November 30: Survival first

Before the gov't cuts funds needed for military training, our cabinet ministers had better recall the effects such cutbacks had on the army’s performance during the last Lebanon war.

Survival first
Sir, – Before the government cuts funds needed for military training (“IDF procurement plans on hold as budget cuts loom,” November 28), our cabinet ministers had better recall the effects such cutbacks had on the army’s performance during the last Lebanon war.
All professionals – soldiers and military analysts – agree that training is the essential factor in successful fighting. This refers to every level of the military, from squad through division. The same applies to the navy and air force. Faced with the growing power of Islamists throughout the Arab/Muslim world and the everpresent hatred of Israel and Jews, the IDF must be at the highest level of performance. Greater social spending must come with an increase in GDP. It will be of no import if the nation is not victorious in war.
The preferred option
Sir, – “PM delays demolition of Mughrabi Bridge,” says your November 28 headline. And why? Because it would have necessitated the deployment of large IDF and security forces in Jerusalem and around the Temple Mount, as well as stepped-up army preparedness in the West Bank.
So what is the answer? Do what has now become the preferred option: capitulate, surrender, give in, but under no circumstances stand our ground.
It should be noted that the bridge is used as the main entry point to the Temple Mount for non-Muslim tourists and security forces. One can only imagine what difference it would make were the bridge dangerous for Muslims.
Shortsighted, bigoted
Sir, – “Ethiopians protest gov’t proposal to reduce aliya flow” (November 28) describes a scandal of many years: keeping members of the Falash Mura community in deplorable and life-threatening conditions in Ethiopia with a series of excuses as to why they cannot be brought to Israel.
The article states that the protesters’ central demand is for the Absorption Ministry to open additional absorption centers so the Ethiopians can continue to arrive at a rate of 200 per month. Are Western immigrants told they cannot come because of budget or housing shortages? Were immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East told they could not come because of budget shortages? Were the FSU immigrants told to wait three, four or five years because they could not be housed? The social and economic costs of these government-imposed delays will be with us for years.
They are the clear result of shortsighted, bigoted policy making.
We all are paying the price, not only the immigrants.
The writer has worked with the Ethiopian Jewish community in Ethiopia and Israel
Outrageous profits
Sir, – I am outraged to read that the Israel Electric Company is making such huge profits – NIS 1.09 billion – while we, the public, are struggling to keep our heaters on (“IEC January-September profit up 603%,” Business & Finance, November 28).
How dare the IEC raise the price of electricity and then post a higher profit! One would expect it to be barely able to maintain its usual profit (NIS 155 million during the same period in 2010), with all the crying we have been exposed to about the increased cost of fuel (amounting to NIS 2 billion in all).
I ask Prime Minister Netanyahu to please put a brake on the electric company. The price of electricity must come down drastically.
(And now I wonder about the price of water....)
Sour grapes
Sir, – Regarding your article “Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo vows to ‘kill all Jews’” (November 27), protesting the “Judaization of Jerusalem” is akin to protesting the saltiness of salt.
Other deep waters
Sir, – Apropos “Turkish FM: ‘Israel buried our friendship in the deep waters of the Mediterranean’” (November 27), allow me to recall Turkish double dealing throughout World War II.
Up to the end of April 1944 Turkey religiously supplied chromium to Nazi Germany’s munitions industry (despite the incessant pleas of the Allies to desist), and it took until August 2, 1944, for the Turkish National Assembly to approve the severance of diplomatic relations with the Nazis.
Just as the Turks manage to sweep the Armenian genocide under their carpets, so have their leaders escaped indictment for their complicity in the infamous Struma affair, a war crime and crime against humanity par excellence! The 180-ton cattle boat left Constanza, Romania, on December 12, 1941, with 765 Jews bound for Haifa. Despite engine problems, the ship reached Istanbul, where landing privileges were refused. The Struma was “quarantined” in the harbor for 10 weeks until February 23, 1942, when the Turkish police severed its anchor and towed it into the Black Sea, where it was set adrift without a working engine, to sink! This was Turkey’s contribution to the previous month’s Berlin diktat to unleash the Final Solution upon the Jews.
Novelist Olivia Manning, on the deck of a British Royal Navy ship in Istanbul harbor, espied the wretched ship. “The ship was the Struma,” she later wrote, “however, in the harbor of one of the world’s largest cities, a place teeming with diplomats and journalists, the panorama of Jewish suffering was visible to anyone who cared or dared to look.”
Nazi amazement Sir, – Regarding “Holocaust experts spar over Lithuania’s Shoah policies” (November 27), the Holocaust in Lithuania was very different from that in other countries.
When the Nazis invaded, locals immediately commenced the rampant killing of Jews. Local armed militias were organized overnight. By the end of 1941, 80 percent of the country’s Jewish population had been killed.
The Nazis were amazed at the viciousness of the attacks by the locals.
Tshuva’s answer
Sir, – Your November 24 editorial “Taking on Tshuva” smacks of socialism.
Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Real Estate took a major hit due to the global meltdown in that market.
He is not responsible for these losses – the reason he is still in control of many large investments is because of his diversified portfolio.
As you pointed out, he has no legal obligation to inject cash to cover his bondholders, but you are mistaken in thinking it is the right thing to do or that it will hurt his reputation if he does not.
While it is true that bondholders are entitled to more relief than stockholders, this was an investment- grade bond and not a government- backed bond. In return, the bondholders received higher interest and had the right to force the company into receivership to collect assets if they didn’t like the deal.
Asking Tshuva to throw good money after bad because he has the resources is very poor investment advice and would definitely put his more profitable businesses at risk. He should protect his interests in his best companies and continue to invest in those he deems most profitable. Ultimately, this will cause the economy to flourish.
Doing something right Sir, – Kudos on the new format for the Entertainment Billboard section! The bold type for titles followed by a brief description is a welcome innovation. Keep up the good work.