A guilty verdict for Sgt. Elor Azaria (“Court convicts Azaria of manslaughter,” January 5) was to be expected, considering the real reasons for which he was arrested and immediately declared guilty by his superiors.
The reason he was made a scapegoat was to satisfy a world that will never rest until we are destroyed or, better still, destroy ourselves, at which we are doing a damn efficient job.
On the same front page, we have the hypocrisy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (“PM: Azaria conviction ‘painful’”).
Netanyahu helped destroy a young soldier (and his family), causing pain and misery for a soldier who was willing to put his life on the line in the defense of the people and country. For that commitment, the soldier has been condemned for killing a terrorist. I will say it again: For killing a terrorist.
Would a photo op with the parents have been more opportune if the soldier had been the one killed instead of doing the killing? YENTEL JACOBS
The case was never about whether Elor Azaria shot Abdel Fatah al-Sharif. That fact was accepted from the outset. The real question was: Is it reasonable for a society to provide legal rights to protect a terrorist who has demonstrated a total disregard for those same legal rights for others? Azaria should have been tried for violating military orders and protocol. To convict him of manslaughter of a person who attempted to kill another soldier without provocation is unjust.
The real question should be: Is the current IDF protocol offering legal protection and medical treatment to terrorist murderers fair to the soldiers of the IDF? If the situation were reversed – if a Jewish Israeli attacked a Palestinian security guard with the intent to kill – would the Palestinian Authority provide legal protection and medical treatment to the attacker? Or would the attacker be summarily executed? I am not suggesting that we change our military protocol to copy that of the PA. But we should look at our own divine Torah laws, which label someone who has demonstrated a disregard of the legal rights of others an outlaw. We are commanded to kill that person before he can kill us.
These are the real questions.
They need to be examined, and the IDF protocols should be revised to provide fair guidelines for our soldiers.KAL FEINBERG
The terror, anger and frustration experienced by civilians cannot be fairly equated to conditions under combat in a military context. This reality is, in fact, the basis and purpose for military discipline and justice. An army without discipline is a mob, a soldier without discipline is a thug, and judgment by non-peers without possession of all available facts is a kangaroo court.
The execution of military justice by military peers as empowered by civilian authority is the only appropriate mechanism for judgment in such circumstances, regardless of the verdict. For Israel or any nation that upholds the moral and ethical principles that place supreme value on human life, it is essential that reality and a perception of justice unadulterated by politics and public opinion be the sustained object and purpose.
Criticism of this judgment can only be legitimate if it is based on facts informing whether the justice system is properly designed for military purposes and delegated by representative civilian oversight in accordance with a nation’s ethical, moral and legal foundations. I trust that Israel and its citizens will not diminish their place as a light among nations by eroding the essential principles of justice and due process.TIM BAIRD
A Trump administration
In “Israel and the Trump Administration” (Candidly Speaking, January 5), Isi Leibler notes that President-elect Donald Trump is regarded by many as unpredictable and capable of reversing his opinions. It seems curious that the efforts of some to cast doubt on Trump merit mentioning, given the following: On June 4, 2008, one day after announcing he had the delegates to win the Democratic nomination, candidate Barack Obama spoke at the AIPAC policy conference, stating that any negotiated agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority “must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state with secure, recognized, defensible borders. And Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
Then there was this from President Obama at the AIPAC conference in 2012: “When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”
And he offered this in his speech to the American Medical Association in 2009: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
Obama went well beyond reversing his opinions, as he claims to have done regarding gay marriage. On many occasions he engaged in outright lies.
Let’s wait a while before judging the predictability of Trump.
He deserves at least part of the “honeymoon” period the press extended to Obama long after it was clear that he could not be taken at his word.JULIA LUTCH
I am certain that I am not the only Jerusalem Post reader relishing the volume of salty tears that Douglas Bloomfield is shedding (“Revenge is a dish served by Trump,” Washington Watch, January 5).
Bloomfield cannot get off his knees to the Obama administration or even consider the hope inherent in the coming Trump administration, so I would like to propose a new glossary aimed at helping readers, including myself, understand him.
“Obama’s efforts to negotiate peace” – pressuring Israel only “Ultranationalist” – anyone to the right of Bloomfield, which apparently now includes even liberals like Alan Dershowitz “Destroy the peace process” – return us to the good old days before Oslo, when some kind of peace might have been possible “Longtime US peace negotiator” – a proven failure, resistant to changing a losing game.
There are, of course, more terms, but once a reader gets the gist of Bloomfieldspeak, it’s entertaining and good gamesmanship to come up with one’s own definitions (and relish the coming four years of the columnist’s obvious misery).CHAIM ABRAMOWITZ
After listening a few times to outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry’s December 28 news conference in which he explained his reasons for the US abstention on UN Security Council Resolution 2334, my question is why the abstention? If Kerry was so sure that this resolution was a step in the direction of peace – as implied by his comments – why didn’t the US just vote in favor? IRA SOHN
Many people, including the prime minister, will admit that they are replaceable, but based on Susan Harris Rolef’s “Who can replace Netanyahu?” (Think About It, January 2), we learn once again how the old Ashkenazi elites still don’t get it.
Writing about possible replacements for the current prime minister, Ms. Rolef gives as an example Meir Cohen from Yesh Atid: “Unlike most of the Likud’s members of Moroccan origin, the intelligent and knowledgeable Cohen speaks calmly and moderately....” Is it only me that senses the haughtiness and perceived superiority that comes from this statement? The sense of superiority and years of lording it over the Sephardim are key reasons the Labor Party, and more recently Meretz, fail to garner more support in elections.