Get down to work
Sir, – Following the failure of the outgoing government to pass the budget, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced early elections at the beginning of October last year. Yes, five months ago! Given that the campaign, election and now coalition-building process has taken so long (“PM, Lapid, Bennett try to break impasse in coalition talks,” March 11), I would like to remind our lawmakers of Parkinson’s Law, which states: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
It is unconscionable that the whole process takes so long.
While our budget deficit is growing we simply cannot afford weeks of coalition haggling on top of the lengthy campaign process.
In the future, let our elected parliamentarians be given two weeks to build a coalition, with a one-week extension if necessary.
The sooner they get down to work, the better! ELLIE MORRIS
Love what is
Sir, – Setting aside that other humorous option, namely, seeking asylum in a foreign state – as if we do not have enough trouble at home – it is the claims of victimization mentioned in your editorial of March 11 (“Haredi outreach”) that both amuse me and leave me somewhat bewildered.
Victimization requires the need to attack and defend. It also includes the element of guilt. It is all a matter of controlling the ego, that overinflated “I” in several MKs’ personalities.
It is better known as the yetzer hara, the evil inclination, the negative part of one’s soul.
I wonder what goes through the minds of haredi worshipers while they are reciting Tahanun, the prayer for supplication, when they reach the words, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are turned to You?” This was first articulated by King Jehoshaphat in Chronicles to secure Divine aid against opposing groups.
A number of haredim believe that they are a separate entity, or group, within the State of Israel, and for many of them this unfortunately has become a reality. This month of Nisan, however, the Tahanun prayer is not recited – it is a time when we celebrate freedom as an undivided nation. It is a time to love what is! LEONARD BOOK
That nagging gap
Sir, – Arkady Mamaysky’s fascinating article on March 10 (“Narrowing the gap between American and Israeli Jews,” Comment & Features) offers some hope for US Jews and Israelis. Normally, it is an official in a major Jewish organization who provides suggestions of this type, but this time it is a Jewish Russian-American mechanical engineer.
The writer provides us with a large plate of ideas that could be implemented by a grassroots movement he is suggesting.
I would only focus on a few points he has made: encourage retirees to spend winters in Israel; encourage American-Israelis to volunteer in their communities in the US; and encourage American kids to communicate with Israeli kids.
Many have tried hard to get retirees here for the winter months. Organizations like B’nai B’rith and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael–Jewish National Fund have done this.
Since there are going to be more and more elderly Jews, Jewish federations should allot funds for this.
I do not know about Israelis volunteering in their communities to pass on information in America, but I do know that a percentage of their children have returned to Israel to live.
With the Internet and Facebook and every other kind of social media program available, it would be easy for American Jewish youth and Israeli youth to communicate. Arkady includes this item because he knows how differently the youths of the two countries think.
Yasher koah, Arkady! DAVID GEFFEN
Jerusalem Two Satans...
Sir, – In light of the very apt cartoon of March 11 that shows North Korea’s Kim Jongun threatening the US, I wish to point out the fact that the little Satan died on the 60th anniversary of the big Satan’s death. We can assume that Josef Stalin greeted Caesar Chavez with the well known song, “Come fry with me.”LOUIS GARB
Jerusalem ...and a third?
Sir, – North Korean intransigence on the discontinuation of its nuclear weapons and missile development programs has fostered the current volatile situation with the United States (“N. Korea threatens US with nuclear strike,” March 8). It has conducted three nuclear weapons tests and long-range missile tests in recent years.
The missiles could possibly reach Hawaii, Alaska and the west coast of the US.
General Kang Pyo-yong of North Korea recently said: “When we shell (the missiles), Washington, which is the stronghold of evils, will be engulfed in a sea of fire.” The North Korean National Defense Commission stated: “In the new phase of our century-long struggle against the United States, we do not hide the fact that various satellites, longrange missiles that we will continue to launch, and high-level nuclear tests we will conduct will target our sworn enemy, the United States.”
America needs to ensure that its early-warning detection systems can shoot down their missiles.
It also needs to review its contingency plans targeting their missile and nuclear sites.
We need adequate deterrent forces in the region, including a robust South Korean military.
We also might want to consider encouraging Japan, an ally, to enlarge and strengthen its own military capabilities.DONALD A. MOSKOWITZ
Londonderry, New Hampshire Know those names
Sir, – Kol hakavod to Herb Keinon for the heart-warming “Turning weeds into flowers” (Out There, March 3).
It reminded me of taking a walk with my son when he was very young. He chastised me: Ima, if you want to be a real Israeli you have to know the name of every thorn!
ETTIE AMAN GOLDWATER
ICL, don’t sell!
Sir, – I am a citizen of Canada and a shareholder in Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan for many years. I was very disturbed to learn that Potash is trying to buy Israel Chemicals Ltd., or ICL (“Potash says ‘political events’ put its Israel bid on hold,” Business & Finance, February 27).
Two years ago, an Australian company tried to buy Potash.
The prime minister of Canada probably would have allowed the sale, but the premier of Saskatchewan, realizing the disaster the sale would be for the economy of his province, put tremendous pressure on the prime minister and got the sale stopped. At one point I received a call from a firm hired by the Australians, trying to get me to sell my shares.
Canada, a relatively small country in terms of population, is being bullied by China and other large countries into selling its best companies. Now Potash, coming from a relatively large country, is throwing its weight around, trying to buy a company that is very important to tiny Israel.
Canada has a process for determining the net benefit of a proposed sale. This process is complete farce. There is no benefit whatsoever to selling a company to foreign interests.
Selling a company to foreign interests is exactly analogous to a one-night stand: In the harsh light of morning, you have a bunch of cash, but the irreplaceable company is gone.
Israel, please do not fall for this nonsense. Do not sell ICL or any other company to foreign interests.
EDWARD J. FARKAS