Hate has no logic
Sir, – With regard to “Violence rages in Jerusalem as Netanyahu vows to restore quiet” (October 24), for a long time I have wondered why your government is so silent about the situation in Jerusalem. The city has long been under attack. The government’s silence allows people to think that everything is okay.
Jews are used to injustice, to attacks and being humiliated.
However, you will continue to live in your country. You are not afraid because there is a spiritual connection between you and the land. You are here forever. But tourists are afraid. They will now disappear. They are not used to such violence. I am shocked over the murder of that little baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, by a terrorist even though it is, sadly, not the first time such a thing has happened.
I have read that there will now be more police and security forces in sensitive places. But terrorist murderers are not afraid of police or solders. Hate has no logic.
The punishment for all who attack Israelis and Israeli property must be much more severe: They should be thrown out of the country.
GRO WENSKE Haifa
The writer is a Norwegian Christian who has lived in Israel since childhood – his father was a pastor for Scandinavian sailors in Haifa
Sir, – I couldn’t stop crying reading the beautiful article “You looked at me and smiled” that Tovah Lazaroff and Greer Fay Cashman wrote about Chaya Zissel Braun. They made me feel like I lost a member my family – the words really went to the heart of last week’s tragic terrorist attack.
DORRAINE GILBERT WEISS Jerusalem
Change the game
Sir, – In “Sinai smugglers’ attack on IDF troops a ‘game-changer’” (October 24), you refer to “the Beduin village of Bir Hadaj in the Negev, known as the smuggling and drug capital of Israel.”
If Bir hadaj is so notorious and the smugglers have now started attacking the IDF, the police and the army have a common interest in diverting some of the technical resources hitherto deployed to monitor the Gaza Strip to the task of monitoring this apparently notorious village and its inhabitants. Their combined resources should enable them to ambush and catch the smuggling teams red-handed while being well-capable of dealing with any gunfights that might ensue.
Can’t our forces be ordered to cooperate fully in this endeavor?
LESLIE PORTNOY Netanya
UNRWA’s the problem Sir, – Martin Sherman’s “Let their people go!” (Into the Fray, October 24) again ignores one, if not the biggest, impediment to solving the Gaza problem.
That UNRWA remains operable and supported by Western countries’ cash belies belief.
The latest war of response to eight years of rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian population will be repeated, as Hamas renews its intended attack on Israel. At least Sherman gets that right.
Remove UNRWA and the farcical function of the UN will recede, leaving the Western powers to let their money go to more deserving causes.
EZRA BEN-MEIR Nahariya
Price of Milky
Sir, – Regarding “Leaving for Berlin? Maybe you’ll pay less for your Milky, but what will you tell your grandchildren?” (Observations, October 24), indeed, one can have little sympathy for those who leave Israel for better economic prospects – in Berlin of all places. However, there is no reason to encourage people to leave by forcing high prices on consumers.
Israel’s milk market is controlled by a legal monopoly that forces all producers to sell raw milk to a single distributer.
This distributer adds cost but no value. If large producers could sell directly to the food processors this cost would be eliminated. All that is required is for the government to rescind the law that created the monopoly.
Second, the milk marketing board limits the quantity of milk a farmer can sell, adding a huge cost to the price. The “right” to sell milk trades legally at very high prices. Two solutions are possible: One is to eliminate the milk marketing board entirely and let the market operate unfettered; the second is to modify the system.
At present, when the board decides that due to population growth or increased demand more “rights” should be created, it awards them to existing producers more or less on a percentage basis, or might, due to political pressure, award them to favored producers.
Instead, the new rights should be offered on the open market to whomever pays the going rate, with proceeds accruing to the taxpayers.
Rights should be offered for sale until the price comes down to a nominal level. This would allow the most efficient producers to obtain a larger market share. Such competition would reduce costs to the manufacturers of Milky and other products.
Finally, to ensure that the consumer and not the manufacturer benefits, supermarkets should be required to clearly label prices, a law that is poorly enforced.
STEPHEN COHEN Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – With regard to “Joining Islamic State is about ‘sex and aggression,’ not religion” (October 19), I would like to extend the discussion to look at what is happening in the Jewish community, where many are being forced into political extremism because of the activities of largely young people who are following a similar path and a similar leadership, psychologically speaking.
This leadership uses its greater religious knowledge and its understanding of youth to offer them personal significance, just as the Muslims do; its converts feel they have secret knowledge unknown by regular Jews and accept their leaders’ guidance in all matters – clothing, lifestyles, interpersonal relationships and political activities.
One of the tools used to persuade young people to follow the line is the threat of bad marriages or none at all. And personal significance is gained by legitimizing aggression; hence, the attractiveness of price-tag attacks and other groups.
Currently, there is a proliferation of yeshivot and other places of study that make claims of education but leave out the broad realm of knowledge offered by universities for fear of “liberal corruption.” Where once it was believed that people would “grow out of it,” I now believe this is a very dangerous political movement.
I resent the use of our police and soldiers to protect people who insist on praying on the Temple Mount. Even if we have a religious right to go there, what is the point of mass assemblies and shouting? God won’t hear us from Samarra?
HELEN LEVENSTON Jerusalem
No change at all
Sir, – I am an avid and admiring reader of Alexander Zvielli’s daily From Our Archives, which should be required reading for our legislators and judiciary.
The pieces he selects are always interesting and informative, if sometimes depressing in relation to current events.
For example, on October 23 the section featured a piece culled from the paper 50 years ago. On October 23, 1964, U Thant, then secretary-general of the United Nations, announced that he had not found it necessary to summon the Security Council to deal with the declaration issued by 13 Arab states threatening the liquidation of Israel. He said he would take the initiative when he felt the time was right. I would be interested to know if he ever did feel the time was right.
Who was it who said “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”? Nothing regarding Israel and the UN has changed in the past 50 years.
YEHUDIT COLLINS Jerusalem