Letters to the Editor

On Misjudging India's Prime Minister, Unfair Claims Against Israel's Kibbutzim and Jordan's Water-scarcity Problem

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi listens to a speech during the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries in Xiamen, China, Sept. 5, 2017.

Baseless allegations

In response to "The real danger posed by populist leaders, and how to fight it" (August 24)

The above article by Yonatan Levi mentions the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The relevant portion about the Indian prime minister, inter alia, alleges that he is “exacerbating interreligious tensions in his country by inciting the Hindu majority against Muslims and the lower castes”

This statement is not only factually incorrect but also slanderous in nature, as it levels baseless allegations against the leader of the largest democracy in the world. We take strong objection to this piece and request that you to issue an appropriate clarification and apology.

Debashish Biswas

Embassy of India, Tel Aviv

Water worries in Jordan

In response to "Climate change forecast for Jordan: 30% less rain, triple the droughts by 2100" (August 31)

Hats off to Haaretz for drawing public discourse to the important significance of global warming to Jordan and the wider region. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is the fourth most water-scarce country worldwide. This issue has been compounded by already strained water resources and the large influx of refugees fleeing armed conflicts, regional volatility, and ethnic and religious persecution in neighboring countries.

Jordan is facing a myriad issues, [such as] population growth, food security, environmental sustainability, poverty and unemployment reduction, socioeconomic development, sprawling urbanization – and their connections with water.

Jordan should remain a key player regionally and globally. It is time to capitalize on the momentum created by climate change and global warming, and [to] instigate new, innovative ways of water care, management and diplomacy for the betterment of mankind.

Munjed Farid al-Qutob


A wrong take on kibbutzim

In response to "Kibbutz dwellers don't deserve more just because their grandparents founded Israel" (September 2)

Dear Nissan Shor,

I have just read your article about kibbutzim and kibbutzniks.

It’s possible I didn’t try enough kibbutzim when I came here (I thought of working on one before winding up in Tel Aviv – on a very busy T junction, plenty of noise and dirt), but I was always impressed with their life and conditions.

Now you write an article (which I read in English of course), and what are you telling me! That they have privileges, that because of these they should not exist?

My one son lives on a kibbutz, a beautiful, quiet place on a mountainside in the north (it is independent and self-sufficient). And when we occasionally go to visit him – for both of us – it’s a real holiday. Fresh air and quiet. The two things I won’t get in this city – perhaps in practically any city.

The kibbutzim I remember (I admit, it was a long time ago) were warm and welcoming places, with a relaxed, agricultural way of life. Quite possibly today some things have changed, while others remain the same.

So, should the kibbutz give up its communal life, to cope with present-day realities? Let it become as mundane, noisy, impatient and depressive as any of the (larger) cities and towns one finds in most of the world. Really!

I don’t think memory has much to do with this. The kibbutz, for some people at least, is a useful and even superior way of life. Perhaps there are privileges that should be taken away from it. But because it is a superior way of life, is this a good reason for doing away with it?

I won’t even mention the analogy between the kibbutz and a baby with a toy – I believe it does not do the writer credit.

Michael S. Porter

Ramat Aviv