October 15: Letters to the editor

Readers weigh in on the latest stories grabbing headlines.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Go for the pudding
Sir, – As an economically challenged (to put it mildly) pensioner, I would assuredly voice my concerns relating to the cost of basic food products. But moving to Berlin (“Movement encourages ‘aliya’ to Germany to protest high prices,” October 13)? This duplicitous, devious, malignant agenda initiated by disgruntled Israelis choosing to decamp to Berlin, of all places, and inviting the descendants of 6 million murdered Jews to join them in that formerly Nazi stomping ground – to defect from what we in Israel still maintain is the promised land? Who are they kidding?
Sir, – That these people are calling for Israelis to come to Germany should give us some idea of their true character. They will move anywhere for a buck, pound or euro.
Most Israelis understand what it means to be part of the Jewish nation. Many are willing to trade a Mercedes or BMW for a sense of purpose, family, nation-building and belonging. Still, this doesn’t excuse the government from becoming more proactive and at a quicker pace to make Israel a more affordable place while maintaining its extremely expensive security needs.
Cottage cheese and Milky are not causing overdrafts. High rents, mortgages and monopolies are. Competition has to be opened up. Israel is not a country of three million anymore and the big corporations have been protected long enough. Competition is the only way to bring down prices. Perhaps VAT can also be decreased on certain items.
Many former Israelis enjoy having Sunday as a day of pleasure for shopping, going out to eat and visiting friends and family.
Shabbat is for rest and Sunday for enjoyment. There is no such weekend in Israel. This also puts a lot of financial pressure on restaurants and other retail businesses.
One can only imagine how unifying a full weekend could be.
We, thank God, have been very successful in protecting the nation from enemies that surround us.
It’s time we used a similar model to bring about internal change.
No more pleas for Israelis to leave – and to Germany, of all places.
Sir, – Have we advanced from the days of Esau’s lentils to Milky? Perhaps it is better to sell one’s patrimony for something sweet.
Unlike Esau, fortunately, some of these Berliners may one day seek something more nutritious if not so cheap, and find their way back to their people.
Tel Aviv
Crazy courageous
Sir, – The article describing Resident Reuven Rivlin’s visit to Lod (“Rivlin discovers revolutionary change while visiting Lod for Succot,” October 13) was beautiful and inspiring. But an important piece of information was missing.
The first young couples who were courageous and crazy enough to rent, then buy and then build in Lod were young religious Zionists. The initiative of a handful of idealistic couples led to the development of Garin Torani, which has been decisive in bringing about the change that Rivlin was so taken with, and rightfully so.
These young Jewish couples were willing to live with their Arab neighbors, but also to make a very strong statement that Lod is a Jewish city in the State of Israel, a state where Arabs and Jews can live peaceably together.
The real Scotland
Sir, – “A Highland holiday” (Travel Trends, October 12) was a beautiful representation of bucolic Scotland. It brings to mind old films of early 1930s Germany.
Over the past few years we have seen in Scotland and at the Holyrood Parliament former Liberal leader and Scottish MP Sir David Steele being hostile to Israel, and increasingly hostile motions against Israel from the Scottish TUC and Solidarity for Palestine Committee. (Scotland has no Foreign Office remit, so why should these have been allowed even to be tabled?) We move forward to Alex Salmond’s reign, wherein the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland passed a binding motion that the Jews have no a priori rights to the Land of Israel, and then more recently to MP Yvonne Ridley, an associate of MP George Galloway, who held a meeting in a Glasgow city center church hall calling for Scotland to be Zionist-free.
Then there was a small Israeli trader being “mobbed” out of business in the Braehead shopping mall by members and associates of the above-mentioned Solidarity for Palestine Committee, and more recently the famous Scottish athlete and ex-Liberal Party leader Sir Menzies Campbell announcing that Israel was “responsible” for Islamic State! This is the real picture of modern-day Scotland for Jews, not the one painted by writer Seth J. Frantzman.
The writer, a native of Scotland, refers to himself as a ‘Scottish referendum survivor’
Road ills...
Sir, – I was most pleased to see the letter regarding those electric bicycles (“Road overkill,” October 12).
I rather feel, especially as a car driver, that this behavior is symptomatic of the general disquiet that both non-Israeli drivers and pedestrians have. The reality is that although potential drivers have to undergo a driving test, once on the road they choose to forget not only the normal highway code, but also common decency. “I must be first and therefore won’t let the guy in from the side, even if it is causing a total traffic jam” is very typical.
What is needed is the full enforcement of traffic laws and definite rules for electric bikes.
Reader Bernie Cowen is indeed right, and until the police make themselves deal with these situations and actually fine or summons the wrongdoers, nothing will change.
I have witnessed many times in Netanya a police car actually sitting watching blatant wrongdoing and ignoring it. A perfect example is the disregard of pedestrian crossings, even if the walker is half-way across.
...and curing them
Sir, – I noted with much interest Lior Akerman’s plea for the redistribution of fiscal funds (“We’ve already forgotten,” Observations, October 10). While agreeing with most of what he said, my attention was drawn to his request for extra funding of the Israel Police.
I believe that if the police force were to implement the laws of the land more firmly and fine the errant cyclists, motorcyclists and motorists whose flagrant disregard of even the most basic rules of the road give rise to total frustration among much of the population, its empty coffers would be replenished. It could then increase its deterrence, size and standing, and, given time, perhaps even become self-financing.
A win-win situation for all.
Reformation for Islam
Sir, – Almost every day we read of the warlike acts of Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah and other Islamist terror groups. What we do not hear or read about is the underlying causes of Islamic terror. I am being politically incorrect when I suggest that the root causes are written in the Koran.
Islam needs a Reformation.
This can only be brought about by leading mullahs and ayatollahs.
They can begin by deleting from the Koran such passages as “Do Jihad against the infidels who do not convert to Islam.” Also, encouraging suicide bombers to martyr themselves to enter paradise needs to be eliminated.
Most people in the world are unaware that extreme Islam is at war with western civilization. Pity.
Efrat/Lenox, Massachusetts