Do as we say
Sir, – Regarding “PM: Reforms needed to break monopolies and bring
down prices” (April 29), the prime minister and his cabinet, especially
Transportation Minister Israel Katz, must think we are idiots. They claim they
want to bring down the cost of living in Israel while riding around in expensive
cars with personal drivers.
Let them do as Finance Minister Yair Lapid
does. He drives his own car.
And while I’m at it, if they want to bring
down the cost of cars, instead of opening up competition by broadening the
variety on the market, let them lower customs duties. We have enough of a
variety. It’s the customs that more than double the cost of purchasing
I also could add in the high taxes on gasoline, smartphones and
many other items, but I would need a whole page to list them – while cabinet
ministers waste our money on their own pleasures.
CHAIM GINSBERG Ma’aleh
Creative solutions Sir, – With regard to “Tamnu- Shata: Knesset must
discuss Rosen harassment allegations” (April 29), the Knesset cannot solve the
problem of sexual harassment by getting women to complain to the
Women’s lives can be ruined permanently by submitting such a
complaint, which might take years to be fully investigated, with no guarantee
that any conclusive results will emerge.
What is required are some
creative solutions from the Knesset. I would suggest the following: 1. All cases
of sexual harassment should be investigated behind closed doors. The right of
the public to know can be sacrificed to protect the lives of brave women who are
prepared to come forward.
2. The press should be restrained from
publishing alleged sexual harassment crimes until there is a
There is a danger that both sides will suffer no end,
especially if the alleged crimes come to nothing or the complaints are not made
in good faith.
3. A system whereby outside auditors who are completely
independent and in no way under the control of even top management should be
able to carry out an investigation only after they have established grounds for
an official complaint should the police become involved.
should be required to have internal auditors who can recognize unsatisfactory
behavior by members of the staff and who should report to the outside
There should be surveillance cameras that can detect
The staff will also know that they, too, can be
5. Rules of conduct and behavior should be laid down and
accepted as a condition of employment. These should include consent in advance
to forfeit benefits if these conditions are not strictly followed.
rules should protect both sexes, as there is always the possibility of
DAVID GOSHEN Kiryat
Ono Two nights of fire
– With regard to “Rethinking Lag Ba’omer” (Editorial, April 29), just as we have
safe, community-sponsored fireworks displays for Independence Day, we should
have safe, community-sponsored bonfires for Lag Ba’omer.
Anyone having an
unauthorized bonfire should be fined.
How much better it would be to have
hundreds of policemen handing out fines than to have firemen attending to
hundreds of blazes and hospitals to hundreds of casualties.
could be held after Shabbat, so there is no need to extend this minor
RUTH ZIMBERG Safed
Sir, – Maybe I’m missing something, but
weighing the two sides – having bonfires on Lag Ba’omer and not having them – I
don’t see any great benefit in creating a dangerous opportunity for personal and
property damage, especially during a hot and dry season, as we’re experiencing
I would hope that religious educators are the first to weigh in and
let everyone know that from a Torah perspective (and, of course, common sense),
loss of life is the last thing we would want. Therefore, a small memorial candle
in memory of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai should be lit instead of risking life and
STUART PILICHOWSKI Mevaseret Zion
Sir, – This year the bonfires
started Thursday afternoon, with a kindergarten party on a parcel of open land
opposite our apartment. On Thursday night there were two fires going at either
Then on Saturday night we were kept awake until 12.45 a.m. by guitar
playing and singing. The fact that the music was quite pleasant did help,
because shouting “Sheket, b’vakasha” (quiet, please) proved useless.
on Sunday night the real Lag Ba’omer bonfire was lit. The windows had to be kept
shut because of the smoke and dirt, but what really unsettled me was the wind,
as there was tall grass nearby that could easily have caught fire.
there has to be some rethinking done about this festival.
SILVERSTONE Herzliya Pituah
Sir, – Once again our Chief Rabbinate demonstrated
its complete irrelevancy when it announced that Lag Ba’omer this year would be
celebrated on Sunday night in order to discourage the desecration of
Do our esteemed rabbis not know that those who observe Shabbat
would not start their bonfire before the end of Shabbat, and that those who do
not would not pay any attention to the announcement? Did they not see the
plethora of bonfires both before and after the end of Shabbat? This year we had
to suffer two nights of choking air without any reduction in the desecration of
Shabbat. Another own-goal! ELLIE MORRIS Asseret
Not just the secular
Susan Hattis Rolef (“Lapid and the haredim,” Think About It, April 29) presents
Yair Lapid’s maiden Knesset speech as reflecting the consensus of the majority
of the Israeli public, expressing “what most secular Israelis firmly believe
in.” However, she makes a significant error of omission.
What about the
other religious Jews, those who are not haredim? The modern Orthodox also
support Lapid’s views that “it is the duty of the parents to provide for their
It is not only the secular population in Israel that believes
in assuming responsibility for the economic well being of their
DONNA TZINAMON Asseret
Careful with words
Sir. – I write in
response to the letter from Jacek Olejnik, first secretary at Poland’s embassy
in Tel Aviv, regarding use of the term “Polish death camp” in reference to
Auschwitz (“Historical error,” Letters, April 29).
opposes attributions to Auschwitz as being a “Polish” instead of Nazi venture. I
fully understand his point when he says: “I hope you agree that words are highly
significant and once something goes public, it may build or damage a
As a matter of fact, we ourselves have the very same problem!
The media refer to “terrorists” as “militants” and Judea and Samaria as the
“West Bank,” and make other references that have political and social
Using the term “West Bank” for Judea and Samaria makes as
much sense as saying New York City is on the west bank of the Atlantic Ocean.
Yet the geopolitical ramifications are very high.
I agree with Olejnik.
The media must be more vigilant since words are powerful and words create facts
that have the potential to distort the truth.
ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV Ma’aleh