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  1. Joden toch echt een volk
  2. De echte reden waarom voedsel in Israel zo duur is
  3. Palestijnen geven Israel de schuld van het weer
  4. Jonge Israeli's verlaten het land niet vanwege de dure pudding
  5. Hamasleider Haniye laat zijn dochter in Israelisch ziekenhuis behandelen
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Joden toch echt een volk

 

Onderstaande brief aan Trouw is een reactie op een interview in die krant met Shlomo Sand, een Israelische historicus die ‘mythes’ over Joden en Israel onderuit wil halen, en die mythes zijn altijd heel populair in Nederland. Over het boek van Sand is eerder o.a. op IMO Blog geschreven.

 

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Joden toch echt een volk

 

Shlomo Sand ziet het Joodse volk als een fictie, ontstaan in de 19e eeuw (Trouw, 20 oktober). Toen kreeg het Joodse nationalisme inderdaad een impuls door het ontstaan van natiestaten, zoals Italië, Duitsland enzovoort. Het idee dat er eerder geen sprake was van een Joods volk met een eigen cultuur is bizar. In de Romeinse tijd toen de Tweede Tempel werd verwoest, waren er al Joodse gemeenschappen buiten Judea, o.a. in Rome en Alexandrië. En later in het Rijndal. Toen de Kruistochten begonnen, werden deze Joden uitgemoord en velen vluchtten naar Oost-Europa. Joden in de Middeleeuwen werden verbannen uit Engeland, Frankrijk en Spanje. Ook in de Arabische wereld ontstonden buiten Judea al vroeg belangrijke Joodse gemeenschappen, die waren geen Europese uitvinding. Dat Sand zichzelf niet als Joods wil zien, is zijn keus. Laat hij anderen daar niet mee lastig vallen en de geschiedenis naar zijn hand zetten.

Harry Polak Amsterdam

 

    


De echte reden waarom voedsel in Israel zo duur is

 

Het Joodse leven in Berlijn beleeft een revival; wellicht niet alleen door de migratie van Joden uit Oost-Europa en Rusland, maar tevens vanuit Israel. Een jonge geëmigreerde Israeli riep op zijn voorbeeld te volgen, omdat het leven in Israel bijna onbetaalbaar is geworden.

Waarom veel prijzen van levensmiddelen zo hoog zijn in Israel, wordt hieronder uitgelegd. Dat zou niet zijn omdat alle geld naar defensie of de nederzettingen gaat.

 

Wouter

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The real reason food prices in Israel are high

http://www.haaretz.com/business/1.621814

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid plans to increase price control regulation, but bread cartel trial shows this is the last thing consumers should want.

By Meirav Arlosoroff | Oct. 21, 2014 | 12:32 PM

 

 

Supermarket shoppers don't benefit from the low cost of manufacturing price-controlled bread.Photo by Daniel Bar-On

 

When Israelis protested earlier this month against the higher cost of Israeli puddings here than in Berlin, Finance Minister Yair Lapid responded with real, generous empathy, saying he was angry too.

“Israelis ask why it is cheaper in Berlin,” Lapid said. Referring to the proposed 2015 state budget, which has been accepted by the cabinet but still requires Knesset approval, he said: “If they look at the present budget, they will see there are more and more products under [price] controls. We will continue to put more products [under price controls] without asking the manufacturers.”

Lapid’s empathy is quite touching, but before the finance minister proposes price controls on food as the ultimate solution for the high cost of living in Israel, he ought to take the time to read the testimony of someone who spent a decade and a half setting those price controls.

“After 15 years of working in price controls, I don’t believe that controls are efficient,” Zvia Dori, who served as price supervisor at what is now called the Economy Ministry between 1995 and 2011, said in court in June. “I believe that creating competitive market conditions is much more efficient than price controls.”

Dori was testifying in a trial against bread manufacturers accused of being part of a cartel in violation of the Restrictive Trade Practices Law during a period that includes the time when Dori was in charge of price controls. The companies are accused of coordinating the discounts they gave the major supermarket chains for price-controlled basic brown bread and of cooperating on several large tenders.

