Beds and ice cream
Sir, – The puerile and sniveling manner in which both Susan
Hattis-Rolef (“Poverty in Israel – and the prime minister’s expenses,” Think
About It, Comment and Features, May 20) and Jeff Barak (“Israel’s modern-day
royal family,” Reality Check, May 20) decried Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu’s need to be well-rested when arriving in London at an important
gathering of the world’s “greats,” or his penchant for a certain flavor of ice
cream, is appalling, and smacks of hostile envy.
Surely, they both must
understand that others, not Netanyahu himself, control the purse-strings that
compensate him for the tireless effort he makes on behalf of his nation?
Sir, – One has to wonder why Jeff Barak finds it necessary
to mention Prof. Benzion Netanyahu z”l while correctly criticizing the
Netanyahus for their reckless spending. One thing has nothing to do with the
Barak is correct on the latter and way off base on the
The late Prof. Benzion Netanyahu was forced to spend his
professional life teaching in the States because the “liberal” academic
establishment here in Israel refused to offer him a teaching position. Prof.
Benzion Netanyahu was very active in the states during the Holocaust trying to
save Jewish lives with the late Hillel Kook, and doesn’t need to explain his
whereabouts to anyone, especially Barak.
Sir, – If all expenses from the prime minister are paid for by the state and
with the money of the taxpayers, why is Netanyahu receiving a salary? Netanyahu
can follow the example of the mayor of Jerusalem, who receives only one shekel
per month for his salary. Maybe during his next four years in office, Netanyahu
can work without a salary, and instead, his salary can be given to six needy
families, giving each NIS 5,000 a month.
MARIO SILVIO SOIFER
– In regards to “Comptroller to probe PM’s financial issues this week,” (May
20), may I respectfully draw the prime minister’s attention to two examples,
which could well guide him in his use of the public purse for his personal
comfort: 1. The fact that David Ben-Gurion used a Jeep to travel about is well
2. US president Harry Truman kept postage stamps in his desk, for
his personal correspondence.
Sir, – Gone are the
days when Israel’s prime ministers set a clear and unmistakable example of
living modestly. David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, and Golda Meir must be
spinning in their graves. Nowadays, we do not elect our heads of state, we
And, he never even offered me a taste of all that
pistachio ice cream!
Sir – Susan Hattis-Rolef
wrote that the mean income is the one at which “half the population is above
this figure and half below.”
She then went on to state that “the mean
monthly salary in Israel... is somewhere in the range of NIS 5,500-NIS 6,000”
whereas “the average salary is around NIS 8,000-NIS 9,000.”
and the Jerusalem Pos
t staff have confused mean and median. Mean income is
another term for average income, and is determined by adding the salaries of all
wage-earners and then dividing by the number of wage-earners. It is the median
income, not the mean income, that is one which half the population is above and
half is below. At least she’s correct in realizing that if the income disparity
between rich and poor is high, the average income may be significantly higher
than the median income.
Rehovot Talking teeth
Sir, – I
appreciated the very concise report in The Jerusalem Post
fluoridation of the water supply. (“Health minister attacks dental health
protection based on false information,” Comment and Features, May 20).
a retired dental practitioner from the UK, I lived through the time when
fluoride was introduced into the water supply and watched over the years as the
mouths of children improved from almost untreatable dental disease to a very
controllable condition. The anti-fluoridationists used the same arguments then
that we hear today.
Excessive amounts of fluoride are dangerous, but we
are talking about the addition of one part per million to the water supply. This
minimal addition to the water supply does not seem to have been emphasized. The
writers of the report should be commended for its excellence.
new health minister should also read it and take note of its
Sir, – I was very happy to see
your article about the health minister’s appalling threat to stop the compulsory
fluoridation of water by municipalities in Israel.
The article was a
joint effort signed by Ted Tulchinsky, Jonathan Mann, Harold Sgan- Cohen, Elliot
M. Berry, Rifaat Safadi, and Ronny Starkshall, and their list of credentials at
the end of the article indicate that they must be amongst the most knowledgeable
and outstanding authorities on the subject in Israel.
Against this we
have a laywoman who supported her decision with the most ill-informed and
ignorant set of arguments – all of which have long since been discredited and
discarded by worldwide health authorities.
Israel’s continuing successful
progress in reducing dental cavities is clearly reflected in the statistics ever
since fluoride was introduced about 10 years ago.
Mrs. German, you should
call on the authors of this article to come and discuss the matter with you! If
not, you are liable to bring about a catastrophe in terms of ill-health and
suffering in the lives of Israel’s future generations
– A number of medical professionals in Israel have attacked Yael German, the new
health minister, claiming that she has made decisions based on false
information. I think that this is an undeserved allegation. Although the good
doctors repeatedly invoke the United States as a preeminent decisor of health,
they might be unaware of the inappropriate relationship between the FDA, the
pharmaceutical/medical industry, and big business, which unfortunately drives
many US health decisions and practices. I, therefore, find it ill-advised to
give carte-blanche credence to a lot of what is promulgated as safe and
effective by the United States these days.
I also imagine that the
doctors are not aware of the recent Harvard School of Public Health study which
determined that fluoride lowers children’s IQs, nor did they review any of the
information and references that Dr.
Moolenburgh provided in
advertisements in The Jerusalem Post, on Friday May 3 and Friday, May 10, about
the problems he and his medical colleagues discovered with fluoridation and why
he fought against fluoridation in Holland.
I am very disappointed that
these doctors can’t understand that others’ studies, observations, and opinions
might be valid, too. One doesn’t need to be a medical expert to understand, as
German does, that it is bad practice (and in any other context would be illegal)
to medicate an entire country without consent, without consideration of the
dosage each person might actually be getting, nor consideration of other medical
conditions that might make such medication harmful. Dental health is not the
only consideration we citizens have.
Rehovot CORRECTION The
op-ed in yesterday’s paper by Ari Briggs (“Et tu, EU?”) contained elements of a
speech given by Caroline Glick in London in January. The writer apologizes for
not crediting Glick for her comments in the article.