Honor thy client
Sir, – Ignoring the question of why the Knesset even has a
legal advisor, who is Eyal Yinon to publicly state that he opposes Justice
Minister Yaakov Neeman’s proposal or any other legislation (“Opposition calls
Neeman’s proposal allowing majority of 65 MKs to undo Supreme Court cancellation
of laws undemocratic,” April 9)? That’s not his job.
His job, like that
of all lawyers, is to represent his client’s interests.
advice, his client is free to proceed in accordance with that advice or not, and
the lawyer proceeds to represent his client to the best of his ability in
accordance with his client’s decision.
If at any point the lawyer
believes he can no longer provide adequate counsel, he may withdraw from
But it is not his job – and it generally constitutes a
breach of duty toward his client – to publicly disclose that he opposes the
client’s views in a matter in which he represents him.
Here, the issue is
adoption of a so-called “Basic Law.” In the weltanschauung of Yinon, such laws
have constitutional status and cannot be overturned by the so-called High Court
Therefore, he cannot possibly offer a legal opinion to his
client on this matter.
This may explain why Yinon is quoted in the
article as opposing the legislation on extra-legal grounds. But as the Knesset’s
legal advisor, those are thoughts he must keep private. By taking a public
position contrary to that of his client on a matter in which he represents him,
Yinon has put his personal agenda above his client’s interests. He should be
fired and disbarred.
The writer has a law degree
Sir, – I’d like to thank Isi Leibler for his beautiful column
“The relevance of Passover in our times” (Candidly Speaking, April
But he made one mistake.
Instead of writing in his opening
sentence, “Despite alienation from religious extremism and the extortionist
tactics of the one-dimensional haredi parties, there has been a remarkable
revival in the observance of Jewish traditions and customs among those not
committed to observing Halacha,” he should have started the sentence by saying,
“Thanks to the determination of the haredi and other religious
It is a pity Leibler found it necessary to start by
maligning the very members of our Jewish society who are trying their utmost to
live by and preserve for posterity the very values he rightly
Sir, – In “Recalling
the Jenin ‘massacre’ libel” (Comment & features, April 9), Gerald Steinberg
states that because some journalists and diplomats have recognized the
exploitation of the principles of human rights by terrorists and their NGO
enablers, “the lessons of Jenin are finally being learned.” I think this is
dangerous and wishful thinking.
The “lessons” of Jenin will not be fully
learned until the Israeli government and its supporters around the world
recognize the necessity of continuously and forcefully presenting the history
and justification for Israel’s fight against terrorism, which predates the
founding of the country and continues on a daily basis.
The strategy of
defense in the propaganda war is a losing strategy and is far less effective
than a good offense. Israel must take steps to be the accuser rather than the
No old wives’ tale
Sir, – Regarding
Michael Carasik’s “Were the Israelites enslaved in Egypt?” (Comment &
Features, April 9), any serious researcher into the sagas of ancient tribes and
peoples would discover that they are all based on authentic memories. Their
minstrels retold these memories on ceremonial and public occasions down the
Just one example: The Maoris of New Zealand retell the saga
of the boats in which they landed, including their number and names. Each family
has a tradition regarding which of their ancestors sailed and how they
vanquished the indigenous inhabitants. Historians have confirmed when they came
and the fact that they came from the Polynesian islands, as well as the record
of the original inhabitants.
One of my revered teachers, the Torah great
Yehezkel Abramsky, never tired of pointing out that the Torah is not history.
For that, go to the archives and the universities. The Torah is the guide book
on how to lead a holy life and imitate the 13 divine attributes in our daily
The Torah certainly does not invent history, but as the voice of
God it selects from the stories handed down by our forebears.
out theologically objectionable and irrelevant material that is extant in the
apocryphal books to point to a moral, but not to adorn a tale.
the Torah and the Talmudic sages command us to distill a moral lesson from the
good and bad things that happen to us that will help improve our conduct in
accordance with the norms of our cultural heritage as embodied in the
Sir, – Michael Carasik claims that what the
Bible describes at length “offers no proof to the skeptical mind.” I cite in my
article in The Jewish Bible Quarterly of April 2012 ,“The Mixed Multitude
According to the Zohar,” that the mixed multitude that went up with the
Israelites from Egypt were the sorcerers and magicians of Egypt who “wanted to
oppose the wonderful works of the Holy One, blessed be He.”
Exodus 7:11: “Then Pharaoh, for his part, summoned the wise men and the
sorcerers; and the Egyptian magicians, in turn, did the same with their
According to the Zohar, Moses – not God – wanted the mixed
multitude to accompany the Israelites, “and they will learn that there is no God
like unto thee.” The fact is, the mixed multitude were a source of trouble for
Moses throughout his life.
Carasik’s article is a source of trouble for
the Jewish people today. For example: “Joseph has enslaved the Egyptians
unjustly, buying them with their crops they themselves grew. Implicitly, it is
only fair that once he is gone, they will enslave his family in
The writer is singularly intent on opposing rabbinic views, much
as the mixed multitude were to Moses and much as the hard Left is
Beduin can help
Sir, – When considering
our options in Sinai (“Israel’s options in Sinai are limited,” Analysis, April
6), we would do well to take several factors into account.
there hold a deepseated hatred for the Egyptian regime, which has always treated
them as third-class citizens. They were without doubt much happier during the
The struggle to subsist in Sinai is their main
problem. Smuggling of all types, especially of job-seekers looking to enter
Israel illegally, is a very good livelihood. So is the execution of actions for
which they are paid by Palestinian organizations and even Iran. It is not an
ideological or political struggle against Israel that motivates
There is close cooperation between the Beduin of Sinai and the
Beduin of Israel. As the question is mainly one of economic subsistence, we
should discreetly seek to compete with those who bankroll their
Cooperation with the Beduin could possibly restore our
much-needed gas supply. The treasury should consider the economic viability of
such cooperation compared with the cost of high fuel prices and border
The Beduin have controlled the desert wastes for generations. We
need their cooperation to overcome our problems.