbis and militant, uncompromising imams who have brainwashed their followers and potential voters to live in self-imposed poverty with a medieval mentality.

As a successful businessman and administrator, he should be a role model for local private enterprise. This would broaden the tax base for our poverty- stricken city.

JACK DAVIS
Jerusalem

Sir, –

Knowing little and understanding even less of the intricacies of Israeli politics, and being a relatively recent oleh (2007), I had more or less decided to give Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s principal rival, Moshe Lion, my vote in last week’s local election.

That is, until I saw a public statement from a well-known convicted fraudster who had enthusiastically recommended him.

It was at this point that I decided to change my allegiance and vote for Barkat.

How is it that in that our society fraudsters not only continue to prosper and thrive, but are permitted to take up the reins of office that would be denied them in any corruption-free society? Irrespective of poor Moshe Lion’s suitability, surely he demonstrated a degree of naievity and failed to realize that such endorsements undermined his entire standing as an honest candidate.

STANLEY COHEN
Jerusalem

Sir, –

Arye Deri is on the warpath, blaming everyone and anyone – except himself, of course – for the recent electoral defeats of “his” candidates. And let us not forget how he blamed Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak and former MK Haim Amsalem for Shas not having gained more Knesset seats in the last national elections.

The naked truth is that despite his triumphant return to Shas and well-orchestrated putsch against chairman Eli Yishai, the party gained nothing nationally and lost rather big time locally.

All Deri has to do to know who is to blame for these debacles is look in the mirror and take responsibility – like a real leader would.

GERSHON HARRIS
Hatzor Haglilit

Just not the same

Sir, –

Your article “Taiwan’s ‘one-state’ solution” (Foreign Affairs, October 17) and the comparisons you pointed out regarding the Taiwan-China and Israel-Palestine relationship were a discussion that I, while living in Taiwan, would often have with Taiwanese people as soon as they learned I was Israeli.

Allow me to disagree with you on the point that Taiwan-China and Israel-Palestine are an “equally complex and precarious relationship.” Not only are “totally different circumstances of dynamics and issues involved,” but also, from my point of view, the Taiwan-China relationship is less complex and precarious.

Taiwan and China are closer culturally. They have common ground in the long Chinese history – at least until beginning of 20th century – and they speak the same language.

Also, the significance of economic ties between Taiwan and China, which created a solid platform for building better relations, are absent in the case of Israel-Palestine, where the latter just doesn’t have the economic importance that Taiwan has for China.

And though there are missiles aimed at Taiwan, the probability of military confrontation is very low (almost zero) while, unfortunately, we all know the probability of a military confrontation in the case of Israel-Palestine.

MAYA CHEN
Haifa

‘Post’ conference

Sir, –

I can only praise The Jerusalem Post for its second diplomatic conference, held last week in Herzliya.

The Post is the only agent in Israel that gives every English-speaker everywhere in the world the opportunity to hear out the most important members of government, as well as the correspondents everyone should know.

HILARY GATOFF
Herzliya Pituah

Sir, –

The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference was attended by some 300 diplomats from more than 100 countries. It was touted as an important and enormous contribution to Israeli diplomacy. Kol hakavod! But if the Post has a significant role to play in presenting Israel’s image in the Diaspora, then why was this important event held in Herzliya and not in Jerusalem?

SHARON ALTSHUL
Jerusalem

Outrageous flyer

Sir, –

Upon opening last Friday’s Post I was outraged to see a large, glossy, color-printed flyer from Irvin Baxter, a known Christian missionary, inviting the public to attend a “Bible Prophecy” lecture at a location in Jerusalem.

Since when does your paper allow or condone the dissemination of such offensive material? I spoke to a number of other subscribers and they’re equally infuriated. Some are even considering ending their subscription.

This is supposed to be a homeland for the Jewish people; there should be no tolerance for the devious tactics of attempting to snatch away Jewish souls. For this paper to be an accomplice by helping to pass out such material is inexcusable and reprehensible!

RUTH SIEGMAN
Beit Shemesh

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