August 18: 'Other things'

What "other things" took higher priority than strategic and logistical planning for an attack by an enemy?

'Other things' Sir, - Re "Lipkin-Shahak to head probe on handling of the war" (August 17): I find worrying the response by OC Planning Directorate Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Harel to questions regarding our preparedenss for the war: "We were prepared. We could have prepared more, but we were busy with other things." I am extremely interested in hearing what "other things" took higher priority than strategic and logistical planning for an attack by an enemy that has consistently expressed its wish to annihilate us, an enemy with a known connection to a country holding large financial and weapons resources. CAROLYN TAL Haifa Sumsum of money Sir, - It's always good to see attempts being made to know "the other" and Rehov Sumsum starts at the right age - but isn't it a shame that only those children whose families can afford pay TV can benefit from it? ("New kids on the block," Arts and Entertainment, August 17) JULIE SMERLING KEREM Tzur Hadassah Ban the Beeb? Sir, - If, as Stephen Pollard writes in "Don't boycott the BBC" (August 15), the BBC's reporting is indistinguishable from that of al-Manar, Hizbullah's own TV station, what is the rationale for not treating BBC reporters and broadcasts the same way al-Manar reporters and broadcasts are treated - by prohibiting their access to American news outlets and banning broadcasts in Europe? Why the double standard? MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC Beersheba Sir, - The BBC's biased reportage of the war has contributed to anti-Semitic attitudes in the UK. Al-Jazeera's UK proxy? GERALD SIMENSON Perth, Australia From a friend Sir, - To the people of Israel: I and my friends here in California would like you to know that you have our full support during these stressful times. I am a Gentile, yet I have experienced the love of the Jewish people. When I started kindergarten at age five, I asked my mother about the strange marks on my teacher's arm. Mrs. Brooks, my teacher, had lost almost all of her family in the Holocaust. Yet I remember her loving face as she reached out to embrace me. As I listen to the terrorists and hear them twist words and try to create a fog of wrong and right I become angry, yet I suppose there is nothing new under the sun. I am happy to remember my Jewish friend who taught me how to live and that "to have a friend, you must be a friend." Thank you to all the wonderful Jewish people I have known. I will do my best to be a friend now, or anytime you need me. VAN LITTLE Reseda, California 'Lie' & 'will' Sir, - Like Judy Montagu I cringe when I hear educated Hebrew speakers with quite good English say, "If he will come, I will tell him." "Lie" and "will" will always be a problem. Usage by many doesn't mean it is correct. I get annoyed when my computer corrects my English-English. But thanks, Judy, for a bit of fun ("It's a sad, bad time for purists," August 14). JOYCE WHITE Jerusalem