Ire at Herzog..

It is amazing that people with no mandate can negotiate the willful dismantling of the Land of Israel. There were countries 70 and 80 years ago that called such individuals a “fifth column.”

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Ire at Herzog...
I am totally infuriated at having read “Zionist Union confirms Herzog met with PA over pre-1967 conditions” (June 21) and learning that opposition leader Isaac Herzog negotiated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas prior to the last elections.
It is amazing that people with no mandate can negotiate the willful dismantling of the Land of Israel. There were countries 70 and 80 years ago that called such individuals a “fifth column.”
What is worrying is that these people keep on saying they want a Jewish and democratic state. It reminds me of another period in history, when the Holy Roman Empire was declared not holy, not Roman and not an empire.
Such an Israel will be neither Jewish nor a democracy.
Kiryat Ata
...and Newman
I wish to express my sincere thanks to Caroline B. Glick for bringing to my attention the horrific comments posted on Facebook by Ofer Newman, Isaac Herzog’s personal spokesman and spokesman for the Zionist Union (“Explaining the Israeli Left,” Our World, June 21).
The fact that Herzog claims to have “yelled” at him is not enough punishment for this, and the claim by Newman that he didn’t mean what he wrote serves only to make his comments even more disgusting.
Tel Mond
Cri de coeur
Plaudits to Reuven Hammer for his prophetic cri de coeur on behalf of all of us who have moved from embarrassment to shame to rage at the ongoing disgraceful behavior of the “official” rabbinate (“‘These evil people...,’” Comment & Features, June 21).
Three caustic reminders to these politically-empowered “guardians” of our religious tradition: 1. Does the Chief Rabbinate really hold with the classical Catholic tenet extra ecclesiam nulla salus, that there is no salvation outside the politically empowered Orthodox establishment? 2. Surely, these learned, politically empowered clerics must have heard of Baron Acton’s famous cautionary axiom, that “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
3. Have they not absorbed the ancient Talmudic insight of Shemaya (Mishna Aboth 1:10) “to love work and to hate lordship”? It is ironic that the word for “lordship” in the Hebrew text is rabbanut, which also means rabbinate, and ironic, indeed, that most Israeli Jews, whether halachically recognized or not, subscribe to Shemaya’s teaching religiously!
Pro-Barak, Ya’alon
I refer to an increasing number of letters to The Jerusalem Post, most recently two that appeared on June 21 (“Please fade away”), attacking former prime minister and defense minister Ehud Barak and former defense minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon. I find these letters and the opinions expressed in them most offending and factually wrong.
One of the letters blames Barak for the second intifada, and also for the “failure” of the 2006 Second Lebanon War and 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, events that took place when he was a private citizen. The same is blamed on Ya’alon.
I would like to ask the writers of letters criticizing these former generals: What have you done for this country? While self-sacrifice and total dedication to dangerous and complicated jobs do not automatically qualify one to run a country, both men are certainly fully qualified.
Barak obtained his first degree in physics and math at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a post graduate degree in systems analysis from Stanford University. As a private person, he has been advising foreign governments and large corporations on global politics.
Ya’alon is a graduate of the University of Haifa in political studies. He was a fellow at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, and a senior fellow at the Shalem Center’s Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies.
Their academic accomplishments and experience in making decisions of strategic importance are certainly very impressive and relevant. Their only disadvantage is that they are not involved in the power game of party politics.
It is up to the electorate to weigh their dedication to the State of Israel and their qualifications against the empty promises of the run-of-the-mill politicians in positions of power these days.
Heartwarming headline
Throughout the invaluable Ben-Gurion’s Israel by Benjamin Appel (1965), settlers and settlements appear as necessary to “Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth...” (Isaiah, 40:111-5,6).
Thus, your front-page headline “Government approves NIS 74m.
for settlements” (June 20) warms so many grateful Jewish and non-Jewish hearts everywhere.
Agent vs web
The major advantage of using a travel agent instead of a webbased company is the personal touch an agent has with the client.
In “Travel consultancy – it’s not brain surgery” (The Travel Adviser, June 19), Mark Feldman makes a convincing case for clients to use a web-based company.
A five-minute check on Expedia revealing better fares than Mr.
Feldman can supply should not indicate to him that the client has time, but that his travel agency is losing the battle to Internet agencies.
Such battles came be overcome if the agency can compensate for this disadvantage by offering hotels better suited to clients’ needs, especially in the case of long-term clients.
Mr. Feldman uses a good portion of his column pontificating about the criteria for selecting a hotel. As to the criteria for selecting a travel agent, apparently he is in the dark.
At the end, he insults the client’s “mental capacity.” This is hardly a model client-retention solution.
Coming tragedy
I refer to “New-home starts decline 8% in first quarter” (Business & Finance, June 16), which reports: “This is the fourth consecutive quarter that newhome starts have fallen.” This is a tragedy in the making.
Successive governments have tried to tackle the shortage of housing. I respectfully suggest that it is not a shortage of land that is preventing new housing starts, but decreasing demand.
This is due to two main factors – the high cost of housing and the high taxes that are imposed on investors who want to buy apartments for investment.
There is a perception that entrepreneurs who want to invest in property are “bad” and must pay for the privilege of owning additional property.
They are taxed when they buy an additional property, and they are taxed on the profit when they sell it. This has the effect of discouraging marginal buyers (i.e., those who want to invest in an additional unit but cannot do so due to the extra purchase tax they would have to pay) and discouraging the selling of these units, because the seller says: “Why should I sell it and pay 25 percent of my profit (after linkage) in taxes? I will just keep it and keep on collecting rent.”
Decreasing new housing starts will have a serious effect on the economy – fewer jobs (mostly for Arabs), less demand for building materials, less demand for bonds, etc. It is time that the logic in this country changes.
Wealthy people should not be looked upon as “villains.”
Wealthy people, provided that they have acquired their wealth legitimately, are the people who make this country tick. They create jobs. They donate. They build.
Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg. (And Arab workers who are employed are much less of a danger than those who are not.)