June 22: Sour indeed

Add another element to the cottage cheese discussion: half-liter and one-liter sizes.

Sir, – Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has aroused the ire of manufacturers by suggesting that they be exposed to competition by allowing imports (“Steinitz may remove import barriers for dairy products,” June 20).
The Manufacturers Association president, Shraga Brosh, objects. Not, of course, because this might cut into the bloated profits of the cheese companies, which, coincidentally, all charge the same price. Not at all; he is concerned that this could result in unemployment for their hardworking employees. I am impressed by his altruism.
If only all our executives were so concerned about the well-being of the country instead of merely worrying about themselves! Now that Brosh has assured us of the fine moral standards of our oligopolists, we can relax the boycott, forget about nasty ideas like competition, and go back to business as usual. As for Steinitz, I'm sure that enough money placed in the right hands will ensure that his political career can be cut short.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – Add another element to the cottage cheese discussion: half-liter and one-liter sizes.
Larger containers enable lower unit costs, less packaging waste and serving-size flexibility.
Sir, – Recently, the price to the consumer of a one-liter bag of 3 percent Tnuva milk increased by 5%, from NIS 4.75 to NIS 5.00. I trust the herd owner received a proportionate increase on his “target price” of NIS 2.1491 per liter.
Bet Zayit
Sir, – Your correspondents cite examples of outrageous price differentials of Israeli-produced goods that are available abroad at considerably lower prices despite the carriage charges.
Some years ago I received a call from a regular client who informed me that he was in a high-end ceramics shop in Amsterdam that was selling Victorian reproduction tiles identical to what I was selling in London, but at a third less. I telephoned the sales director of the tile company and asked whether the other shop was selling second-quality goods.
He reassured me that they were indeed first-quality tiles.
When asked why the domestic prices he was charging were obviously double those he charged for exports, he replied with a chuckle, “Because we can.”
Small-screen heroes
Sir, – I would like to extend a huge yasher koach (well done) to actor Kevin McKidd and the other visiting US actors participating in the America’s Voices in Israel trip (“Cast members from 3 US TV series wrap up tour of ‘so much history,’” June 20).
These brave souls said no to stereotyping and to what I am sure is ongoing pressure to boycott Israel in every way by a very active anti-Israel Left in the US and all over the world.
We should thank them for their lack of prejudice against Israel and for getting to know us, and ask them not only to take home their true impressions of our beloved holy land, but to send us their friends – and even our foes – so they may see for themselves what Israel and Israelis are really made of.
Beit Shemesh
Jesus and Jews
Sir, – The article “Jesus for Jews” (Comment & Features, June 20) comes very close to being a plea for Jews for Jesus.
Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the support for Israel by evangelicals and I am all for Jewish-Christian friendship. But if the price is a Jewish acceptance of Jesus as a prophet, failed messiah or tzaddik, as the article suggests, it is not one I am prepared to pay.
Sir, – When discussing dialogue between Christians and Jews, it is imperative to point out that this is profoundly different from an attempt to establish congruity between Judaism and Christianity. The first is involved with the relationship between people of different faiths and is highly desirable, while the second seeks to explore areas of theological commonality and will ultimately end in obfuscation and perhaps ill will.
Considering that Jews until most recently were accused of the virulent crime of deicide, tortuous attempts to squeeze Jesus into Jewish theology are at best rather amusing.
There are indeed many candidates of Jewish origin who have caused paradigm changes in world thought and behavior and would legitimately fit the category of “failed messiah,” such as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and the not-so-failed Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Petah Tikva
Sour indeed
Sir, – Thomas Friedman never fails to make a suggestion for the Middle East that will definitely fail.
In his June 20 “What to do with lemons” (Comment & Features), he suggests that we update UN Resolution 181, which was the partition plan of November 29, 1947. The only problem is that the Arab/Muslim world never accepted that plan because it included a Jewish state.
The fact that the Arab world never even thought of creating a Palestinian Arab state seems never to have occurred to Friedman. He also forgets to mention that the Arabs rejected the Peel Plan of 1938, the Barak Plan of 2000 and the Olmert Plan of 2008.
The lemonade doesn’t look that tempting after all.
Petah Tikva
Simple phone call
Sir, – Yesterday I had to go to Hadassah Ein Kerem for a medical procedure – which I was fortunate enough to receive, as the doctors in that particular department were working.
While waiting, I could not help but notice the many clerks sitting around with nothing to do.
I got into a conversation with a severely disabled lady in a wheelchair who was obviously very distressed. She had traveled some distance and with great difficulty to an outpatient clinic that was closed due to the strike.
I am fully in sympathy with the reasons for the strike but am wondering why it would not have been too much trouble for one of the many idle clerical staff to have phoned this unfortunate lady to inform her of the cancelation, in the same way I was phoned to tell me that I should come for my appointment.
Enforcement the key
Sir, – I am encouraged by recent legislation introduced in or passed by the Knesset to restrict smoking and sales of cigarettes (“Cigarette vending machines to be banned starting in 2014,” May 31). These efforts will improve the health of all of us, both smokers and non-smokers.
Meanwhile, greater enforcement of existing regulations is needed. At the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, prominent nosmoking signs are posted in the area where passengers board buses, but they are ignored. At the Ramat Gan stadium during the Bob Dylan concert, the monitors flashed announcements that smoking was prohibited.
These admonitions were ignored by patrons and guards alike. (If the guards and ushers were as zealous about enforcing this healthy initiative as they were about the prohibition on bringing bottles into the stadium, the evening would have been more pleasant.) Laws are already on the books to forbid sales of cigarettes to minors. Inspectors should draft undercover teenagers to attempt to buy cigarettes from these machines and, if they are successful, the courts should confiscate them for having been used to violate the law.
Similarly, existing laws can be invoked to cite those who throw cigarette butts on the ground for littering.
The authorities can improve our health and reduce litter by enforcing laws already on the books.