June 6: Staying sharp

In regards to the article about cutting reserves training and pushing back development of the David’s Sling.

June 5, 2013 22:45

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Staying sharp

Sir, – In regards to the article about cutting reserves training and pushing back development of the David’s Sling (“IDF cancels all operational duty for reserves this year,” June 4) – as a previous combat soldier the government must revise their decision and tell our chief of staff and defense minister not to do this.

Look what happened in our Second Lebanon War – our soldiers did not know how to use their weapons, tanks, etc., and our commanders, instead of leading from the front, stayed way back with their computers, causing undue casualties. Before then, we trained every year, and this kept us sharp in all areas.

When we went into Gaza a second time casualties were at a minimum due to constant training.

I do not want to see our sons again sent to the slaughterhouse due lack of funds for training and for the home front not to be protected by our missile defense systems.

Other areas can be slashed in the non-combat arena – reduced cooks in bases, increased retirement age for all officers, etc. This is the time to look carefully at where to slash due to what is going on around us.

MURRAY JOSEPH Kiryat Motzkin

What about the people?

Sir, – We can only appreciate the coverage that The Jerusalem Post gives to the very important subject of electoral reform.

However, articles by Gil Hoffman (“Yesh Atid submits its own electoral reform bill,” June 4) and Ari Harow (“Next on the agenda: Electoral reform,” Comment and Features, June 3) still emphasize the threshold factor of electoral reform – which certainly can make governing easier for the politicians. But what about the people, especially those not affiliated with a specific party? CEPAC continues to maintain that at least half of the Knesset should come through regional representation.

Migdal Tefen The writer is the co-chairwoman of the CEPAC Citizens Empowerment Public Action Campaign.

Unofficially unemployed

Sir, – Stanley Fischer, the outgoing governor of the Bank of Israel, has without doubt made a major contribution to the economy of Israel and we are all extremely indebted to him (“Fischer: Improve schools, lower poverty, make peace,” June 4).

Our Central Bureau of Statistics provided him and our governments with wonderful unemployment statistics described as the “lowest levels in the Western world.” But like all statistics, they sometime “lie,” as it depends how one calculates the number of unemployed. Should the OECD do some of its own statistic taking, it would discover that we only include those receiving unemployment pay, and the minute a worker stops receiving it he is removed from the statistics even though he is still unemployed.

I am fully aware that politicians across all parties do not want to change the basis because of the importance of receiving excellent international economic ratings.

The only big losers are the “unofficial” unemployed.

We should stop deceiving ourselves that our unemployment statistics are excellent and our governments should feel the need to take constructive steps to reduce “unofficial” unemployment.


Shining a light

Sir, – In regards to “Israeli matriculation exams: Less is more,” (Comment and Features, June 4) – at long last it has been said! You go to school to learn the basics – what were once called “the three Rs” – in order to have the tools so that one can learn how to study. And one needs to know how to study, whether one aims to be an astrophysicist or a car mechanic or shop assistant.

Thank you, Bernard Ehrenberg, for shining such a clear light on a subject that is so important in all its aspects, and which has been disregarded for far too long.


Fairer burden

Sir, – I was pleased to read that 3.8% of our families are millionaires (Israel has 10th-highest percentage of millionaires,” Business and Finance, June 3).

Isn’t it time to bring back the estate tax, which was dropped many years ago as there weren’t enough rich people. Estate or death tax is collected from the estate of the very rich before the heirs can inherit. Although I wish them a long life, the 3.8% could make the tax burden on our society a little fairer.


Same old plan

Sir, – Contrary to the unfounded, breezy optimism expressed by Hilik Bar (“A new breeze of hope,” Comment and Features, June 3), the Arab so-called Peace Initiative is just another attempt to conquer Israel by kind words and stealth.

Behind the soothing sounds is the same old plan for our disintegration.

No wonder no government has seen fit to respond to this piece of subterfuge. It has the same old stench, and no amount of perfume can make it what it’s not: a genuine desire for compromise and recognition of Jewish rights.


Hero worship

Sir, – The fact that President Shimon Peres has become an nonagenarian in good health is something that we can all be happy about. (Peres’s hometown honored for 90th birthday,” June 2) And whether we agree with his present political and diplomatic actions or not, we can all wish him many more vigorous years. The Jerusalem Post article about the ceremony in his birthplace, Vishnyeva, Belarus, included comments by Limud FSU founder Chaim Chesler and Peres’ daughter Prof. Tzvia Walden after drinking from the local well.

Chesler is reported as saying “If Shimon Peres drank from this well, we all must drink from this well” as he passed out cups of water to the participants at the ceremony.

Walden said: “It is an honor to be here to represent my father and share with all of you his love of this home and the water he and my family drank many years ago.”

The report did not include whether the well water had remedial capabilities nor whether there was any pool, lake or river in Vishnyeva that our president walked upon in his youth. Unfortunately, hero worship and deification of an ordinary mortal, regardless of his position, can sometimes be carried to the point of embarrassment for both the individual and the nation that he represents.


Save your soul

Sir, – Regarding Alice Walker’s attempt to discourage Alicia Keys from performing in Israel, let us commence by acknowledging the BDS movement – like many strategies of the US civil rights movement – as a legitimate political expression to draw attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum ( “Walker urges Keys to boycott Israel,” News in Brief, May 31).

However, the same adjectives leveled at Israel by Ms. Walker – “cruel, unjust and unbelievably evil” – have justifiably been used to describe American policies and actions, past and present. Dr.

Martin Luther King’s latter days were marked by a growing impatience with America’s involvement in Vietnam, amidst a burgeoning poverty. Reassessing the strategies of the movement, Dr.

King privately related to America as a “burning house”... which gives us an indication of how he might think today if he was still with us.

Should Ms. Keys decide to come to Israel, we would hope that she take time to visit a community of African-Americans who have lived – and entertained – here for nearly five decades. Our position is clear: Israel is our home! Ms. Walker’s perspective might benefit from such a visit also.

From our viewpoint, we see an “unconscionable harm” being inflicted upon America herself, upon all of humanity and upon the earth itself. Alice Walker, open your eyes... and save your own soul!

Dimona The writer is a spokesman for the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem

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