The government has only belatedly shown some concern about those two facts, but done nothing. And yet, Sharon Wrobel writes and seems to believe that Israelis have nothing to fear, but fear itself.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFFBeating the recession
Sir, - The various Israeli pension funds have lost up to 40 percent of their value in the past two months and many small firms are on the brink of either implementing massive layoffs or simply declaring bankruptcy ("A game of psychology," November 24).
This while the government has only belatedly shown some concern about those two facts, but done nothing. And yet, Sharon Wrobel writes and seems to believe that Israelis have nothing to fear, but fear itself.
Wrobel is correct that neither the Israeli government nor the Treasury have any "magic answers" to the deep recession on its way here, but that hardly means doing nothing. There are ways to mitigate the damage this economic slowdown will inflict on the average Israeli.
Part of that answer could include the government covering at least part of the pension fund losses and guaranteeing some of the rest, extending unemployment benefits, reducing bank fees, adjusting loan terms, and lessening the tax burden, especially VAT, which could actually stimulate an early recovery.
With just a little governmental intervention in the right way and the right amount we can weather this recession.
Following FDR's lead
Sir, - In response to the article "Will biased FDR biographers mislead Obama?" (Opinion, November 26) please note the following. When FDR died in April 1945, the editor of The New York Times wrote: "History will honor this man for many things... and above all else, because he had the vision to see clearly the supreme crisis of our times and the courage to meet the crisis boldly."
This is a feat which FDR is now remembered for, and for which Israel should thank him, as his response to the Holocaust was a definitive vision of a thriving Jewish state in Palestine, and it is that vision which he imparted to future US Presidents. He was committed publicly, privately and by conviction to the cause of a Jewish homeland.
Hence, while FDR could have done more to save individual Jews, the Jews of America and not only them, will remember him most for putting courage back into their faces. Let us hope that Obama can fix America as Roosevelt did then.
No changing its ways
Sir, - You just know that the present Israeli government, as Michael Freund writes, is going to forgo the opportunity before Obama takes office "...to finally bring about an end to the rocket fire, and bring the Hamas regime to its knees" ("Israel's window of opportunity," Opinion, November 19).
That is what Israeli governments do these days. It will move heaven and earth to displace Jews or litigate against them in court, yet, conversely, it will procrastinate standing on their heads in order not to battle Muslim terrorists and the Islam that inspires this same terrorism.
I'm sure every Jew and Noachide appreciates your enterprising, Mr. Freund, but as they say here in rural Canada, "you might as well be pissing up a tree" if you think you can change the ways of the government in Israel.
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