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Intelligence source

Regarding It took a village, May 20

I read Rona Selas article with great interest. Having been in charge of the southern part of the country in the Arab division of Shai [Intelligence Service] for the Haganah in the Mandate period, I want to remark on a different angle concerning the preparation of the village files.

In addition to Arab informers, we drew on the assistance of the veterans in the settlements. For example, I met often with Yigal Sverdlov, of blessed memory, who was born in Gedera and lived there until the day he died. He was an inexhaustible mine of information about the Arab population in the area.

On the basis of his knowledge, I prepared detailed files for the villages of Basheet and Katra, and if the files have not been destroyed, they still exist in the Haganah archive. My knowledge of the terrain was exploited in the first months of the War of Independence when I was co-opted into the headquarters of the Givati Brigades 53rd Battalion, which was responsible for the southern region. Afterward I was also seconded to the intelligence unit of Operation Nachshon headquarters in the effort to break the siege of Jerusalem.

Galil Elyashiv
Kfar Sava

Full disclosure

Regarding Mind the gap, May 20

Eldad Yaniv tries to persuade us that the political culture in Israel resembles the situation on the television series Polishuk. That is, there is no true leadership, all is vanity and a desire to hold on to ones seat and preserve the interests of the owners of capital. Well, thanks, Eldad Yaniv, for helping us to see the light. What would we do without you? The only problem is that Yaniv thinks we are imbeciles and that we will believe him when he says he wants to save us because he is different (if he were so different, he wouldnt have stayed so long and so successfully in the system), and not in order to drum up support for his new political party.

His biggest chutzpah lies in the fact that he neglects to inform us at the start of the article that Shmuel Hasfari, the creator of Polishuk, is his friend and ideological partner in the establishment of the nascent National Left party. I wouldnt rule out the possibility that the two created the series deliberately as a first step in their political campaign.

Nir Sabo
Beer Sheva

Archaic method
Regarding Intimations of immortality, April 22, and a readers letter in response to the article, May 20

How is it possible to argue, as Aharon Primerman does in his letter to the editor, that a yearning for the sublime is burned into the human genome? Yearning for the sublime, and for beliefs in general which are usually superstitions are products of indoctrination beginning in infancy and continuing with the brainwashing of toddlers and children at the imperative of the divine force. Anyone born into a believing family grows into a religiously observant person according to his familys religion and anyone born into a secular family grows into a person who believes in science, which offers sufficient solutions and answers to most of his questions.

The theocratic method Primerman preaches is archaic. It is a method that brought constant bloodshed there is no room here to detail all the murders committed in the name of the sublime God. There is no such thing as a basic need to yearn for the sublime other than in the writers overheated mind. Primerman has no right to teach secular people how to manage their lives.

Avraham Belinder
Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv, May 2011Credit: Alex Levac



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