It is not very often that you hear a prominent regulator testify under oath that their regulation is not actually worth much. What the Antitrust Authority is arguing, and what Dori confirms, is that the appointed regulators are not really regulating, and don’t know what the companies being regulated are really doing.

How price controls work

To determine the price of standard brown bread — and the process is roughly the same for almost all other price-controlled food products — the Economy Ministry (formerly the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry) need only check three production costs: the price of energy, of flour and of labor, Dori said in court. Significant changes in any of those three categories will lead to a change in the bread price.

Once every few years — Dori did not say exactly how often — does the price supervisor bother to collect the financial reports of the regulated companies and read the profitability reports released by the bread manufacturers, which the supervisor accepts at face value.

Only very rarely — and Dori admitted it never happened with bread prices — does the supervisor take issue with the figures in the companies’ financial reports or insist that costs be allocated differently. The way the costs are allocated is critical, since the manufacturers have a clear financial interest in allocating as much of their costs as possible to the few price-controlled goods they produce, in an effort to show the companies are losing money on those goods and that the government should raise the price.

‘Are you crazy? They’ll take the price controls away’

The trial made it clear that the bread manufacturers collaborated on selling their price-controlled bread to supermarkets for about half the maximum amount allowed by the government, a discount that was not passed on to consumers. Dori knew this, but instead of concluding that the real cost of producing the bread was relatively low and that the government-set price was too high, she accepted the manufacturers’ claim that the they were losing money on making the bread — and that therefore the government should raise the price consumers must pay.

Wiretaps recording meetings where the bread manufacturers coordinated the supermarket discounts show that their biggest worry was not the reputed high cost of producing price-controlled bread but that the bread would no longer be price-controlled.

“Are you crazy? They’ll take the price controls away from us,” one executive said on a recording made by the Antitrust Authority.

“It’s true,” Dori confirmed in her court testimony. “In my opinion, the bakeries seem to fear that if there are no [price] controls, the chains will not accept a higher price. In other words, the regulation helps them, the bakeries, to raise the price. Therefore I very much support removing the supervision, which can only increase the competition.”

“Berman really begged that before approving the removal of controls we approve a price increase,” Dori said in court, referring to one of Israel’s largest bread manufacturers. “If he had known that he could have increased the price without regulation, he would not have asked for it. This is more proof that the regulation is quite convenient for him, since it allows him to raise prices. He feared that after we remove the regulation there will be competition, and he will have a hard time.”

Any way you slice it

The fact that the companies being regulated want the price controls because it makes it easier for them to charge more demonstrates the absurdity of thinking that Lapid’s plan for more price controls would actually lower the cost of living. What the bread trial shows is that price controls destroy competition and raise prices.

The problem is that politicians tend to ignore the facts. Dori testified that various industry and trade ministers over the years, including Ran Cohen and Dalia Itzik, have taken part in the price control game. While Itzik insisted on keeping the price stable for unsliced bread, she agreed to raise the price for sliced bread, resulting in a difference of about 1.50 shekels.

Dori does not hide the fact that this was a political decision by the minister, detached from any economic or professional consideration, and said professional staff in the ministry objected to it. “The decision did not stem from cost differentials,” she said. “It was because of the interest in leaving the standard bread cheap, so people from the weaker classes could buy it.”

Any way you slice it, the result is that bread manufacturers have made a lot of money on their price-controlled sliced bread. “Despite all our claims, the standard sliced bread is the main bread that helps the bakeries preserve their profitability,” one of the bakery executives was recorded as saying. Dori’s embarrassing testimony has prompted the government to take action. Bread prices are being examined in-depth in an effort to evaluate the true production cost. The government has also decided to overhaul the way food prices are regulated, a change that was included in the draft version of next year’s Economic Arrangements Law, in which the state would stop taking into consideration the discounts given to retail chains.

