Sir, – I thought we were a democratic country until the general
strike came upon us last week (“Strike ends as Histadrut, Treasury sign deal on
contract workers,” February 13). It is frightening that one man, Ofer Eini, can
use his power to bring our country to its knees.
It is time that our
legislators change the law so that members of a union must vote if they wish to
strike, and only if a majority agrees can it go forward.
Would it not be
possible to also legislate for the leaders to show their solidarity with their
members by forgoing their own remuneration for the period of the strike?
Sir, – I have lived in Israel for 40 years. This strike by the
Histadrut was the first one I supported.
The number of contract workers
should be reduced to a minimum, especially in the government.
you are great!
Sir, – I confess to exhibiting naiveté,
but I fail to understand the support the public had for the general
There is no doubt that contract workers are fully deserving of
significant improvement in their working conditions. However, their plight has
been present for decades, so why strike now? Moreover, why was their predicament
not brought up for review in the Knesset? Did the left-wing parties attempt to
obtain legislation in support of these people? Why has the general trade union
been leading the fight for contract workers, who are not members of the
Histadrut and in fact were not striking? The answer is clear: Ofer Eini’s
actions were politically motivated and reflected his desire to become the hero
of the working class and be reappointed to his present position.
meantime, the undoubted suffering of the general public was allowed to
MONTY M. ZION
Sir, – Am I the only one to be perplexed
as to how we can have a general strike by government employees when the group
they were striking on behalf of, contract workers, did not participate at all? I
would hazard a guess that in no other Western country would the law allow such a
situation – there are restraints on collateral strikers, and certainly when
those directly affected are not themselves on strike.
One is bound to ask
why it never occurred to our prime minister or his coalition to promote
legislation that would have prevented the circumstances of the strike. I would
also hazard the comment that Prime Minister Netanyahu would enhance the prospect
of major aliya from Western countries if Israel reformed its totally outmoded
Jerusalem Help them now
Sir, – When is it moral
for Jews to help non-Jews? I say now.
It is time for Israel to say enough
and to roll in the tanks to stop the killing in Syria and bring down the
dictators. It is time for Israel to grant refuge to Egyptian Copts.
also time for Israel to help Tibetans, who are being systematically destroyed by
the People’s Republic of China. That Israel wants to sell products and services
to China does not justify turning its back on them.
Yishai should go
Sir, – Interior Minister Eli Yishai claims he is being unfairly
targeted because he is religious (“Yishai will not quit, change post over Carmel
fire report,” February 12). He cannot be serious.
Yishai’s credibility as
interior minister leaves much to be desired with regard to both the disastrous
fire and immigration issues, where he empowers manpower agencies, manipulates
and exploits migrant employees, and creates an “open door” policy that is
clearly detrimental to both Israel and its foreign workers.
The fact that
a lawsuit has been filed against a close relative for hiring an illegal migrant
as a house cleaner (“Interior Minister’s sister sued for allegedly employing
illegal migrant,” February 12) clearly indicates that his presence as interior
minister is not viable.
GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS
Pardesiya Man of vision
– Your fine article “Bringing kin together” (Religious Affairs, February 10) on
Yehuda Meshi- Zahav reminds me very much of Kipling’s poem “If.”
A man is
asked if he can keep his head when all about him are losing theirs and blaming
it on him. Meshi-Zahav kept his head and took the initiative to create an
outstanding rescue and recovery organization at a time when people were not able
to envision such a concept.
ZAKA has been simply aweinspiring in its
scope and natural growth since its inception in 1995. It is also a tremendous
kiddush hashem (sanctification of God’s name), for it is among the first
responders to many foreign natural disasters as well.
For his outstanding
efforts, Meshi-Zahav was awarded the coveted Israel Prize.
We need many
more men of his courage and determination.
He is a man of vision,
striving to “bring the kin together,” and is not afraid to address the silence
of haredi leaders who have not spoken out against extremists.
May he be
blessed with many more healthy and productive years.
Kiryat Arba Why Henry?
Sir, – I cannot fathom why Henry Kissinger should be
given a presidential award by the State of Israel (“President’s Prize winners,”
This award is being given in the name of Shimon Peres. It
should be for those people who have helped the State of Israel and the Jewish
Kissinger has certainly helped the United States. He has been a
most loyal citizen and has had an enormous influence on US foreign policy.
However, I don’t understand what, except negatively, he has achieved for
The President’s Prize is not to be given to just anyone. It
should be given specifically to those who have really benefited the state. My
suggestion for the future is Ro’i Klein, a man who gave his life for his fellow
soldiers in the IDF without one moment of hesitancy.
Jerusalem Not our holiday
Sir, – I do not understand the fascination that Israel
has with celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Growing up in America, we Jews were
taught over and over how we did not celebrate Valentines Day, as well as
Halloween, Christmas and New Years, as they are all Christian
We did celebrate Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July, as they
were national holidays.
We should spend more time and money advertising
Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Tu Be’av (the 15th of the Hebrew month of Av,
which has come to be known as Israel’s “day of love”) if we need more reasons to
Sir, – It never ceases to amaze me,
walking around at this time of the year and seeing the malls and various
establishments selling all sorts of gifts and encouraging the celebration of a
holiday whose origin is completely steeped in Christianity and Roman
Israel has its very own day of love on Tu Be’av, when the same
gifts are sold and advertised.
Obviously, the vendors want to cash in and
encourage Israelis to spend money.
Israel needs to be Israel and not
always try to copy others, especially when it’s fundamentally opposed to our