July 22: Scandals and Davis
Public confidence evaporates when the justice system appears to serve the criminal more than the victim.
Scandals and Davis
Sir, – It should be no surprise that scandals erupt among the
UK’s Jews (“New scandal impacts on Anglo-Jewry,” Candidly Speaking, July
I attended the Knesset subcommittee meeting at which Mick Davis,
head of the UK’s Jewish Leadership Council, not so subtly implied that if he was
involved in the Israeli government’s decision-making process life would be
“easier” for UK Jews. His presentation claimed that his organization
(nonelected) was in control of the situation in the UK and that life for UK
Jewry was not as bad as “the rabble-rousers” in Israel were making it out to
With a decidedly not-so-hidden agenda in the JLC, it should come as
no surprise that Joe Millis has been appointed PR and communications
His negative views on Israel are well documented.
of further concern is the follow-up meeting held at the Knesset some weeks
later, which I also attended. At that session UK Ambassador Matthew Gould
repeated the same views as those of Davis.
I think I speak for many of
the “rabble-rousers” at the Knesset meetings when I say that both Davis and the
UK government are far-removed from the reality of the true level of
anti-Semitism that exists in the UK.
The writer is
chairman of CoHaV – Coalition of Hasbara Volunteers
Sir, – Mick Davis calls Post
columnist Isi Leibler “mad” because Leibler is an Australian.
scandal impacts on Anglo-Jewry,” Leibler claims this doesn’t bother
It doesn’t bother me, either.
But when Leibler tags Davis as
being weird, notorious and despicable in his actions because Davis is a Jew
responsible for Jewish institutions and undertaking what he thinks is best for
Anglo Jewry, this bothers me.
My dictionary offers a definition of mad:
extremely foolish or imprudent. Leibler should be a bit more careful as to how
and where he slings mud when he steps outside his Aussie patch into other
Inside the tent
Sir, – Kol
hakavod to Douglas Bloomfield for his insightful “Cracks in the foundation”
(Washington Watch, July 19). He correctly blasts the religious community for
attempting to sway the public from its path concerning conscription for
religious young men and women, and praises the government for its (very late)
recognition of other streams of Judaism that exist in Israel today.
unfortunate that certain influential Orthodox rabbis continue to fight this
Their stance will get them nowhere. The general public
accepts the correctness of encouraging other streams of Judaism and will
continue to do so.
The stubbornness of Orthodox leaders can do nothing
but harm, so they had best come into the tent and join the rest of
Sir, – David Newman (“To
occupy or not to occupy,” Borderline Views, July 17) would be much more
convincing if he simply critiqued the Levy outpost report point by point, calmly
and systematically, citing whatever he considered to be erroneous or
Instead, we get a dizzying diatribe of hackneyed left-wing
stock-in-trade accusations, halftruths, assumptions, hyperbole and
Just one example: Newman writes that the report’s opinion “flies
in the face of every other legal opinion, both Israeli and international....”
Can it really be that he is unaware of the opinions of such legal heavyweights
as Eugene Rostow, Jacques Gauthier, Talia Einhorn, Howard Grief and Stephen
Schwebel, all of which unequivocally support the findings of retired Supreme
Court justice Edmond Levy? Newman’s headlong rush to gloss over facts and deny
obvious realities proves that he has no interest in being confused by the facts,
as laid out in the Levy report. One must wonder if he even read it.
more fired-up and panicked people like Newman get about the report, the more
convinced I am that it is spot-on and necessary for fair and enlightened
Sir, – David Newman
should be reminded that the Levy committee gave very cogent reasons why the
settlements in Judea and Samaria are not illegal and that Israel is not an
Perhaps he could give us reasons why he believes the committee
Perhaps the US, the European Union and others could also do the
same and inform us why and how the settlements are illegal. Whether we should or
should not build settlements in Judea and Samaria, even if it is legal to do so,
is another issue.
EPHRAIM S. JONAH
In “The God particle: The benefit of a newborn infant” (Comment & Features,
July 17), Michael Faraday is noted as having conducted experiments in the 1930s
and 1940s. As his active scientific period lasted from about 1820 to 1860 and he
died in 1867, this is rather unlikely.
Good for Lador
Sir, – With regard to “Saving the state prosecution” (Comment & Features,
July 16), I do not fault the State Attorney’s Office for failing to secure
convictions on the most serious charges against Ehud Olmert. In crime and
punishment it is axiomatic that both the weakest and the strongest cases will be
disposed of prior to trial through pleas. What is left to go to trial are those
cases that are the most difficult to prove.
The State Attorney’s Office
should be applauded for going forward on a difficult case where public safety
demanded prosecution rather than just “cherry-picking” easy wins.
ills Yitzhak Klein ascribes to the State Attorney’s Office can be addressed
through something far less draconian than a whole new level of bureaucratic
in-house inquisition and its unmentioned but inevitable costs to the
An example: “One can be remanded to jail for months before
one’s case is heard.”
The Knesset can fix that by legislatively imposing
For instance, once arrested the accused must be brought to
trial in 60 days unless he agrees to a later date. Obviously, people in custody
will not agree to later dates and this both obviates the problem and compels the
prosecution not to bring charges until it is certain of its
Complaints about the State Attorney’s Office should not be
addressed to that office but to the Bar Association, which, if not already doing
so, should be charged with investigating the transgressions of individuals
lawyers regardless of their positions.
Klein asserts that public
confidence has been eroded by the Olmert case. I beg to differ.
of public confidence is largely attributable to the state prosecution’s
perceived failure to meaningfully prosecute: too many weak plea bargains;
repeated failures to give crime victims or their survivors a voice in charges,
pleas or sentences; repeat traffic offenders driving again and killing or
maiming others; criminally light sentences that prosecutors fail to dispute
These are the issues that have caused public confidence
to disappear. The public does not need a “club” of judges and lawyers who
coexist to serve each other; it needs a criminal justice system that strives to
protect the public.
Public confidence evaporates when the justice system
appears to serve the criminal more than the victim, which has all too often been
In this instance, State Attorney Moshe Lador swam against the
tide of judicial system inertia and did his job – and should be applauded for