For the first time, the government is also examining the retailers’ profit margins, and appears to have realized how ridiculous it is to maintain price controls in places where there is a real possibility of competition. There are five large bread manufacturers that produce the basic brown bread that the government regulates; if the government were to step back, they would be forced to compete with one another.

This is also the main conclusion that Dori reached: In the end, price control is a bad way to lower food prices, far inferior to promoting competition. Based on what Lapid has said, however, it doesn’t sound like the politicians have absorbed the message.

 

    

Palestijnen geven Israel de schuld van het weer

 

Het is wel lekker makkelijk, die complottheorieën: voor alles wat misgaat of tegenzit heb je een pasklare verklaring en zondebok. Ook in Nederland is deze manier van denken, met dank aan Wilders, populair geworden, al maakt hij het niet zo bont als het object van zijn woede.

Overigens mogen de Arabieren het Israelische leger wel dankbaar zijn voor het brengen van regen, want daaraan is een groot gebrek in het Midden-Oosten.

 

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It finally happened: Arabs blaming Jews for the weather

http://www.elderofziyon.blogspot.nl/2014/10/it-finally-happened-arabs-blaming-jews.html

 



We Zionists often sarcastically say that the Arabs blame the Jews for the most absurd events, like natural disasters and the weather. Yet no matter how hard we try to come up with satirical examples, real life always seems to catch up.

Palestinian "experts" are saying that the amount of Israeli air raids and the resulting tiny particles that went into the air will affect the weather in much of the region, including Gaza, the West Bank, the "occupied territories" (meaning Israel,) West and South Jordan and parts of the Sinai.

Palestine Today interviewed Professor Mohammed Abu Safed, professor of physical geography at Al-Najah University, who predicted that the amount of fumes and gunpowder over the atmosphere of the Gaza Strip "resulting from the use of internationally prohibited weapons" suspended in the atmosphere over the areas of the Gaza Strip, and will result in an increase in rainfall over the region.

He said that the gases will contribute to the formation of a "condensation nucleus to form clouds," and that those fumes stored in the atmosphere will increase the chances of forming raindrops, thereby increasing the level of rainfall in the region.

It just so happens that there were major thunderstorms Sunday in Israel and Gaza. Thanks, IDF!

 

    


Jonge Israeli's verlaten het land niet vanwege de dure pudding

 

Dit haalde de internationale media, waaronder de NRC. In Israel zijn veel levensmiddelen duur vergeleken met Nederland of Duitsland, waaronder melkproducten, kaas, vruchtensap, appels, brood en allerlei zaken die van buiten moeten worden geimporteerd. De lonen liggen er ondertussen een stuk lager dan hier.

Na de protesten een paar jaar geleden tegen de hoge kosten van levensonderhoud, en met name de torenhoge huren en de beroerde lonen die daar tegenover staan, werd beterschap beloofd door de regering maar daar is niet echt veel van terecht gekomen. De verschillen tussen arm en rijk zijn groot en nemen toe, een steeds grotere groep leeft onder de armoede grens en moet twee of drie banen nemen om te overleven.

 

Onderstaande schrijver heeft zijn vertrouwen in de poltiiek verloren en roept mensen op massaal naar Berlijn te emigereren, in de hoop dat de regering dan eindelijk eens in beweging komt. De vergelijking met Berlijn is niet helemaal eerlijk: Duitsland is een van de welvarendste landen op de wereld, in een rustige regio met een stabiele regering zonder de grote tegenstellingen tussen mensen die er in Israel zijn en die het vormen van regeringen ernstig bemoeilijkt. Het hoeft niet zoveel aan veiligheid en defensie uit te geven. In vergelijking met landen in roeriger regio’s en/of in oorlog doet Israel het helemaal niet slecht. Dat neemt niet weg dat men meer voor de jongeren en mensen aan de onderkant moet doen, ook omdat veel van hen westers georienteerd zijn en de weg naar de VS of Europa weten te vinden. Dat heet, zolang men daar het antisemitisme nog een beetje in toom weet te houden.

