In the numbers
Sir, – David Newman’s column “The future of Israel-EU research”
(Borderline Views, November 5) requires some clarification, for he states that
Israel’s proportional investment in R&D, compared to the situation 20 or 30
years ago, is far worse.
The October issue of Scientific American
provides a table of the percentages of GDP spent on R&D in 2011 for a number
of developed countries in an article discussing Mexico’s research and innovation
problems. Israel tops the list at 4.38 percent. Germany (2.88%), the US (2.77%),
France (2.24%) and the UK (1.77%) do not compare well with many smaller
One should remember that all countries affected by the global
recession have had to reduce the funds available for such work.
problem is that many have much larger economies than Israel’s, so despite our
relatively good performance in proportional terms, in absolute terms the sums
might be dwarfed by what the larger economies can afford.
Newman’s general argument is sustained by other papers in the same issue of
Scientific American. They point out that the days of the slightly screwy
scientist producing major breakthroughs in his or her isolated lab are long
gone. Modern innovation is an international effort involving scientists from
many different nations.
Modern science knows no boundaries, and science
policy planners would be well advised to remember this when they decide which
projects to support and which to reject.ALBERT JACOB
Sir, - Boaz Ganor, founder and executive director of the Institute for
Counter-Terrorism, makes a valiant effort to depict the various upheavals that
many of Israel’s neighbors are experiencing and suggests that they present a
window of opportunity for us to come to an agreement with the Palestinians (“The
window of opportunity,” Comment & Features,” November 4). Sadly to say, I
fear that although the learned author describes certain drastic changes in our
region, the conclusions he draws are erroneous.
If this “window” were so
promising for Israel, it should be viewed even more so as a golden opportunity
for the Palestinian Authority, which is witnessing the possible collapse of
several of its Muslim allies as well as the terrorist regime in Gaza. If this
were so, the PA would desperately be begging for a peace agreement.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry should be able to see
the reality of the situation and begin to bring pressure on the PA for it to
make gestures of good will toward Israel.
At every juncture of his
portrayal of the regional changes taking place, Ganor is careful enough to
describe the fragility and real possibility that these changes could be undone.
For Israel to make any concessions concerning its security or its borders based
on these unstable circumstances would be of the utmost folly.ZEV
Petah Tikva Basics in life
Sir, – I totally agree with Yoni Chetboun’s
concept of an Israel with an Arab minority, and with his well thought-out three
points (“A Jewish state with an Arab minority,” Comment & Features, November
I would only suggest that the glue to hold together such a concept
would be cooperation between the parties in the area of business. Nothing
smooths over conflict like the ability to earn a decent living and take care of
Perhaps a “summit” of the two chambers of commerce would be
a good starting place.BRUCE BAICHMAN
Ra’anana Wake-up call
Sir, – South
Africa and its foreign minister should be a warning to all of Israel (“South
African minister defends Iran, says there will be no more Israel-SA ministerial
visits,” November 3).
It is no use pretending any longer for the world
that all we have to do is give away so much of Israel , and all will be
It simply is not true and Israelis had better wake
The anti-Israel hatred that the Palestinians have succeeded in
fomenting since 1948 has succeeded.
Most of the world now believes that
Israeli should never have been established and never have won a war, and that if
it should exist at all the state would be like Monaco.
Just read and
listen to the statements of South African diplomats to the Turkish government,
to the European Union and even to the US government, which has pushed so hard
now for a Palestinian state made up directly from Israel. A Palestinians state
would be undemocratic, an enemy to Israel and a threat to the world. This is
what the world wants.
Israelis think that by acquiescing they will buy
themselves peace. Instead, we will have bought ourselves the destruction of our
dream of the Hatikva – living as a free people in a free world.TOBY
Jerusalem She really cares
Sir, – In “Livni’s political strategy” (Our
World, October 29), Caroline B. Glick says two important things about Justice
Minister and peace negotiator Tzipi Livni: “She cares” and “she will never quit
Yes, Livni cares – for her political career and the
survival of her infant party, Hatnua. After her traumatic career with Kadima,
which fell from 28 MKs to just in today’s Knesset, she understands that her
political survival depends exclusively on the so-called peace process. The day
this process collapses, the whole raison d’etre of her party becomes irrelevant.
She and her party are doomed to the same fate as Kadima.
It is for
exactly for this reason that Livni is prepared to pay any price to the
Palestinians in order to keep the peace process alive.
She is paying in
very hard currency.
For the Palestinians, Livni is the best negotiating
partner. No quid pro quo for a prisoner release is requested, and no concession
whatsoever will be made to Israel. Why? The fact that PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat
joined the talks was enough of a concession, and is the best insurance policy
for Livni’s political survival.
It is true: Livni cares – but only for
her party’s survival. And she will never leave politics again – until Erekat
decides otherwise.SHLOMO FELDMANN
Givatayim ‘Other side’
Sir, – How low
can we go? How much insanity can we take? There are reports all the time about
the poverty level, the number of food baskets charity organizations have to give
out, all the two-salaried families that can’t finish the month. Yet, we hear
calls to bet on horses abroad! “Get rich! Gamble on the horses!”say the radio
Don’t we have enough with Mifal Hapayis, Toto and Winner? Just
because other countries have betting doesn’t mean we have to as well.
there are other things we shouldn’t do although the world thinks they’re okay.
For example, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is pushing for civil marriage, or at
least an official status for whoever wants it. This goes against the Jewish
values of family. Politically correct is not the Jewish way.
We want the
Arabs to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
Well, let’s act
Throughout history we have stuck to our traditions and beliefs.
We still must do it. We do not need more gambling and its sorry consequences. We
certainly do not want to make it more difficult to know who is a “kosher” Jew by
allowing non-traditional relationships. We need to declare who we are by not
giving in to the world’s ideas when they contradict our own.
survived all these centuries by being on the “other side,” and even though we’ve
suffered we are still here. Our traditions and Jewish ways have kept us