JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CONTROVERSY AND PREJUDICE OVER THE NIQAB – AND THE TRUTH ABOUT ISRAEL’S GROSSLY INEFFICIENT ECONOMY IN RESPONSE TO AN IGNORANT COMMENT   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Gee, it would be nice if the Globe got its garments right.

At the top of an article about the niqab (a veil for the face), you have put a picture of women wearing either chador (a flowing body garment which is often worn without a veil) or a hijab (a simple head scarf, not all that different to a babushka).

It isn’t possible to see from the cropping which garments these are, but are most definitely not niqab.

It really would be nice to get a break from all this mindless, anti-Muslim hysteria.

What do I care what my neighbor wears so long as he or she is a peaceful member of society?

My experience with Muslims is simply one a sweet-tempered people who pretty much mind their own business.

I wish their critics displayed half their excellent qualities.

__________________

“Yeah, it’s such a shame how all that hedonism led Israel to become the most prosperous nation in the middle east, with the most diverse economy…”

Pure and utter ignorance, that posting.

Israel is, in fact, the most subsidized country in the world, and it enjoys countless unfair advantages over others.

For decades the U.S. government has given it about $3 billion per year – that’s about $500 per head each year.

Oh wouldn’t Canadians, or even more the Arabs the above writer so clearly despises, like to receive a foreign government’s cheque of $500 each year? Most of Israel’s population has grown up its entire life with this benefit.

But that $500 per head subsidy is only the start of special advantages.

America shares precious intelligence and technology and access on a scale extended to no one else.

What other relatively insignificant country – Israel’s population is about that of Ecuador – gets its president into the White House every few months?

What other country of this size has a generous free-trade agreement with America?

But those are still only the beginnings of the subsidy.

America’s defense establishment enters into all kinds of huge and costly joint projects with Israel – as for the Arrow anti-missile missile – sharing valuable technology and access to the best brains plus money.

American Jewish organizations have sent literally tens of billions to Israel over 60 years, and these immense contributions have been given charitable status exempting the givers from tax.

Europe too gives Israel special status in many economic matters.

Germany of course has paid billions in reparations for the holocaust to Israel – I’m not faulting that, but only pointing out one more huge subsidy. It also supplies Israel weapons – like a small fleet of sophisticated, diesel-powered submarines – at bargain-basement prices.

Israel’s economy is often grossly inefficient, yet its privileged position allows for that. For example, Israel squanders the precious water resources of the region to grow things like tomatoes which it exports to the U.S. and Europe. If the true cost of the water were reflected in the price, Israel’s produce would rot on the docks for lack of customers.

And then at the same time, Israel builds desalination plants to create more potable water at immense cost per unit volume of water.

Israel is many things, but it is neither efficient nor is it an economic miracle. It only has that appearance if you don’t look beyond the gloss.

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