Four more years

Sir, – I am in total agreement with Caroline B. Glick’s astute analysis of what four more years of Barack Obama portend not only for Israel but for the United States (“A time for courage and action,” Column One, November 9).

November 6, 2012, could be a date of great historical importance, for on that date the US voting population may have committed the gravest error in its history – not because of those of us who opposed Obama’s reelection but because the realities of today’s world dictated such opposition.

He who either ignores or defies reality does so at his own risk.

RICHARD JACOBS
Haifa

Sir, – The election is over.

Obama won and will continue to be president of the United States. We all need to accept this and work toward getting along.

So what is the purpose for Caroline B. Glick to write what she does in the second paragraph of her column?

AUDREY GOODMAN
Herzliya

No favorites

Sir, – I take issue with David Brinn’s contention that “Netanyahu was perceived by almost everyone to endorse Romney” (“Accepting the new reality,” Observations, November 9).

Many others have likewise accused our prime minister of interfering in the American elections, but we are never given examples. I myself felt that Netanyahu, throughout the campaign, behaved in a statesman-like and even-handed way without showing bias in favor of either candidate.

In fact, in a recent Post article, a Pennsylvania woman stated that she was persuaded to back Obama after Netanyahu, at the AIPAC convention, praised him, saying that his administration had been very supportive of Israel (“Undecided Pennsylvania Jew waiting until last minute,” November 6).

I also query Brinn’s advice to Netanyahu to find a way to work with the US president, the implication being that our prime minister has been at fault in his dealings with Obama. In fact, on many occasions Obama has behaved badly toward Bibi and our country, but not vice-versa.

The tension between the two is not because of failings on our prime minister’s part but because Obama feels a far greater allegiance to Muslims than to Israel and would be inclined to treat any Israeli leader in the same hostile way, except, perhaps, a leader who shows readiness to make far-reaching concessions.

RHONA YEMINI
Givatayim

Delusional Left

Sir, – With regard to “Abu who?” (Into the Fray, November 9), if anyone requires proof that Israel’s political elites on the Left are delusional, read the column that appeared below it by Uri Savir (“Escapism and the Palestinian peace process,” Savir’s Corner).

What Savir writes is a classic example of the political psychosis of the Left. He ennobles Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as a “moderate” and a partner for peace. Why? Because during an Israeli TV interview Abbas supposedly nullified the Palestinian manifesto clause regarding the demand for a right of return.

Savir, one of the illusional architects of Oslo, doesn’t have the integrity to mention that one day after the Channel 2 interview, Abbas, in Arabic, retracted the statement, which had been made in English.

We Israelis should be more fearful of our left-wing elites than of our declared enemies, such as Abbas.

MALCOLM DASH
Zichron Ya’acov

Shocking power

Sir, – Concerning your editorial of November 8 (“Shocking situation”), may I add two points: 1. Since the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) needs government support to remain solvent, it is unbelievable that the government does not insist on reform as a condition – a clear indication that it is powerless to exercise control over this crucial element of the national infrastructure.

It is equally unbelievable that, with the IEC in such a parlous state, it salted away NIS 1.4 billion to fund future perks for employees. What else could so clearly show that it is controlled by its workers and not by management? 2. Like most electric utilities, the IEC offers a time-based tariff for cheaper electricity at night, when there’s less demand. To be eligible, however, the consumer must have an electrical installation of the same size found in large industrial plants.

Since this arrangement also involves a certain amount of work on the part of the utility, the IEC takes the attitude of “Why bother?” It knows it will not be stopped from from passing on additional capital expenditures for more generating facilities and a larger grid to consumers and the government.

The staff of the Ministry of National Infrastructures lacks the technical and economic knowledge to understand how the public and the government are being milked. The IEC also knows that even if the government did understand how the electric company was taking the country for a ride, it would lack the courage to do anything about it.

There is a story, possibly apocryphal, in which Pinhas Rutenberg, who established the electric company, had one bookkeeper who asked to have free electricity. When Rutenberg refused, the bookkeeper threatened to sit in the window in public view doing the books by the light of an oil lamp. Rutenberg capitulated.

The management of the IEC has been capitulating to workers ever since.

GERRY MYERS
Beit Zayit

The writer is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Keeping it kosher

Sir, – Your editorial “Kosher competition” (November 6) proposes that kashrut supervision and certification be open to competition, thereby improving the services, providing incentives for excellence and giving the organized Jewish religion a better name.

The main complaints the food providers have against the Rabbinate’s kashrut supervision are the religious demands imposed on them. The grievances cited in the editorial fade into nothingness in comparison. How much easier it would be to simply engage a less stringent supervising organization.

In Israel the function of determining and supervising what is considered “kosher” by law is entrusted to a single governmental agency, the Chief Rabbinate.

It sets a minimum standard based on the Code of Jewish Law/Yoreh Dea and related responsa, and issues a certificate identifying the kashrut level as “regular.” Thus, anyone not familiar with a particular supplier need not search any farther than the supplier’s kashrut certificate to ascertain that the product meets this standard.

It is recognized that that are even stricter standards, and certain communities have additional stringencies (e.g., glatt). In such instances, many local rabbinates provide a higher level of supervision labeled “Mehadrin,” or additional entities such as Bet Yosef, Chatam Sofer or Badatz may be employed. In such situations, efficiency would be served if the Chief Rabbinate outsourced part of its surveillance activities to these associations.

It is wondered whether the Post also recommends opening to competition other agencies performing certification and inspection, for example with such functions as health, auto safety and veterinary medicine.

Before extolling the model in the US, I would suggest you peruse Jewish periodicals of major US cities from the 1930s and 1940s to learn of attempts by unsavory elements to take over the kosher food industry. It is hardly a scenario to be mimicked.

TUVIA MUSKIN
Rehovot

CLARIFICATION: The name of the group highlighted in “Support groups needed” (Letters, November 6) was Gamani, and not as initially stated.

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