April 6: School trips

A better solution: Do your job.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
School trips
With regard to “Tel Aviv principal: It’s time to rethink school trips to Nazi concentration camps” (April 4), what an irresponsible reaction from a school principal, of all people.
A better solution: Do your job.
Improve preparation and education before the trip. Choose serious and deserving students only (if there are any). Make this experience the privilege it is.
Don’t back away!
Kfar Adumim
Never too old
“The leaders of tomorrow, here today” (Comment & Features, April 4) reviews insights we already know about the innovative capabilities of young scientists.
Like Albert Einstein, original thinkers typically do their best research before they reach their 30s. However, organizations such as MATI, a public development center promoting new industries in Israel among new olim, does not offer its gratis consultative services to entrepreneurs over 65.
The over-emphasis on youthful contributions could be leading to the exclusion of senior scientists who are also capable of significant, groundbreaking contributions later in life. For example, I anticipate having a patent issued shortly for a simple new approach to the accelerated degradation of garbage in landfills, a major environmental problem. I am 74.
Geography ills
Seth J. Frantzman’s interesting “History and tragedy: Caucasus war clouds” (Terra Incognita, April 4) would have been more usefully illustrated by a map than by a pointless picture of Azeri soldiers seeking a cup of tea.
This is a region whose geography is not known to many readers.
The same comment can be made regarding many articles in The Jerusalem Post, including those covering Israel itself.
Hebron revisited
With regard to Ruthie Blum’s “Soldiering on through tears” (Right from Wrong, April 4), I also do not shed tears for dead terrorists, but in this particular incident in Hebron, the soldier made a mistake.
According to information in all the newspapers and on the Internet, he was not involved in the actual take-down of the two terrorists, arriving only afterwards.
The video shows two officers standing less than a meter from the terrorist. The soldier thought he remained a threat and seems to have acted on his own. The officers need to be reprimanded for not securing the area.
While doing my reserve duty in the territories, if we were attacked by a terrorist with a gun or even just a knife, my choice was three bullets, center mass, not as police officer Shlomo Shlush did. As for the other incident Blum mentions, the IDF officer needed to make sure the terrorist’s hands were open and did not have a so-called dead man’s switch, used to detonate explosives. He should have had the terrorist open his jacket slowly while keeping a safe distance, with the other soldier training his weapon on the terrorist’s head.
If this had been done, maybe, just maybe, Shlush and the IDF officer would be alive today.
Kiryat Motzkin
Ruthie Blum has done her homework in focusing attention on two tragic incidents where wounded and seemingly subdued terrorists managed to rally and easily kill Jews.
We must make every effort to publicize these two tragic events so that our defense forces can be more aware and more empowered to protect not only our lives, but their own.
In “The two Jewish nations in the State of Israel” (Think About It, April 4), Susan Hattis Rolef writes about the morality or immorality of the IDF soldier who shot a disabled terrorist, an issue that has divided our country.
I wonder if the IDF would decide to carpet bomb Hamas or Hezbollah in the next war, knowingly killing pregnant women, infants and old people, and knowing it would be judged by history and found guilty. How has history judged US president Harry S Truman when he did this twice in three days a little over 70 years ago, winning a war decisively? History likes winners, and free people like democracies.
I hope the IDF will adopt new guidelines to save our soldiers from investigations and humiliation.
Perhaps the answer is to disarm them so they will be unable to kill “innocent” terrorists.
The plight of the young soldier who opened fire in Hebron takes me back to my youth.
Early in 1942, during my first week in RAF service, we were given pep talks of what was expected of us. We were told quite clearly that we were going to be trained as expert killers.
We listened to lectures and were shown films, one of which ended with the figure of a German soldier in a coal-scuttle helmet and swastika armband charging at us with a rifle and bayonet. We were told: This is what you will face. You will have to be just as ruthless as he is.
I cannot get that look out of my mind.
Now, let’s take this young IDF soldier. How old is he? Eighteen, probably no more than 20. A young, happy Israeli, not long out of school, possibly being trained to be a killer.
Who, in this day and age, is his enemy? Not soldiers trained for the battlefield, but terrorists who trained to kill innocent people going about their daily lives.
This, he is taught, is his enemy, and rightly so. It is not like my enemy of 70-odd years ago, in uniform with a gun, or the pilot of an airplane or a gunner on a naval warship.
Can we not somehow come to understand the mixed-up feelings that caused the soldier to do the dastardly act he did? He was wrong, terribly wrong. But isn’t all warfare wrong? Remember, he is not long out of his teens, if at all. Who are we to judge? Let us hope the right thing will be done for this young man.
May God have mercy on him and bring peace of mind to him and his family, whose suffering must be shattering.
Kfar Hanassi