August 16: Didn't work then

Had Israel stayed the course of socialism, it would have been a bankrupt country incapable of taking care of its citizenry and defense.

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
Didn’t work then
Sir, – The writer of “On Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, praise for country’s protesters” (August 14) made it sound as if the kibbutz movement’s problems were mostly a matter of lifestyle changes. Completely omitted were the economic failures that required government rescues and forgiveness for massive debts.
A kibbutznik’s lifestyle, if measured in actual money, was underwritten and subsidized by the country’s non-kibbutzniks, who on average had lower salaries and a lower standard of living! The article goes on to quote leaders of the ongoing social justice protests about their goals – a return to kibbutz values, a return to the socialist dream and a longed-for welfare state. They blame capitalism for neglecting the individual and the needs of all the people – which demonstrates their unbelievable depth of ignorance.
No one has taught them even the rudiments of economics or the history of political economics.
They have never learned that in systems large (the USSR and Communist China) and small (kibbutzim), socialism is nonviable and a proven method for reducing most of the citizenry to misery and a lack of choices.
Had Israel stayed the course of socialism, it would have been a bankrupt country incapable of taking care of its citizenry and defense.


There’s good henna
Sir, – I saw “Six-year-old suffers chemical burn after henna tattoo” (August 14), about allergic reactions to henna especially among children.
It is important to point out the difference between natural henna and black henna. Natural henna has been around for centuries and is made from natural products. You should not get any allergic reaction unless, of course, you are allergic to natural products. Black henna mixes henna with chemicals; hence the allergic reaction.
I am a henna artist and have trained for many years. I make my own henna paste and do not add any chemicals. I have three children, and the youngest (who is three) has never had any chemical reaction.
I regularly tell my clients of the dangers of black henna and ask them to avoid such stalls. Usually, these stalls use stencils rather than free-hand artistry.
It’s a shame that henna has been given a bad name. It is important to inform the public of the differences, as henna can be wonderful body art if used in the right way.

Maintain perspective
Sir, – Regarding “1,600-unit plan for Ramat Shlomo draws world, Palestinian ire” (August 12), a sovereign nation can build on its land at the discretion of municipal authorities and within the laws of the land. The ire of the world needs to be directed at Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Assad’s murderous rampage, starvation in Africa and the myriad other major world problems, which if mentioned would take up a whole column in this section.
The 1,600 housing units are no less important to this country’s natural growth than housing in other lands is to those countries.
It seems that those objecting to this move are facing many of their own challenges and perhaps need a respite, thus seeking out the traditional whipping dog, Israel.
We need to maintain perspective and then do what is best for the Jewish nation.

Market turmoil
Sir, – As an experienced investor for over 25 years, I was shocked by Aaron Katsman’s column on investing in a stock market that is out of control (“The opportunity of a lifetime?,” Your Investments, August 11).
It is a time of turmoil, financial chaos and bankrupt countries. Is Katsman trying to cash in on naive first-time investors as the world markets implode?


How about tenants?
Sir, – Regarding the resentment felt in Israel toward those who buy second homes and then leave them empty for most of the time, these people have bought apartments in blocks built after old blocks were demolished, thus improving the quality of the country’s housing stock.
Indeed, much of our renewal and rebuilding has only been carried out because of foreign money.
So what is preferable – decrepit old buildings or new property?

Sir, – In “Forgetting September” (Encountering Peace, August 10), Gershon Baskin presents suggestions for Israeli actions regarding the Palestinians’ planned request for UN recognition, which seems sure to garner majority support.
Some creative thinking by Israel, beyond automatic rejection, is long overdue. I totally agree that Israel would be wise to enter into the process with a forceful, positive suggestion of its own. This would shift the position of negativity to the other side.
Encountering the positive, optimistic and creative ideas in Baskin’s columns is usually stimulating.
Unfortunately, though, in his very first sentence in this column, he loses the Palestinians as well as their Arab and Muslim allies.
Although willingness for “two states” has been heard from the Palestinian leadership in the past few years, the three words that should complete the concept – “for two peoples” – are anathema to them.
Moshav Aminadav

Down, Fala
Sir, – It's not always wise to compare the US to Israel, but we can learn some things.
During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt held periodic “fireside chats” over the radio to explain to the people matters relating to progress of the war, unemployment, national security and defense, economic issues and unemployment, and so forth. His successor, Harry S. Truman, had a famous sign on his desk that said “The Buck Stops Here.”
Binyamin Netanyahu is an orator, economic expert and our elected prime minister. It’s time for him to take to the airwaves on a regular basis and explain to us, his people, what the government is doing to solve the many problems we face today, from both inside and outside our beloved country. It would help immeasurably.


Goes down easy...
Sir, – Why am I spending more time, lately, reading The Jerusalem Post? First, it’s your well-written editorials that include factual information not readily available elsewhere.
Second, it’s your objective analyses of current issues.
Third (and the reason for this letter), it’s your interviews on hot topics with accredited experts, such as Prof. Tamir Sheafer of Hebrew University (“Protests ‘a revolution from a generation we thought was unable to make a revolution,” August 11).
This article will help us evaluate the government’s responses to the social protests in the coming weeks. Simultaneously, it could help to unify the protests’ self-appointed leaders and thereby increase the odds and speed for constructive changes in “applied economics.”
This list could easily be extended but it’s too long for a letter to the editor!

...maybe too easy?
Sir, – Your letters editor prints letters from the same people day after day, and very often letters of no interest whatsoever or inane rubbish! I am seriously considering taking an emetic or canceling my subscription.
Mevaseret Zion