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
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
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.
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).
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
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.DAVID
Kiryat Ono 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.FANNY MYERS
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.YOEL TAMARI
Tel Mond Same old plan
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.
the soothing sounds is the same old plan for our disintegration.
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.YISRAEL
Jerusalem 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
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.JAY SHAPIRO
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.
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
Dimona The writer is a spokesman for the African
Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem