April 6, 2017: Losing Ground

Nowhere do the Torah or Talmud advocate only the learning of Torah; in fact, in several places, it is said that this is the wrong approach.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Losing ground
It is wonderful news to read that the Technion achieved first place in the Center for World University rankings for one important subject, but your article “UAE ranks 3 Israeli schools in top-10 lists” (April 4) shows that Israeli universities achieved top-10 rankings in only six subjects out of 227, which is barely over 0.25%, whereas Singapore, a country of comparable-sized universities, achieved this in 2% of subjects.
There is nothing to celebrate with such a comparison – the “start-up nation” cannot rest on its laurels and is facing considerable competition in the rest of the world, particularly the Far East, and is losing ground. It is clear that Israeli universities are now financially under-resourced for research.
If the Israeli government is not going to invest in this, it can only come from charitable donations.
Tel Aviv
Big tent
With regard to Caroline B. Glick’s “Leaving the big tent” (Column One, April 4), it’s extremely worrying that so many American Jews are ignorant of the situation in Israel.
They obviously are getting fake news from the print and social media put out by Israel’s enemies.
We are obviously not going to get honest press coverage by the mainstream media, and I believe that what we need to do is flood the social media with the true picture of Israel and – heaven forbid – graphic details of any attacks against it and its citizens. We need to expose the bias of the media, BDS and the university campuses.
What people need to see is the destruction of life that Rasmea Odeh was responsible for, together with her picture and details of any organization that invites her to speak.
This is just one example.
Unfortunately, there are many more.
Haredi protests
In “Its not about the army” (Comment & Features, April 3), Baruch Stein claims the main motivation behind haredi protests against IDF service is politics.
He is more right than he imagines.
The haredi claim that it is more important to learn Torah than it is to work or serve in the army is most certainly a recent political invention. Nowhere do the Torah or Talmud advocate only the learning of Torah; in fact, in several places, it is said that this is the wrong approach.
The halachic codifiers are quite clear in forbidding such an approach – according to Jewish law, it is a grave sin to learn and not work.
Regarding the army, King David certainly knew the Jewish approach. He had his own fighters to protect Israel.
Straying grape
The Jerusalem Post usually differentiates its articles as either news items or opinion pieces.
However, in “Tough to be politically correct” (Grapevine, April 2), Greer Fay Cashman strays from her usual reporting on social events and the world of culture into the much more difficult arena of security issues, where she seemingly conflates facts with opinions.
Ms. Cashman should rest assured that the IDF is the most moral army in the world. This fact is continually attested to by senior experts from the US and the UK, whose armies are also significantly involved in asymmetrical warfare.
Her piece speaks of a few “rotten apples” (fact or opinion, we don’t know), but these are often dealt with in a formal and independent judicial system, as we too well know from the so-called Hebron shooter case – and this only further speaks to the army’s morality.
Of course, it has to be extremely disturbing to be woken in the middle of the night for a house search, along with one’s husband and young family, as was reported for Rania Wasfi. But Ms. Cashman does not tell us what happened with the searches carried out at neighbors’ homes, whether these were also by “bad apples” or whether, as in the case of Ms.
Wasfi’s family, the neighbors were also “innocent.”
She continues by saying there should be a more civilized way of carrying out these searches.
It’s hard to disagree. Short of having the terrorists identify themselves, though, perhaps Ms. Cashman could identify the other “innocent” families, with the remainder being subject to search.
Unfortunately, this is part of living in the difficult neighborhood of the Jenin refugee camp, which has been the source of countless terrorist actions designed to kill innocent Israelis.
Greer Fay Cashman responds: I wonder how Mr. Smith would respond if the shoe were on the other foot. As for his contempt for “rotten apples,” he should listen to Israel Radio defense reporter Carmella Menashe.
Being the most moral army in the world does not mean it is totally moral – it is simply more moral than others.
‘Post’ not a fan
OK, I get it. The Jerusalem Post is not a fan of the current president of the United States.
Between your anti-Trump editorials and the feed of anti-Trump New York Times opinion pieces that you consistently reprint, we get the story.
But why can’t you find a decent political cartoonist? This guy Hunan (or whatever his name is) is just terrible. I don’t know what’s worse – his amateurish, on-the-verge-of-babyish drawings or his downright spiteful hate of US President Donald Trump and anything or anyone to do with him.
The latest example is the April 2 stupidity about the wall around Jerusalem and what seems to be Ivanka Trump (hard to tell, with the childlike artwork) saying to her husband that “nothing is kosher around here.”
Enough is enough! Bring back Dry Bones and Mr. Shuldig!
Ma’aleh Adumim
Nor is this reader
US President Donald Trump’s plan to put Americans back to work means reviving the coal industry. Miners get paid for mining coal, but then get black lung disease and go to doctors for treatment, thereby putting doctors to work! I believe this blatant deaf ear toward climate change will not “make America great again,” but will make America irate again, and by the millions!
Mooresville, North Carolina