March 26: Socialism for the rich

If policymakers can find ways to "prop up" failing factories and giant companies, why can't they find ways to retain the thousands of jobs we are losing to other countries?

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Socialism for the rich Sir, - Larry Derfner's "Let them eat egg roll" (March 20) was strong and forthright, especially his coining the phrase "socialism for the rich." If economists and policymakers in Israel, as in the US, can in their great wisdom decide to find ways to "prop up" failing factories and giant companies, why can't they find ways to retain the thousands of jobs we are now losing in Israel to other countries? PETER SHMUEL LEVITT Netanya Pay soldiers more Sir, - As a mother and grandmother whose family have all done or are doing their army service, perhaps if our soldiers were given more suitable remuneration, there would be less draft-dodging. My 19-year-old grand-daughter, the latest one in the family to serve, receives the grand sum of NIS 430 per month. My last grandson, who finished the army 18 months ago, received NIS 700 per month. This is not only a disgrace but an insult to these youngsters who put their lives on hold until they can start to earn a more reasonable wage ("Lieberman proposes fining citizens who don't do army or national service," March 20). STELLA HERSH Netanya Good for Bibi... Sir, - I was disappointed that you did not cover the excellent content of Binyamin Netanyahu's speech at the Knesset when he addressed Chancellor Angela Merkel last week. We would be in a much better political situation if more of our leaders stressed our historical past, as Netanyahu did. He spoke about the destruction of our ancient Temple, moving on to the holiday of Purim, which celebrates the foiled attempt of Haman to annihilate the Jews of Persia thousands of years ago, and linked this to the present dangerous situation in Persia, today called Iran. RACHEL RABINOWITZ Jerusalem ...not so good Sir, - Isi Leibler went way overboard in his defense of Binyamin Netanyahu's lavish life-style, highlighted by recent media reports ("The truth about the Bibi 'scandal,'" March 25). His assertion "Few will deny that (Netanyahu) subsequently proved to have been an outstanding finance minister" will be a rude shock to the thousands of families who ended up below the poverty line because of Netanyahu's draconian budget cuts. The educational institutions, secular and religious, are still reeling from his budgetary policies. Some of us haven't forgotten the police investigation of Netanyahu following his exit from the prime minister's residence. In the end he settled by personally paying the contractor who sued him after the government refused to pay for private work performed on behalf of the then prime minister. MORDECHAI SPIEGELMAN Jerusalem Merkel could do more than posture Sir, - I don't disagree with Liat Collins ("German is spoken here," March 25), and I admire Angela Merkel. But Ms. Collins completely overlooked the fact that German businesses are enriching themselves via lucrative contracts with Iran, leaving it up to the US to bear the expense of the military deterrence required to restrain Iran. If Europe and Russia enforced the economic boycott of Iran and contributed their fair share to military deterrence, Islamofascism could be defeated. Merkel means well (I hope), but as the leader of the dominant country in Europe, and with a sympathetic leader in France, she could do more than posture: she could actually solve the problem. MARIUS (YISRAEL) VAN HANDEL Ramat Gan Sir, - As an English professor, in a world in which warfare is progressively underway between a virulently radical strain of Islamofascism and the West, I don't think words should be minced. On the contrary, they must be clear and concise. This is precisely the time to learn from the past so that the present and near future does not repeat its deleterious errors ("What Angela Merkel couldn't say out loud," Manfred Gerstenfeld, March 19). YOEL NITZARIM Skokie, Illinois False comparison Sir, - According to Ron Kampeas's "Obama blasts Hamas op-ed" (March 24), US Assemblyman Dov Hikind urged Barack Obama to visit Sderot to see what Hamas support looks like. "Obama will then see why he must cut ties with Wright and his church," said Hikind. Kampeas's opinion is that Hikind cannot speak about Obama's ties with the Rev. Wright when Hikind had ties with the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. This comparison is false and unfair. Wright in one of his many hate sermons shouted, "God damn America!" He blamed the US for 9/11 because of its ties to Israel. In other sermons he loudly voiced his racism against whites. Rabbi Kahane never damned America. He never spoke of racism against blacks. He was elected to the Knesset in 1984 and never cursed Israel, in or out of the Knesset. In America, as in Israel, he spoke out against the enemies of the Jewish people; he never condemned people for their race or religion and loved both countries. BARBARA GINSBERG Ma'aleh Adumim Start with yourself Sir, - RTL News senior correspondent Connie Mus has a lot of hutzpa ("Unjustly attacked," Letters, March 19). Like so many people from The Netherlands, he likes to tell others how to behave and is convinced he knows best. The Dutch press in general is very anti-Israel, as are most Dutch people at this time. The impression the public gets of our region is one of Israel being the bad guy and the Palestinians poor creatures. Most people I know in Holland are too scared to come here. It is almost too ridiculous to mention, but this anti-Israel atmosphere is felt even in the sports press. When an Israeli swimmer takes second place in an important Dutch swimming contest, for example, he is not even mentioned. Mr. Mus should learn from the Dutch saying Verbeter de wereld en begin bij jezelf - "Improve the world, but start with yourself." MIRIAM NATHANS Rishon Lezion Affordable 'Wizard' Sir, - I greatly appreciated Gil Hoffman's overwhelmingly positive review of Encore Educational Theatre Company's production of The Wizard of Oz (March 25), but would like to advise him that the "expensive" costumes (most of which were donated or constructed by volunteers) were one of the least costly aspects of the show; our major costs are rental of the theater, royalties and the professional orchestra. Encore's ticket prices are comparable to other community theater groups and often much less than other shows in Jerusalem. In addition, Encore offers group discounts and lower prices for children. While I agree that more matinees should have been scheduled, there are still three more performances this week (tonight at 8 p.m. and Thursday at 5 and 8 p.m.) The public is cordially invited to take advantage of the few remaining seats. ROBERT BINDER Artistic Director, Encore Jerusalem