IDF budget innovation
Sir, – Regarding the article “Gantz slams proposed defense
budget cuts” (October 11): I served in a combat unit as well as reserves until
age 48. When I went in the army in 1969, I knew combat reserves would be until
My suggestion is to bring that policy back so regular units can
do more training. Non-combat personnel should go to age 67 as with civilians,
and we should reduce the over-abundance of non-combat personnel on
Retiring at 45 with full pensions is ridiculous, as these people
go in to civilian jobs and almost double up on their salaries.
saved and trimmed in these areas will keep the combat units still training and
will still allow enough funds to be able to buy ammunition and new platforms in
New platforms must meet our needs in and around our close
neighbors but not become grandiose.MOSHE JOSEPH
Kiryat Motzkin A man of
Sir, – In “The passing of Steve Jobs,” (Comment & Features, October
11) Susan Hattis Rolef writes that Steve Jobs was no “demigod” and that his
products are “not indispensable” and in fact “have become a social
She doesn’t get it.
Steve Jobs revolutionized
computing, communication, music distribution, retail and animation.
created extremely useful products that made our lives, yes, a little more
“beautiful” and fun.
Mostly he embodied the single-minded pursuit of
excellence. He created the world’s most valuable company and employed tens of
thousands of people.
To complain that his products are addictive is to
complain that cars are “bad” because some people drive under the influence and
cause accidents, or McDonalds makes people fat.
If only there were more
people of vision and competence like Steve Jobs.DANIEL CHERTOFF
Jerusalem Stop a bleeding heart
Sir, – Gershon Baskin in his oped (Confessions
of a 'yefeh nefesh,’” October 11) makes it very clear where his sympathies lie
as a true “bleeding heart liberal.”
Baskin is “appalled,” “aghast,”
“dismayed” and “full of rage” at the behavior of Jewish settlers towards their
And yet, Baskin does not share the same sentiment
when it comes to the continuing murder of innocent Israelis.
Palestinian terror as having caused the Palestinian movement “horrific damage”
with no accompanying outrage.
Is it any wonder, as Baskin mentions, that
the Israeli peace camp is in tatters and on the defensive? Could it be that the
majority of the Israeli public is fed up with Baskin’s hypocrisy and double
standard? MATTIAS ROTENBERG
Sir, – Gershon Baskin’s latest effort is
nothing if not hilarious.
Baskin’s narcissism is of course the trademark
of lefties and pacifists the world over.
Here in Italy, they hang peace
flags from their windows, whose symbolic message is “My neighbor, the one
without the peace flag, is a warmonger.”
Should anyone really take a
commentator seriously who actually writes “I am completely aware that resolving
the conflict is not solely dependent on Israel; it does take two sides to have
an agreement. I wish, however; to focus only on our side.”
In my honest
opinion, Baskin is not a traitor or a self-hater – those positions necessitate a
Milan, Italy Double standards
Sir, – Isn’t it
intolerant of Gershon Baskin in “Confessions of a ‘yefeh nefesh,’” and David
Newman’s “Israel must stamp out Jewish extremism,” (both October 11), to decry
building on a small disused plot, which is what has been done in the vast
Jerusalem necropolis for millennia? The Romans built a huge stillvisible water
cachement pool there. Nearby are churches, a monastery, hotels, a consulate,
stately homes, businesses, centers of learning, community centers, schools,
offices, synagogues, roads, bus stops and more atop ancient Jewish, Christian,
Muslim, pagan and Byzantine graves.
Numerous material remains are in
museums close to the homes of Baskin and Newman. They attest to eons of
occupation by countless cultures in the settlement strata below us.
could be greater respect for all in the Holy Land than now to further a message
of peace and goodwill? ESTER ZEITLIN
Jerusalem Long ago encounter
Sir, – This is
the second time I saw a reference by Efraim Karsh (“The revisionist history of
Sari Nusseibeh,” Comment & Features, October 11) to a supposed meeting I
attended in the spring of 1988, in which he (apparently as a moderate Israeli)
The first mention of it was in a critical review of my book
Once Upon a Country
I must confess I cannot remember the occasion, or
But I do know that it was with a scholar at the Jaffee
Center, Mark Heller, that I joined hands during that period and afterwards in
the writing of what was perhaps the first joint Israeli- Palestinian book on a
two-state solution – whose proofs, I may add, I went over while (and in spite of
being in) jail afterwards.
Concerning my overall political commentary on
the tragic unfolding of our common history, I will leave the matter of judging
them to your discerning readers.SARI NUSSEIBEH Jerusalem Iraqi Jewish
Sir, – “Security of Iraq’s Jews shaken by WikiLeaks” (October 10)
brought back powerful memories of my time as an American diplomat in Baghdad
shortly after the end of the Second Gulf War.
Much as the few Jews
serving in the Coalition Provisional Authority (we rarely numbered more than
12-15 men and women at our Friday night services) wished to develop ties with
the local Jewish community, we were constrained by the community’s concern for
their own safety.
They feared that a visit to their synagogue by
Americans could raise their profile and lead to attacks against them.
borrowed a Sefer Torah from the Iraqis so that we could read from the Torah on
The transfer was made in a clandestine operation reminiscent of
a James Bond movie.
Our car (driver in the front, me in the back waiting
to receive the Torah) pulled over to the side of the road at a prearranged
meeting place. We kept the engine running in case we had to make a quick
getaway. Another car pulled up behind us.
As I looked around anxiously, I
heard a tap on the window and saw a man holding a Torah. I jumped out of the car
to receive the holy scroll. As the man handed it to me, we embraced, and he
whispered, “We shall meet at better times.” I jumped back into my seat, cradling
our loaned treasure, and we sped off in opposite directions.
“better times” of which my friend spoke will not take place in
Baghdad.EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Ya'acov Tired of the ‘Times’
Sir, – For
years The Jerusalem Post
has included many New York Times articles.
everyone appreciates reading the world’s flagship newspaper, especially the
articles about economics, medicine and US politics, but why the constant
inclusion of Israel bashers the likes of Kristoff and Friedman? How about
something by David Brooks, the centrist on the Times staff, or better yet
something from the generally Israel-supporting Wall Street Journal.
is it a crime to feel good when you put down the paper? J.W. KRASNER