March 30: Priceless menu

Restaurants where diners fork over as much as they please are not new, and not limited to recessions.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Priceless menu Sir, - Restaurants where diners fork over as much as they please are not new, and not limited to recessions ("Pay as you wish at Spanish restaurant," March 29). Melbourne, Australia, boasts a small chain of such restaurants. They have an eclectic, organic vegetarian menu ranging from high-quality Japanese to Italian food, which is cooked in front of you. They attract a "hip" clientele, who generally pay more than restaurants with set menus. The waiters I met were big fans of Israel. The system works because of great food and good will. Do such ingredients exist in Israel? I fear that here such a restaurant might just become another "soup kitchen." ALAN MEERKIN Jerusalem Natan & Yuli and the Diaspora Sir, - Re "Pity the poor new Diaspora Affairs minister" by Haviv Rettig Gur (March 27): In my eyes and the eyes of many Diaspora Jews, the importance of this ministry and the Israeli-led Global Forum Against Anti-Semitism is directly proportional to the seriousness of the minister who leads it. When Natan Sharansky held these positions a few years back, the ministry and the Forum were significant, essential bodies which led the Jewish world forward in coordinated fashion - because Sharansky cared and had vision. Yuli Edelstein has similarly been a central, inspired and respected figure in Israel-Diaspora (and Israel-Canada) relations for years. If anybody can again make the Diaspora ministry relevant again, it is Yuli. MOSHE RONEN, Chairman Canada-Israel Committee Toronto Dire need for hard talk Sir, - David Horovitz hit the nail on the head in "Defamed and deaf to it" (March 27). The world is in full swing delegitimizing Israel, and our government and foreign ministry simply don't understand that over half the battle has to be carried out on the diplomatic/PR (hasbara) front. Cases in point: • Only by reading the back pages of my Friday Post did I learn that Ehud Olmert offered the most far-reaching peace proposal ever held out by an Israeli government to the Palestinians, and they rejected it. Why did we not learn of this earlier? • Last week, Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan said straight out that Israel has no right to exist. Why hasn't this been strongly publicized as further evidence of the intransigence of even the so-called moderate Palestinian leadership? • Some Israeli soldiers talked about terrible things they thought they heard had been done in Gaza by other soldiers in the last conflict. Ha'aretz blasted this on its front cover. It was picked up by all the world's leading newspapers and news organizations, giving plenty of fodder for Israel-bashers to say, "See, even they admit it." Only later did I read in the Post that a full investigation found the whole thing based on rumor, and categorically untrue. The Netanyahu administration needs to establish a well-funded hasbara team, led by a good English speaker, which would mount a full court press (as they say in American basketball) in defense as well as in offense. In coordination with the army it would get the latest intelligence information, be able to respond quickly to outside charges, and mount charges of its own, taking on the likes of CNN, BBC and others - using the full strength of the media in countries such as England and France - and not just "talking to ourselves," as we Israelis tend to do. LARRY BIGIO Zichron Yaakov Red-black alliance Sir, - As a former diplomat who served in Italy, it came as no surprise to me that among the Israel-bashers who have just launched the "Russell Tribunal on Palestine" is Luisa Morgantini, an Italian member of the European Parliament who serves as vice president of this institution ("British film director: Rise in anti-Semitism 'understandable.' Palme d'Or winner Ken Loach calls Operation Cast Lead 'one of the great crimes of the past decades,'" March 18). Morgantini is emblematic of those extreme-Left leaders who are so obsessive in their hatred of Israel that they are ready to ally themselves with their arch-enemies if it can damage the Jewish state. Although she is the daughter of a communist resistance fighter against fascism, Morgantini did not hesitate to grant a November 2007 interview to the neo-Nazi German newspaper National Zeitung, published in Munich by Gerhard Frey, president of the anti-Semitic and negationist Deutsche Volksunion (DVU) Party, expressing her deep hostility against Israel. This red-black alliance against the Jewish state is one of the worst political phenomena in contemporary Europe. YEHOSHUA AMISHAV Rishon Lezion Human touch Sir, - Thanks to Herb Keinon for "Four done, none to go" (March 29). He humanizes The Jerusalem Post. I love everything he writes - about being the father of a soldier, and being a father here and not having extended family. Whatever he writes hits the spot. MIRIAM ADAHAN Jerusalem Tackle the Arab manipulators Sir, - We Somalilanders have nothing against the Jews/Israelis. In fact, they were among the first to recognize Somaliland's independence in 1960. To mention that weapons go through Somalia to Gaza is absurd as the Somalis have had enough of wars and need peace and bread. The West must tackle the Arabs who use brainwashed and uneducated and needy young to fulfill their proxy war. Please promote peace. We are all human beings created by one God ("The wonks' way," Editorial, March 27). MOHAMMED ALI London Over and... Sir, - "Livni: No senior Kadima members will quit" (May 25) One presumes that those who voted for Kadima in the election did so because they wanted the party if not to guide, at least to influence the country's political and economic future; and, particularly because they did not wish to see either an extreme right- or left-wing government. It is difficult, therefore, to understand why Tzipi Livni and her advisers believe that being a minority party in opposition will help to achieve any of those objectives. STANLEY LAWSON Jerusalem ...out? Sir, - The Labor Party joining the coalition with the Likud is reminiscent of the Communist Party of Italy (PCI) when it joined the coalition of the Christian Democrats - a process that eventually led to its demise. Or is Labor undergoing a trasformismo - the transformation of a political force by osmosis into its opposite - thereby becoming the "New Right"? ("How long will it last?" Gil Hoffman, March 27.) YITZHAK BERMAN Beit El Long wait, short turn Sir, - Not only "Doctors should think out of the box" (Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, March 29). With at least six patients scheduled per hour, and deducting the time it takes to enter the doctor's office, hand over one's magnetic card for scanning, sit down, get up and exit, about five minutes are left for the doctor's examination and diagnosis. Until the health funds allow for 20-minute (or at least 15-minute) appointments, conscientious doctors inevitably keep patients waiting. Not only are these patients wasting their time, they are further compromised by sharing other sick people's germs in a crowded waiting room. RIVKA ZAHAVY Jerusalem