 

I don't know anything about the real estate market, but it seems weird to me that in cool Berlin an apartment costs half a million shekels, while in a Middle Eastern state attacked by missiles people commit to a mortgage for a NIS 1.6 million apartment.

I am saying to the Israeli government point blank: Congratulations, you've defeated us. You've created the exact economy you wanted here. The State of Israel of 2014 is a nation state for rich Jews, for high-tech workers and for generals' children.

 

You want to talk to us about values? You say that David Ben-Gurion and Theodor Herzl are turning over in their graves because we are emigrating to Germany? What would Herzl and Ben-Gurion say about you, the public representatives who, in a gradual but continuous process, have created a state in which young people have no chance of buying a house? A state in which young couples postpone their baby plans because they realize how much it will cost to raise it. A state in which a working person is poor and humiliated. A state in which a student lives like a dog in a lousy apartment.

 

Forget about the Israeli government. I am now talking to you, the citizens. Don't put an effort in protesting against public representatives and hoping that someone will listen to you. Vote with your wings. Flock to Ben-Gurion Airport in masses.

 

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It's not the pudding, stupid

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4580500,00.html

Op-ed: Israel of 2014 is a nation state for rich Jews, high-tech workers and generals' children. So don’t talk to us about Zionism.

Berlin protest's organizer

Published: 

10.15.14, 00:12 / Israel Opinion

The Israelis emigrating to Berlin have been called many things in the past week: Weaklings, Nazis, Holocaust deniers and degraders.

 

Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that we were "anti-Zionist," that we were leaving Israel for cheaper pudding and selling our values. Others say that Israel is clearly too expensive, but that we must stay here and fight from within for God's little acre that our nation has obtained.

 

Three years ago, the Israeli society united for a real fight, informing its elected representatives that something isn't working and needs to be fixed. I took to the streets too and participated in the protests, because Israel is my country and Hebrew is my language, and – with all honesty – I would rather live in Tel Aviv than in Berlin.

 

But that protest didn't work. The government changed, but the housing and food prices only soared. I am telling you straightforwardly, there is no point in waiting for elections. There is no point in sticking posts on politicians' walls and "liking" different protests on Facebook in an attempt to influence them. The people may be replaced in elections, the parties may change their names, but the politicians know very well who they work for – and it not for us.

 


Dairy pudding in Berlin. 'Reducing the price of one product is not enough' (photo from Facebook)

 

I really don't feel like sitting like a miserable person in a tent on Rothschild Boulevard and hoping that someone will listen to me and help me improve my situation.

 

I am 25 years old. I don't know anything about economics, I don't know anything about regulation. I do know that even if I work in Israel for 20 years, there is no chance that I will be able to buy an apartment in this country. There is no chance that I will enter the grocery store without thinking 700 times before putting something in my shopping cart.

 

I don't know anything about the real estate market, but it seems weird to me that in cool Berlin an apartment costs half a million shekels, while in a Middle Eastern state attacked by missiles people commit to a mortgage for a NIS 1.6 million apartment.

 

I am saying to the Israeli government point blank: Congratulations, you've defeated us. You've created the exact economy you wanted here. The State of Israel of 2014 is a nation state for rich Jews, for high-tech workers and for generals' children.

 

You want to talk to us about values? You say that David Ben-Gurion and Theodor Herzl are turning over in their graves because we are emigrating to Germany? What would Herzl and Ben-Gurion say about you, the public representatives who, in a gradual but continuous process, have created a state in which young people have no chance of buying a house? A state in which young couples postpone their baby plans because they realize how much it will cost to raise it. A state in which a working person is poor and humiliated. A state in which a student lives like a dog in a lousy apartment.

 

Forget about the Israeli government. I am now talking to you, the citizens. Don't put an effort in protesting against public representatives and hoping that someone will listen to you. Vote with your wings. Flock to Ben-Gurion Airport in masses.

