November 23: Not rocket science

Whatever dubious benefits accrue from a continued freeze on construction east of the “Green Line,” a drop in housing cost cannot be one.

November 23, 2010 00:54

letters 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Not rocket science

Sir, – Your November 21 editorial (“Deflating the housing bubble”) goes on at great length about possible causes for the rapid rise in the price of housing. But, either inadvertently or by design, something rather obvious is left out. Here in Ma’aleh Adumim, the price of an apartment keeps going up because lots of people want to move here and there are no new housing starts. It’s simple supply and demand, something our prime minister keenly understands.

Whatever dubious benefits accrue from a continued freeze on construction east of the “Green Line,” a drop in housing cost cannot be one. The housing bubble will turn into an everinflatable balloon.

Ma’ale Adumim

Terrorism not

Sir, – In attempting to equate IDF actions with those of terrorists, Matteo Dagostino (“Israeli Terrorism,” Letters, November 21) entirely misses the mark.

The difference is between a professional army’s ability to accurately target terrorists without harming innocent bystanders, and a group of terrorists whose sole aim is to kill innocent civilians.

That is the reason why we in Israel take such pride in the capabilities of our armed forces.


Sir, – Israel’s actions were pinpointed to specific persons directly involved in terrorism against Israelis, and therefore should be classified as selfdefense, whereas terrorists nearly always aim indiscriminately at innocent civilian populations.


Sour on Strauss

Sir, – I don’t know whether I’m more livid or more disgusted by the Strauss Group’s capitulation to the BDS movement (“After boycott threats, Strauss removes support for IDF from English website,” November 19).

In an age when we are struggling to fight increasing attempts to warp facts and demonize Israel and the IDF, how could the Strauss Group – referred to as one of Israel's greatest economic successes – give in to this threat, and so easily? I think the true boycott of Strauss products should take place here, initiated by Israeli consumers. Unfortunately, though, given the extent of the Strauss Group’s Israeli holdings, such a boycott would probably be unrealistic and undoable.


Sir, – I just read about the executive decision of Ofra Strauss to remove mention of support for the Golani Brigade from the Strauss Group’s English- language website.

I am ashamed and appalled at this lack of national pride for the IDF, whose soldiers risk their lives every day so that companies like Strauss can continue to prosper.

The group in question will never buy Strauss products, and it only shows them how we Israelis lack dignity and care only about making a buck. If anything, the company should continue to strongly support our troops on its international website.

Maybe it’s time for the citizens of Israel to stand up and boycott Strauss for its lack of sensitivity to us.


Grammatically, the wrong side

Sir, – Grammar mistakes in The Jerusalem Post are usually, and thankfully, kept to a minimum. It was with quite a shock, therefore, to be hit with the headline “Didn’t we used to be on the same side?” (Editor’s Notes, November 19).

As prevalent as it might be in speech, to see “used” rather than the base form “use” in an interrogative past sentence is as shocking and as glaring a mistake as would be “Didn’t we played on the same side?” RONALD GREEN Ramat Hasharon Meyerbeer, please Sir, – In response to “Wagner gets his first Israeli fan club” (November 16) and to readers’ responses, how about Giacomo Meyerbeer as a antidote? A protege and lifelong friend of Rossini, and one of the first worldrenowned Jewish artists, Meyerbeer pioneered many techniques of romantic opera that Wagner later appropriated and took credit for.

Indeed, the influential Meyerbeer helped the young Wagner get his early operas (Rienzi and The Flying Dutchman) staged in Germany, only to be bitten later by Wagner’s anti- Semitism. He wrote a lot of first-rate music and was an expert at orchestration, but later fell into oblivion directly because of Wagner’s vicious and manipulative essays.

Although Meyerbeer’s major operas are very difficult to sing and expensive to stage by today’s standards, it would be great to see his work revived and restored to somewhere near the place it held during the early 19th century.

San Diego, California

Tolerance starts early

Sir, – David Newman (“Educating for tolerance,” Borderline Views, November 16) has a sensible attitude to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Despite the leaders and politicians who try to bring about normalcy and agreement, common people can do it in a more natural way if they believe in it and really want peace. Similarly, democracy cannot be imposed from the outside – the people themselves must demand it from the inside.

Therefore, instead of teaching young Arabs to hate Israel and grow up to be martyrs, they must learn to speak Hebrew and make friends with Jewish children.

The same applies for Jewish Israelis who should play with and get to know Arab children.

The process may take more than one generation, but by learning that love is better than hate the people themselves will win the peace agreement they desperately need.

Herzliya Pituah

Not just prayers
Sir, – Because of the current drought, many people all over Israel have been praying for rain, which is wonderful. But just as the Israelites had to enter the Red Sea before Hashem split it, each of us needs to do everything we can each day to save our precious water.

1. Teach your children to turn off faucets.

2. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth; shorten your shower; while you heat the water, catch it in a bucket and use it for plants.

3. Fill a large plastic container with water and place it in your toilet tank – this saves 5,000 gallons a year! And put food coloring in your toilet tank to see if you have a leak.

4. When washing dishes, don’t let the water run while rinsing – fill a basin with soapy water and another with rinse water.

5. Wash fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.

6. Install an instant hot water dispenser near the kitchen sink – save water and energy.

7. Install water-saving shower heads.

8. Insulate hot water pipes.

9. Share water conservation tips with friends and neighbors around you and online.

10. Encourage your children to share what they’ve learned about conservation with their friends and teachers.

11. Make suggestions to your employer about saving water and energy at work.

These are just a few conservation tips that can help you and your children make Israel and the world more the place Hashem wants it to be.


Recognize historic site

Sir, – One of the notable events in the history of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel was the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961. I was therefore surprised to see that there is no plaque on the Nissim Bachar Center/Beit Ha’am on Jerusalem’s Rehov Bezalel to commemorate the fact that the trial took place in that building.

Many sites around the country have informative plaques on their walls. Surely, the site of the Eichmann trial deserves to be noted, too?
Carefree, Arizona

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