August 13, 2017: Trump and Twitter

"With regard to 'Tillerson: Trump’s tough talk aims to send message' (August 10), the exponential growth of social media on the Internet is symptomatic of the devolution of public discourse..."

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Trump and Twitter
With regard to “Tillerson: Trump’s tough talk aims to send message” (August 10), the exponential growth of social media on the Internet is symptomatic of the devolution of public discourse from dialogue to monologue. The most egregious example is the ever-growing deluge of Twitter messages by US President Donald Trump.
I would humbly remind President Trump that tweeting is for the birds.
As a US veteran, I am concerned with the chaos our commander- in-tweets creates. How can our military put faith in him when he continually tweets out ridiculous accusations and false information, and questions advice from his generals? How can we believe what he says? Many tweets are designed to deflect criticism of him and move people’s thoughts in his direction. These diversionary tactics might work if he were the CEO of a company where he had absolute control, but it will not work with Congress and the media.
If Trump is to succeed and implement his policies, he needs Congress and the media on his side. He will not succeed by proposing half-baked policies and insulting people and institutions that disagree with him.
Executive orders do not stand the test of time. They are easily rescinded.
Trump believes all publicity, including negative publicity, is beneficial, but this doesn’t work when you are president.
Our commander-in-tweets is sowing chaos, doubt and confusion in the minds of the American public, our military and people around the globe, and it is endangering the security of our country and our status in the world. Mr. President, please get normal.
Londonderry, New Hampshire
Women and combat
It is most distressing that you have decided to sweep under the carpet the serious problems of women serving as combat soldiers (“Hands off women conscripts,” Editorial August 9).
It is difficult to believe you are not aware of the very real difficulties there are for women and for the army in mixed-gender units, and for women in general who serve as combat soldiers.
To ignore these problems because of political correctness or a radical feminist agenda is simply unconscionable.
There is a wide range of literature on the subject, including reports from within the IDF, highlighting the dangers to women’s health in combat roles.
There is also the recent report by the state comptroller pinpointing deficiencies in mixed-gender units.
We are not living in Switzerland.
We live in a very dangerous neighborhood with heavily armed enemies facing us on all sides.
The IDF simply cannot afford risky experiments that endanger the health of women soldiers, who physically do not have the strength or stamina that male soldiers do. Nor is it correct to lower standards of training to accommodate women, thus putting the readiness of the army at risk. Moreover, it is both unfair and counterproductive to have women serving as officers at the expense of highly motivated and qualified religious soldiers who, for halachic reasons, cannot accept the close intimacy demanded by training in mixed units.
You must know all this, yet you choose to promote combat service for women as a high-priority matter.
My day would be incomplete without my daily dose of The Jerusalem Post. Unfortunately, your editorials seem to be increasingly crafted by writers for Saturday Night Live.
What is the logic in confounding the issues of mixed-gender military units alongside the “insult to women putting their lives on the line in the IDF”? The editorial claims that advocates against mixed-combat units are mocking female conscripts.
The truth is that the issue of mixed-gender combat service is more about relative physical capacity, musculature and endurance. Is the Post advocating for the country’s professional soccer and basketball teams to become mixed-gender? Are Israel’s tennis and Olympic teams denigrating the “bravery and tenacity” of our female athletes by maintaining gender- separate teams? The next thing we will be reading is that pilots should not be selected upon the basis of the quality of their vision. After all, why insult the thousands of brave young men and women with astigmatism?
Al Jazeera and Israel
Some six weeks ago, I wrote to Minister Ayoub Kara advising him of my intention to petition the High Court of Justice unless the license given to Al Jazeera to operate in Israel was revoked. In all modesty, I am sure that Minister Kara, who is a true Zionist, needed no push, so I was disappointed to read in “There are no alternatives” (Editor’s Notes, August 4) that the move to close the Israeli bureau of Al Jazeera “is ethically questionable for a democracy.”
I believe that the call to remove Al Jazeera goes beyond Zionism, patriotism and security – and this despite its continual incitement against Israel, its slanted reporting and identification with terror. One particular horrific example can suffice for the latter: The Beirut bureau of this “news” network feted the release of the abominable Samir Kuntar, who deliberately smashed in the skull of a small child.
It is not only the nature of Al Jazeera itself that demands action – after all, the BBC does not lag far behind in its pervasive and insidious bias against Israel. Yet there is a crucial difference between the one and the other: the sponsor.
The closure of Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem bureau is ethically unavoidable for a democracy.
What is ethically questionable for Israel, and indeed for any other democracy, is to allow the mouthpiece of Qatar – a vicious, terror-supporting dictatorship – to have a voice.
Qatar, through Hamas and Hezbollah, supports terror worldwide. Qatar also uses slave labor to build the stadiums needed to indulge the megalomania of its rulers who, through bribery, won the opportunity to host the next World Cup. (When German journalists tried to investigate the situation of those migrant workers last year, security agents detained a sports reporter and his team, confiscated their equipment and deleted incriminating footage.
They similarly detained four journalists from the BBC while they were traveling to interview migrant workers.) Hundreds of migrant workers have already died, and we are obliged to invite the collaborators of their murderers into our homes? As for Qatar and freedom of the press, what insufferable impudence! It is sufficient to quote the overview published by the NGO Freedom House: “Media houses and professionals in Qatar are subject to significant restrictions, and the overall landscape encourages a high level of self-censorship.
While the country’s flagship satellite television channel Al Jazeera is permitted to air critical reports on foreign countries and leaders, journalists are subject to prosecution for criticizing the Qatari government, the ruling family or Islam.... The country’s broadly framed anti-terrorism legislation can also be used to restrict freedom of expression.”
Somehow, Al Jazeera’s apologists are not invited to comment on the journalistic principles of Al Jazeera’s owner, nor do they volunteer to do so.
I fear that Post editor in chief Yaakov Katz had a knee-jerk reaction regarding an imaginary breach of journalistic freedom.
I would suggest that he bear in mind that those well dressed, well spoken and skilled presenters working for Al Jazeera are not members of the Fourth Estate, but of a far older profession.
The writer is an attorney.