 

The movement I established, Olim LeBerlin ("immigrating to Berlin"), aims to help each and every one of you, both young and old, to escape the violent cost of living in Israel and live in dignity. Why it's clear that if the State of Israel wanted to, it would begin in no time to favor the tenant over the landlord, the junior worker over the tycoon, and your food security over supermarket chains' profit.

 

I'm not even going to offer the government any ideas. Let the government chase me to Berlin in order to bring me back. And believe me, if we get 100,000 or 200,000 Israelis to emigrate to Berlin, the State of Israel will start changing its policy in favor of us for the first time in decades.

 

Yes, it's time for Israel to realize that in today's global world it must prove to us every day that it is an attractive place worth living in. Reducing the price of one product a week is not enough. We have already been in this situation three years ago.

 

We are demanding an attractive overall package: Housing, food and health. And those people who created ideal conditions for the rich and catastrophic conditions for the young people here should not talk to us about Zionism.

 

And one last thing about my identity. I am 25 years old. I served in the army and I was even an officer for several years. I love Israel and I always defend it in every possible forum to ignorant people who criticize us without understanding anything in the middle of a war.

 

But I really don't feel like revealing my identity right now. Why? Because the moment the politicians and the media have a name, a face and an address, it's easy to make everything personal, it's easy to tease, it’s easy to mock. It's much easier to slander a person than to deal with the message that person is trying to convey.

 

And my message is clear: Take care of yourselves and of your future. Israel gave up on you long ago, and it will start looking for you when it starts caring about you.

 

See you in Berlin!

 

    

Hamasleider Haniye laat zijn dochter in Israelisch ziekenhuis behandelen

 

Het is niet de eerste keer dat een van Haniye’s kinderen in een Israelisch ziekenhuis wordt behandeld. Hij weet blijkbaar wel dat Israel zijn vijanden anders behandelt dan Hamas gewoon is, anders zou hij dit niet doen. Het is overigens een algemene praktijk dat Israel in noodgevallen op verzoek van Palestijnse artsen patienten behandelt, en op dat moment is het irrelevant of ze aan Hamas of een andere terroristische organisatie zijn verbonden.

 

RP

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Hamas leader's daughter received medical treatment in Israel: sources

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/19/us-mideast-gaza-hamas-daughter-idUSKCN0I80LO20141019

 (Reuters) - A daughter of the leader of Hamas in Gaza was admitted to an Israeli hospital for emergency medical treatment this month after she suffered complications from a routine procedure, two sources familiar with the case said.

Ismail Haniyeh's daughter's week-long admission to a hospital in Tel Aviv - which Israeli and Palestinian officials declined to confirm or deny - shows humanitarian coordination between the sides continues just weeks after the Gaza war ended.

Haniyeh, who has 13 children, is the leader of the Islamist group in Gaza and one of its most senior figures overall, serving as a deputy to Khaled Meshaal, who lives in exile.

Two sources - one Palestinian and the other a foreign diplomat with knowledge of the case - declined to name the daughter and, out of respect for her privacy, asked that details of her condition not be published.

Like many Hamas officials, Haniyeh spent the seven-week-long war largely in hiding. His home in the northern part of the Gaza Strip was destroyed by an Israeli air strike.

An Israeli official said he could not discuss specific medical admissions from Gaza.

But he said that in most cases a request by a Palestinian doctor to allow a patient across the border for urgent treatment was sufficient - indicating Haniyeh may not have been personally involved in his daughter's application.

During the war and since it ended in late August, dozens of patients from Gaza have been brought to hospitals in Israel, where the resources and technology for advanced treatment and complicated operations are vastly better.

Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction but has voiced openness to a long-term truce and a measure of cooperation with Israel which, along with neighboring Egypt, controls access to the coastal enclave, home to 1.8 million Palestinians.

Israeli media has reported that one of Haniyeh's granddaughters was treated in an Israeli hospital last November, while his mother-in-law sought treatment in a Jerusalem hospital in June.

 

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Crispian Balmer)

 

    


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