Thursday, June 16, 2011


1. Ah, Haaretz. The Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew. They
ran an Op-Ed this week by the ultra-leftist "poet" Natan Zach, who
used to write leftist spam all the time in Haaretz, entitled, "Gilad
is not Coming Back." You can see it here:
I will not stoop to commenting on it. This is not Zach's first
adventure into ultra-leftist idiocy and scandal. See also this
exercise in poetic racism:
Zach was supposed to ride on one of those Hamas flotillas but I think
he chickened out in the end. Forgot his sun block.

Then we have this wonderful lurid headline in Haaretz: Israel plans
to expand settlement onto privately-owned Palestinian land. But the
very first sentence in the actual news article states that the land is
NOT privately owned at all but rather was taken by the Jordanian
government before 1967 and made public land to be used for public use
under the Jordanian version of eminent domain. Those Jordanian public
lands became Israeli public lands when the illegal Jordanian
occupation of the West Bank was ended in 1967. So the expansion of
the Ofra "settlement" involves land close to the entrance that are
already public lands. Except the Haaretz headline has things exactly
background. In the English version of Haaretz, the reporter bothers
to try to explain the inconsistency by arguing that Jordanian
sequestering of private land before 1967 somehow does not count!

2. The Cottage Cheese Price Blintzkrieg

But one of the best media moments in Israel involves the current
cottage cheese wars.

The headlines in Israel are filled with the news that cottage cheese
prices recently shot up far faster than the price of milk itself.
Outraged consumers are demanding action, and there is even a facebook
boycott of cottage cheese in supermarkets. (See this little piece of
and,7340,L-4083076,00.html )

The background to this is that dairy products in Israel are still
controlled by one of the last bulwarks of bolshevism left on the
planet. An anti-competitive milk cartel operates in Israel and limits
the amount of milk dairy farmers can sell. The aim is to force milk
prices high and make it expensive for parents to feed their children.
In addition, there is a near monopoly for many milk products, Tnuva,
now private but once run by the Histadrut crime family. There are one
or two smaller manufacturers of cottage cheese but Tnuva calls the
shots. While most countries have antitrust policies to fight
monopolies, Israel has always had a pro-trust set of policies that
encourage monopolies and cartels.

Finally there is blanket prohibition of importing most milk products
into Israel. Indeed it is prohibited to import lots of non-milk
products as well, as Israeli trade policy continues to be dominated by
the primitive mercantilist "thinking" popular in the 19th century
before the British Corn Laws.

The bottom line is that the milk product industry is monopolized,
inefficient, anti-productive and anti-competitive.

Now it has ALWAYS been so, so what triggered the sudden jump in prices
of cottage cheese? My guess is that is was nothing more than Shavuos,
the holiday when Israelis pig out (excuse the expression) on cottage

But the greatest moment was when Tzipi Livni went on TV and denounced
Netanyahu for the cottage cheese price blintz.

Why was that so funny? Because there used to be a price ceiling on
the Tnuva near-monopoly selling cottage cheese, a ceiling that makes
sense if the market is to be preserved as a monopoly, but that ceiling
was REMOVED by the Kadima government (when Avraham Hirshson was
Minister of Finance before he was prisoner number 8363459) and Tzipi
is the head of the Kadima party responsible!

3. Some good news:

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