I do not hold an opinion about the merits or otherwise of the shooting of an injured Palestinian terrorist by a conscripted young Israeli soldier.(“That tug-of-war,” April 8).
However, I am disturbed that anecdotal evidence was provided by a photographer of B’Tselem, and made public almost immediately. This conflicts with the methods claimed by this organization, as printed in their own website. I quote, “B’Tselem ensures the reliability of its information through independent fieldwork and rigorous research, the results of which are thoroughly crosschecked with relevant documents, official government sources, and information from other sources, among them Israeli.”
Do we have any evidence that all these actions were carried out before the video was released and made available not only to Israelis, but to the whole world? This was done before any official enquiry was held, which in my opinion is deserving of severe criticism and which should not have been permitted.
MYRA ZION Tel Mond
That a particular soldier shot a prostrate Arab in Hebron is a matter of unchallenged evidence. But so is the fact that the Arab perpetrated an attack against soldiers.
Thus support for the soldier does not necessarily imply the feeling that we are in a war against “the Arabs,” meaning all the Arabs, as Avraham Avi-Hai’s contends (“Of mercy, innocence & guilt,” April 8). We are in a war against the terrorists, as I assume Avi-Hai would agree. It’s not as if the soldier had intentionally shot an Arab bystander for being an Arab.
On a separate point, the requirement of unanimity for a life sentence, Avi-Hai is readier to concede that the presumption of innocence on the one hand must be weighed against the risk of too easily liberating dangerous criminals.
But on that point, unlike the case of whether to shoot the arguably still dangerous terrorist, there are obvious implications for less serious crimes.
If a prisoner goes free because the court was not unanimous on a life sentence, why shouldn’t a prisoner go free because the court was not unanimous on a 15-year sentence? After all, the crime is less serious, so the risk may be considered smaller.
Maybe the sentence should be prorated according to the votes, with each judge responsible for a quota of years?
MARK L. LEVINSON Herzliya
I disagree strongly with the conclusion reached by Gil Hoffman that, in the wake of the Hebron shooting incident, our defense minister has gained in popularity with the public. (“Targeted for assassination” April 8).
On the contrary, I believe the opposite to be the case, as was borne out by a recent poll, taken after the incident, which showed that more than 80% of the public were supportive of the soldier, rather than accepting Ya’alon’s contention that a “loathsome” act had been committed.
Additional evidence of the growing unpopularity of Ya’alon can be seen in the fact that virtually all of the 20-30 letters on this subject which have appeared in The Jerusalem Post (not to mention the vast majority of talkbacks) have been immensely sympathetic towards the soldier and critical of the military top brass for rushing to denounce the soldier before all the facts were known and, in general, for their condemnatory attitude towards him.
Such a lack of support by Ya’alon for the soldier under his command, who had to make a split-second decision and almost certainly feared that he himself (and others) were in a life-threatening situation, will quite likely confuse youngsters who are due to be conscripted, and undermine their motivation to serve in the IDF.
RHONA YEMINI Givatayim
Zionist Union lawmaker Eitan Cabel criticizes fellow party member, Zouheir Bahloul, for refusing to characterize as a terrorist, the Palestinian who stabbed an Israeli soldier in Hebron (“Cabel: Bahloul can’t be part of my party,” April 10).
Bahloul said, “Before 1948 there was the British Mandate...
Irgun, the Stern Gang and Hagana took to the streets against soldiers of the Mandate to bring about this wonderful country.
Why aren’t the Palestinians allowed the same?” Of course, there are many points here that do not equate, but for the sake of argument let’s accept his position. This would mean that he’s asking for his people to be exiled, imprisoned, shot, hanged, and herded into tiny enclaves, to cite just a few examples.
Their weapons would be confiscated and they would be forbidden to defend themselves.
Israel’s aim was to get the British out of here, and we finally succeeded to drive them back to their own country. It seems then, that Mr. Bahloul wishes the Palestinians to expel the Israelis and take over the country that is to be made Judenrein.
Given that he himself is an Israeli, I suggest that he be the first to go.
DEENA SPIGELMAN Jerusalem FMT leadership
In her comprehensive review on fecal microbiota transplantation (“A process of elimination,” April 10), Judy Siegel-Itzkovich says, “Since 2014, the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center has had the country’s first fecal (bacteriotherapy) transplant clinic for treating and even curing Clostridium difficile infection”. She also says that in the Kaplan Medical Center, in which I head the Gastroenterology Clinic, a few patients had a FMT with Clostridium difficile and with obesity.
I would like to clarify that we (Kaplan Medical Center) were the first to perform FMT in Israel in June 2013, and were the first to be approved by the Ministry of Health for the procedure.
We have already performed 23 FMT’s, most for the indication of recurrent Clostridium Difficile infection and several as part of a study on obese subjects. Most of our patients with the infection have recovered following transplantation.
Though the term “FMT clinic” is not used in our institution, we are considered a referral center for FMT for the “Sherutey Briut Clalit” sick fund and have a “reservoir” of frozen microbiota for immediate use.
DR. EHUD MELZER Rehovot Abetting incitement
rwin Cotler wrote an excellent article on how the Rwanda and Nuremberg anniversaries remind us of the horrors of genocide (“Two historic anniversaries,” April 8). He states six lessons we must learn and six actions the Genocide Convention mandates the international community to do in order to avoid genocide in the future.
The first is that incitement to genocide is a crime in itself. Taking action to prevent genocide is not a policy option; it is an international legal obligation of the highest order.
Unfortunately, it does not seem that anyone is listening. Iran has for years been calling for Israel’s destruction and is continuing to do so at any given opportunity.
Not only has America dropped sanctions against it, they did not even demand as a condition a stop to the government sanctioned anti Israel incitement.
The EU and the other countries? They are falling over themselves to do business with and pump money into Iran.
This seems more of a reward to me than a punishment.
RUTH SAMSON Petah Tikva
“The preacher of al-Aksa Mosque was briefly detained by Jerusalem police... interrogated for incitement during the sermon ... in which he denounced Jewish tours of the Temple Mount and urged Muslims to be present at the site during Passover to foil such visits.” (“Police detain Temple Mount Sheikh,” April 10) This detention was called a “dangerous precedent and intervention in the religious affairs of Muslims” by the PA and Jordan.
I want to know why the detention was brief and why he is allowed to continue to incite.
PHYLLIS STERN Netanya