letters to the editor 88.
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Mr. Buffett & Mrs. Bennett
Sir, - I am very happy about the sale of 80% of Iscar for $4 billion, and Israel's tax windfall of $1b. I have always admired Stef Wertheimer for his initiative and success in doing good while doing well ("TASE celebrates Buffett's 'Buy' signal," May 8).
But I am always uncomfortable when Israeli leaders, in this case Ehud Olmert, start huffing and puffing about how great we are. We do not need them - or the media - to tell us how good we should feel about this deal, nor to speculate about it leading to other profitable deals and investments.
The fuss reminds me of a line from Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice in which Mrs. Bennett, the mother of five daughters with no financial prospects, speculates that when her eldest daughter marries the amiable and wealthy Mr. Bingley, "that will throw the girls in the path of other rich men."
Though the prospective marriage does not get off the ground until the end of the book and the "marriage" to Mr. Buffett is a done deal, we should hold off speculating about other deals to come. Does it do anyone any good?
I felt a similar discomfort when past leaders such as Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir and Ariel Sharon puffed out their chests over our superiority over the Arabs. Look where that led us.
Here, we can smile and get on with our lives.
Sir, - It was wonderful to read all about Stef Wertheimer; he deserves it all and more. However, I was surprised that the media omitted to mention an important fact. As far as I can remember there has never been a workers' strike at his plant - an outstanding achievement. The reason for this is, I feel sure, Wertheimer's generous attitude to his workers, i.e., paying them well for good work.
Stef is a real yekke. It was a curse word when I came here, but it has now been accepted as something positive.
Invest in Israel
Sir, - According to your editorial "Bittersweet Milestone" (May 5) "Israel and the Diaspora need each other." Why? The Diaspora is shrinking and Israel is growing - and that is fine by me. God is bringing the Jews back home.
Let us not swim against the tide: Instead of investing in the galut, let us accept the reality of Diaspora demise and invest in the future of Israel.
Take the leap and make aliya!
Sir, - Re "Wake up" (Letters, May 7): One of the things we're waiting for is for people like Paul Schoenbaum, who love Israel and are truly concerned, to take the leap, make aliya and be ready to defend Israel should the threats he writes about become reality, God forbid.
And he won't have to fight the Water Country traffic!
Sir, - I wonder why the Palestinians and other concerned Muslims don't make it clear to the leaders of Iran that if that country effectively "nukes" Israel, it will be a Pyrrhic victory.
They may destroy Israel, and most of the Palestinians may be able to escape. But they will have made the land of "Palestine" uninhabitable for centuries ("Iran threatens to quit NPT," May 8).
Sir, - As a former member of the Hagana, I speak in the name of many citizens who are appalled at the thought of losing Shaul Mofaz, a man with experience and the courage to make decisions, as head of our security.
His knowledge and teamwork with our intelligence branches cannot be replaced, and Ehud Olmert will not be pardoned for removing him ("Defense Minister Amir Peretz?" April 27).
Remove this slur on our community
Sir, - Re "Maon settlers attack soldiers, Palestinian children" (May 7): I urge you to get your facts right. The Maon outpost - not settlement - was involved in this incident. The settlement has publicly condemned all acts of violence.
One soldier and two children were slightly hurt. One warning shot was fired in the air by one soldier. A closed military zone was proclaimed to prevent the arrival on the scene of 60 extreme left-wing activists, perpetrators of a long series of provocative actions against peaceful settlers in the area. The Maon settlers did not leave the settlement!
This report has left an outrageous slur on Moshav Maon. An apology is required.
Read all about it
Sir, - I very much hope the members of the Swedish government read The Jerusalem Post, so they can see how their countrymen feel about them letting Hamas in (Letters, May 8).
Sir, - As a close friend of Samantha Goldin, it was with irritation that I read "Double murder stuns South African Jewish community" (May 2) about the senseless slaughter of her brother Brett Goldin and his friend Richard Bloom.
The focus of the article was skewed. There has been no evidence whatsoever to attribute what happened as being anything to do with Brett and Richard being gay.
There have been incidents in the past in Cape Town that can most definitely be attributed to homophobia, but in this case there was nothing to support this.
More plausible, and being investigated by the police, is that Brett and Richard were the inadvertent victims of a Cape Colored gang ritual assassination - in order to move up in the ranks of a gang, an initiate must perform an execution - with robbery perhaps an added motive. Brett and Richard may have been non-aggressive, easy prey, but they were victims of a random act of brutality that has its roots in a deeply entrenched and twisted cultural phenomenon.
To attribute the deaths of these two amazing men to gay bashing is unsupported. Violence in South Africa is actually non-discriminatory, and the world, including your reporter, need to understand the truth behind our situation.
Sir, - In July 2005, the government opposed a proposal by Shinui MKs to strip individuals engaged in neo-Nazi activity of their citizenship. The Great Synagogue in Petah Tikva has just been defiled and ransacked by these very groups ("Petah Tikva shul daubed with swastikas," May 5), leading one to ask why the legislation was opposed.
Was it political point-scoring or political correctness?
Either way, it goes against the very ethics and raison d'etre of Eretz Yisrael.
Women: Stay out of men's Roman circus
Sir, - Inasmuch as Shmuley Boteach's "The price of 'disrespecting' women (May 4) portrayed the tragic truth about the alarming number of men who treat the opposite sex abusively, it left out an equally tragic truth: the crime women inflict on themselves when they accept the denigration of their gender and succumb to that abundantly arrogant, macho behavior.
The two evils coexist. On the one hand you have the barbaric behavior of many men; on the other, women joining, and thereby promoting, that behavior by voluntarily, even willingly, entering the arena of barbaric "games," allowing themselves to be hired out as "exotic dancers," and the like.
While men's abusive behavior needs to be curbed by education and/or severe punishment, depending on the case, women should be protected, educated and encouraged to raise their self-esteem. They could begin by refusing to descend from a human level to an animalistic one and not joining in the Roman circus demanded by men of the 21st century.
Knowing and caring
Sir, - Shira Leibowitz Schmidt writes about the lack of commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Kiryat Sanz in Netanya ("Rebuilding is remembrance," May 4). Do the grandchildren of the Klausenberger Rebbe and other Holocaust survivors know the historical background of Kiryat Sanz, where they live? Will their children understand what the Holocaust was? An external reminder, a short history course, a trip to Poland to visit the concentration camps, personal involvement in a ceremony - these would remind them of who they are and where they came from.
I live in a smaller community than the writer, one where a majority of the older generation are Holocaust survivors. Their grandchildren present the annual ceremony, during which they read all the names of those being remembered and light a candle for each one.
Without the proper education, in another generation or two the children of Kiryat Sanz will neither know nor care what happened in the past. I pray this will not be the case.
Right vs right
Sir, - "The return of Shabbat cops" (Editorial, May 7) is really a question of the rights of the few versus those of the many.
Those engaged in selling at the strip malls and other such places are certainly entitled to a weekend of rest and peace from work; on the other hand, the public which goes out looking for bargains on Shabbat are mainly workers as well, people who don't have the rest of the week to do their shopping. Is it possible to say which group is more "entitled" or worthy?
Staff of life
Sir, - Re "Aid organization decries bread price hike" (May 7): Enough discussion about bread. If prices need to be raised but there are the poor to consider, then raise the prices of the dearer types of bread and don't raise the price of the basic dark and white bread.
Remember years ago, when the basic bread, chicken and eggs were subsidized so that everyone could afford to eat?
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