Letters to the editor: May 16

Envelope (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Protective chain
The contents “IDF fighting to hang on to its cyber programmers” (May 13) are deeply disturbing.
Losing staff to better-paid jobs in the private sector is a problem that the public sector faces all over the world. In this case, there is little the IDF can do apart from extending the soldiers’ length of military service (the biblical seven years comes to mind) or their annual reserve duty. What can be done, however, is to give them the up-to-date equipment they need to do their duty.
It is nothing short of a scandal that a world leader in IT such as Israel cannot properly equip its military to fight a battle that is becoming more and more vital. Israel is surrounded by enemies that can easily afford the most advanced weaponry, including the kind of hardware and software needed to launch a devastating cyber attack.
Action must be taken urgently.
There is an old saying: “A chain is as strong as its weakest link.”
Let’s make sure that there are no weak links in the chain that protects Israel.
Cardiff, Wales
Pushed aside
It was very nice indeed to see your May 13 photographs of Independence Day celebrations. However, regarding the wonderful picture of the winner of the International Youth Bible Quiz, I wonder why the young girl who came in second, behind by only one point, was not given even a mention.
It seems she was pushed aside. I hope I’m mistaken.
Givat Ze’ev
Reason to cry
The religious pluralism group Hiddush asked Education Minister Naftali Bennett to ensure that haredi schools would be closed on Independence Day (“‘Close haredi schools for holiday,’” News in Brief, May 11). Does Hiddush not know that the greatest joy is in the learning of Torah? There are two occasions when Jews are not allowed to learn: during the seven days of mourning following the death of a loved one, and on the saddest, most mournful day of the year, Tisha Be’Av. Are we supposed to add Independence Day to the list? That would really be something to cry about.
Taken for granted?
After listing the achievements of Israel in its 68 years of existence (“Amazing era,” Editorial, May 11), the writer states: “We take all this for granted.”
I don’t know anyone who takes our achievements for granted. We put our children and grandchildren on the line, and we pay high prices for food, shelter and everything else. Everything we do in our state comes at a high price, and we take nothing for granted.
‘What a place’
In “What a place” (Comment & Features, May 11), Robert Sarner lists 68 reasons to cherish Israel on its 68th Independence Day.
For No.38, he boasts that there is no capital punishment for terrorists who slaughter civilians.
It is precisely the absence of the death penalty for terrorists that incites them to murder civilians and kidnap civilians and soldiers to ransom them for a huge number of their imprisoned fellow terrorists. It was, moreover, outrageous to highlight compassion to savages on the same day that “Masked terrorists stab two elderly Jewish women in J’lem” appeared on Page 1.
Isaiah said: “Zion shall be redeemed with justice,” yet this supreme Judaic value in dealing with terrorists is absent in the Jewish state. The obstinacy in the US in not banning guns, which leads to horrific gun violence, is similar to the obstinacy in Israel in not enacting capital punishment for terrorists. Both policies of madness play fast and loose with life.
There is, in fact, capital punishment in Israel. It was carried out twice: on IDF Capt. Meir Tobianski, on June 30, 1948, for treason (he was posthumously exonerated); and on the Nazi Adolf Eichmann, on May 31, 1962, for crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Jewish people.
As the first chairman of the organization Save a Child’s Heart, I was pleased to notice that Robert Sarner placed it at the head of his list.
He points out that it performs life-saving surgery for children around the globe (including Palestinians) free of charge. I wish to add that as of this date, Save A Child’s Heart at Holon’s Wolfson Medical Center has performed over 4,000 such operations.
Zichron Ya’acov.
Straight to her heart
I loved “‘Zikaron’” (Comment & Features, May 11) by Yishai Fleisher. His message got to my heart. It was almost like being there.
Regev’s flags
With regard to “Miri Regev wants state-funded institutions to fly national flag” (May 10), as a new oleh from a well heeled democratic country, the US, I have never ceased to be amazed over the 18 months since aliya at what appear to be unfortunate, ill-conceived notions as to what the full landscape of a truly democratic society is all about.
Given the significant and potentially volatile mix of political, religious, economic and demographic diversity here, it is disturbing to read of Culture Minister Regev’s proposed “Loyalty in Culture” bill, including the flying of the national flag as a litmus test for loyalty to and pride in Israel.
For better or worse, many democracies long ago abandoned loyalty oaths and flying of the flag as a sign “upholding the value of the state and its symbols.” While the flag should never be abused or desecrated, it should not be used as a battering ram to threaten individuals and/or institutions with the withholding of needed funding or with being a determining factor as to their allegiance.
No doubt there should be objective, fair criteria and accountability for state support, but these need to be far away from tainting and manipulation by any personal, philosophical or political agenda that undermines the continued operation or possible contribution of a worthy state-supported entity to do so in its own unique way.
Having read “WoW conducts priestly blessing” (May 10), I would like to ask what it was that determined who among them was qualified to do so. Were they so designated if their fathers had been of the priestly clan, or only their mothers? Then again, perhaps they could trace their ancestry to the sister of Aharon and thus qualify! I would like to suggest further areas that till now have been the exclusive province of male Jews: the requirement of washing hands after meals, ritual slaughter, the requirement of praying three times daily and the five-shekel redemption 30 days after birth.
All fine and good, but what the heck are they going to do about circumcision?
• With regard to “Michael Douglas to bring star power to NY ‘Post’ confab” (May 13), Douglas did not appear in the film One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but was one of its producers.
• The anecdote about David Ben-Gurion at the beginning of “Israel’s qualitative age” (Editor’s Notes, May 13) relates to an incident that took place in 1953, and not as stated.
Chanan Weissman is the first modern Orthodox Jew to serve a Democratic administration as liaison to the American Jewish community, and not as stated in “Obama gets new Jewish liaison” (News in Brief, May 13).