Three random thoughts of the last few days. The first and the first and most disturbing was the information that Hadar Cohen, the young Border Policewoman killed yesterday, was still in basic training when she was killed. It surprised me and saddened me to learn how little the army has learned in the 40 years since I was in basic training. In 1975 they sent me and my fellow soldiers, who at the time had been in basic training for all of one week, to the Casbah of Nabulus to patrol. I even spent a day guarding Joseph’s tomb and having stones thrown at me, after having fired my rifle all of once. Now forty years later they send a soldier early in her training to one of the most attacked locations in Israel.
The second totally unrelated news was from a Knesset committee on public relations. The Foreign Ministry reported that the total budget worldwide was approximately 10 million dollars and that their budget for Sweden was $17,000. For over a year I have been amazed at Israeli chutzpah on the matter. They wonder why they fail at Hasbara- and while Israeli policies are sometimes to blame the failure to fund any serious effort is certainly a major factor. I have never understood how Israel can receive over $2 billion a year from the US and not think it needs to do any serious marketing.
Final thought relates to recent stories on the F-35, the US new front line fighter jet that Israel has contracted to buy at over $200 million a plane. The F-35 does not seem to living up to expectations and by some measurements is inferior to Israel’s current aircraft. I have always been very skeptical to the idea of buying a plane that cost $200 million. But then what do I know.!