August 27: Disunited we stand

Even before the guns fell silent, we set about savaging those who, for good or ill, did their best.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Disunited we stand Sir, - Even before the guns fell silent, the feeding frenzy began. Like hyenas eating their own entrails we set about savaging those who, for good or ill, did their best. Yes - mistakes were made. Mistakes are always made in war, and one of the biggest and most demoralizing is the inevitable, ensuing gift we always give the enemy: the hatred we display toward each other, and the disunity ("Feeding frenzy," Oded Abramsky, August 24). LEO SOLOMON Nahariya House to house Sir, - In light of Amnesty International's condemnation of the IDF's behavior during this war, I'd like to quote a letter I wrote to the owners of the house we had to occupy while serving in Lebanon on reserve duty in the Carmeli Brigade. It said: "Dear Family, We are sorry that we needed to use your house. We tried to cause the minimum damage we could and leave what we did not need as is. We hope that one day there will be peace between the Lebanese and the Israelis. - IDF." I'm certain that if the roles were reversed I would not receive my house back in the good condition we left their house ("Israel rejects Amnesty International criticism," August 24). RAFI OSTROFF Alon Shvut 'Follow me' Sir, - I would like to see the IDF drop the "Follow me" method of officer leadership. It was fine, admirable, when we were fighting unsophisticated enemy units. But it has become anachronistic and extremely costly in today's battle situations. From the rescue operation at Entebbe until the recent terrible loss of Lt- Col. Emmanuel Morano, we have lost invaluable people who could have contributed so much to our military and society ("Officer killed in Baalbek raid," August 20). These highly trained, seasoned and intelligent men should be assigned to training crack units and planning special operations. I can well understand their love for their men and their devotion to duty, but "Follow me" puts too much at stake. When we look at today's so-called leadership - abject mediocrities whose Teflon veneer is rapidly peeling and who are characterized by their lack of morals and ethics - the tragic and untimely loss of these officers becomes even more painful. RAPHAEL ROSENBAUM Kiron Back from the lions' den Sir, - They came back to work last week. Their posture belied any hint of a swagger. Then again, I knew them to be regular, quiet types, which is how they left and how they returned. We crowded around them and just wanted to shake their hands and ask a million questions. I won't embarrass them so I'll just say both of their names are Daniel. Our office is a small one, a mix of American olim and native Israelis. Typical of any other workplace, we followed the war in Lebanon closely. Our Daniels are both paratroopers in different units, so whenever there was a story about a firefight with casualties, or worse, we nervously waited for the names. Thankfully, our Daniels came home without a scratch. We had a little party in the office to show our appreciation. The words fell painfully short of expressing our gratitude. They are real heroes, these two Daniels who went into the lions' den. A lot has been written about this war and about the problems that went along with it. All I know is these guys performed a kiddush Hashem - a sanctification of God's name - on the highest level. They used to have parades in this country. I wish they'd have one for these soldiers of ours, cause I'd be on the sidelines, saluting those Daniels and all of our soldiers. SHLOMO MESSINGER Beit Shemesh Pull the plug Sir, - Re "Unknown group claims kidnapping of journalists" (August 24): The Fox network journalists kidnapped in Gaza would probably be freed tomorrow if every news and broadcasting service withdrew its facilities and correspondents and boycotted the area. No news can be good news. MOSHE DANN Jerusalem Fairness epitomized Sir, - The Jerusalem Post should leave Ken Roth alone. The work of the Human Rights Watch executive director is, I feel certain, properly supervised by a Middle East Advisory Committee that includes such luminaries as Gary Sick, who served on the US National Security Council during Gerald Ford's administration; Shibley Telhami of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy; Shaul Bakhash, a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books; Christian Science Monitor columnist Helena Cobban, international lawyer Rita E. Hauser, sociologist Samir Khalaf, Ann M. Lesch, a political scientist who has written extensively on Zionism, and Mustafa Tlili, who served as an adviser to the UN secretary-general. If there was even the slightest suggestion that Roth was treating Israel unfairly, I'd like to think that members of this distinguished committee would take prompt remedial action ("Whose war crimes in Lebanon?" August 23). YVETTE H. WEISSMAN Ra'anana/Paramus, New Jersey Poor example Sir, - When the Israeli accountant-general announces the choice of Alitalia over El Al as main flight provider for government employees going on business trips, it just doesn't make sense. If our government isn't supporting our own economy by using Israeli airlines and blatantly advertises its use of a foreign airline, what kind of an example is this for the citizens of Israel? ("Government dumps El Al for Alitalia," August 23.) SHARLENE BALTER Beit Shemesh Why the fuss? Sir, - As an Indian Jew, I fail to understand why we Jews need to reiterate that what happened to us in WW2 was the most cruel thing done by Hitler and his ideology ("New restaurant bearing Hitler's name upsets Bombay's Jews," August 24). In India Jews are a microscopic minority and Holocaust awareness is limited. But Jews are treated very well. Hitler is regarded as just another historical figure and swastikas are an ancient Hindu symbol, displayed all over to bring luck. In my opinion Indian Jews and the Israeli consulate should not force the Indian people to realize the cruelty of Hitler; if they wish to stay unaware of Hitler's bad deeds, it's their choice. One cannot go about doing moral policing, or acting in the manner of the Danish cartoon protests. We Jews have Yad Vashem and the March of the Living, and that's enough for me. A completely different angle is the publicity. Most restaurant owners can only dream of getting such great publicity, soeasily, at zero cost. The more response to this gimmick, the more will such incidents increase. RONNIE JOSHUA DIGHORKAR Ahmedabad, India Forest trump Sir, - Our forests, planted by loving hands and nurtured with hope and prayer, have been a source of pride and joy to the people of Israel. It was good to read that the JNF intends to diversify the flora during replanting to make the forests more resilient ("Galilee forests will take 60 years to recover," August 24). Blueberry bushes, which require rich soil such as in Upper Galilee, could become a very viable plant there. Blueberries are extremely healthy and there is a dire shortage of them at reasonable prices in Israel. Apple trees, cherry trees and trees with edible nuts could also be planted. Let us turn disaster into triumph by original thinking! TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem