July 21: Who's to blame?

I would like to hope that the housing and rental crisis will force the Knesset to take serious, effective and quick legal action.

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
Who’s to blame?
Sir, – While the prime minister should be lauded for his parliamentary call to alleviate the high cost of housing (“Netanyahu calls on all parties to help solve housing crisis,” July 19), it is unlikely that the government will accomplish anything.
The Jerusalem Post has repeatedly published serious and provocative financial commentary that has described in painful detail how the Israeli consumer is overcharged for everything he buys, overtaxed by the government and mercilessly abused by the banks. At the same time, the average Israeli worker is underpaid and barely able to finish the month with his head above water.
The Post’s economic experts have diagnosed the cause and specifically stated that it is largely due to cartel manipulation of bank charges, price-fixing, and crony capitalism by the two major Israeli banks, Leumi and Hapoalim. Of course, they did not accomplish this without the avid assistance of a compliant Israeli political class.
As an Israeli worker and consumer, I would like to hope that the housing and rental crisis, following on the heels of the cottage cheese crisis, will force the Knesset to take serious, effective and quick legal action to rein in Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim immediately (although I am not optimistic).
Sir, – Why wasn’t the housing crisis foreseen a couple of years ago? It’s not new. Young people have had difficulty coming up with rent money for a long time.
It didn’t start yesterday.
The Housing Ministry is still going ahead with some 335 units in the West Bank – as if their need was so great they couldn’t wait.
There will be an explosion one day. People, especially young ones, can’t and won’t go on living this way forever.
Every right
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick (“Israel’s only two options,” Our World, July 19) iterated what I have been saying since 1967. Having won a defensive war against intractable enemies who throughout these 43 years have not changed their chronic and persistent hatred of the Jews, we have every moral, legal and military right to retain Judea and Samaria.
Not one concession have our enemies been prepared to make, nor have they recognized our historical connection with this land.
As for the fear of reaction by the Western powers, we have always been labeled as intransigent and uncompromising despite the unilateral and stupid withdrawals we have made. Even today, despite the Arab refusal to even talk to us, the West wants to impose boycotts on us and make some of our politicians persona non grata.
Throughout all these years and despite the subtle and even open anti-Semitism, Israel has prospered and become a bastion of success and achievements in all fields – economic, scientific and military – and in all this we have retained our morality and purity of arms.
In light of all this we should implement what is right and good for us and disregard any criticism.
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick advocates annexing Judea and Samaria, and for very convincing reasons. But she pussyfoots around the issue of franchise for the Arab inhabitants. She skirts the subject by saying that Israel must adopt a “direct, district” form of representation. But that’s as far as she goes.
The conventional wisdom is that when you annex a territory, you are compelled to grant franchise to the people who live there. It’s called the doctrine of “one man, one vote.” In my memory, the United States annexed Hawaii and Alaska, thereby granting franchise to everyone – native Hawaiians and Eskimos included.
Assuming that the Arabs of Judea and Samaria vote together, the Right would practically vanish from the legislative map. It is also widely accepted that citizens have a right to visit any part of their country, so what happens to our security fence? If Glick rejects the conventional wisdom on this difficult issue, her readers are entitled to learn why.
Serial pessimist
Sir, – For the sake of honesty and accuracy, let’s set the record straight: Gershon Baskin has not been an optimist since he started writing for The Jerusalem Post (“What gives me hope,” Encountering Peace, July 19).
Baskin has consistently predicted gloom and grief for every and all Israeli peace plan that failed to conform to his myopic views.
The real optimists are those who remain true to the Zionist dream and continue to build and create despite the hatred, terror and death that have characterized the response to all our goodwill gestures.
An ad too far
Sir, – I was alarmed to see that The Jerusalem Post printed a large ad taken out by Yad L’Achim, the so-called protectors of Jews against messianic and Christian believers (July 15, Page 11). With the past record of such organizations (attacks and daily persecution), how did you see fit for such an advert to be placed in your newspaper? I am all for freedom of speech and the right to follow one’s chosen religion, but this should apply to all citizens of Israel, and not to a select band of selfappointed “protectors.”
I am so happy to be living in a country were we tolerate all religious beliefs, regardless of origin.
Shame on you!
STEVE JOSEPH Liverpool, England
Sir, – Having loved visiting Israel many times in the past 30 years and enjoying the freedom of this wonderful land, my wife and I are shocked by the hateful and misleading ad regarding your Messianic population. They are some of your most faithful and productive citizens.
Would you print the same ad with “ultra-Orthodox” substituted for “Messianic?” We are standing with and praying for Israel against her enemies because of our faith in Yeshua the Messiah!
Sir, – The Yad L’Achim ad is hate-speech. In allowing it, The Jerusalem Post has started down a path that will inevitably lead to the open, legalized murder of individuals deemed targets of the organization. It bears far too similar a resemblance to Nazi propaganda of the 1930s.
Oy vey, indeed
Sir, – After reading three days of letters in The Jerusalem Post, I was struck by how very similar they were to letters written four and five years ago. I was amazed that the more things change, the more they remain the same.
The Arabs surrounding Israel are still teaching their children to hate Jews and Israelis. They don’t want peace with Israel – they want Israel with all of its improvements and to get rid of all the Israelis.
The corruption of Palestinian leaders is endemic and the Western world sends them billions to perpetrate their corruption while continuing to criticize and demean Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.
My conclusion to all this is oy vey!

Far-Left French politician Olivier Besancenot was not aboard the French-flagged Dignity when it was intercepted by the navy, as was reported by the Post on July 20. Besancenot did sail with the yacht from France to Greece with the intention of taking part in the flotilla, but went back to France after Greek authorities decided to keep the flotilla from setting sail.
The photograph of Tzipi Livni, Romi Gorodski and Smadar Rinot in the July 20 “Grapevine” was taken by Nimrod Abramov.