August 23: Sauce for the goose

Ya'alon deserves the same praise as Tamir for speaking his mind.

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August 22, 2009 20:52
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letters 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Sauce for the goose Sir, - Your August 20 edition had three articles which should really have appeared on the same page. The front-page headline read "PM summons Ya'alon after his appearance at Feiglin event," implying that Moshe Feiglin is somehow beyond the pale. Apparently, people disagreed with Moshe Ya'alon's statement that we Jews have a right to build and live anywhere in our own country. Luckily, this article was answered very handily by Douglas Bloomfield's "Risky business: Speaking truth to power." Of course, Bloomfield was referring to Nadav Tamir, our consul- general in Boston. Bloomfield was pleased that Tamir could speak his mind. Tamir was called home for his remarks, given a slap on the wrist and sent back where he will, of course, do more of the same. Well, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Ya'alon deserves the same praise for speaking his mind. As Bloomfield said, "Truth telling should be encouraged, not punished." And in a democracy, side "A" gets equal talking rights with side "B." Evelyn Gordon astutely pointed this out in "How the state encourages violence": When one side's votes are discounted and its opinions squelched, it is pushed into the corner from which violence emerges. Peace Now referred to Ya'alon as a danger to Israeli democracy. This is true if "Israeli democracy" means that only the Left gets heard. THELMA JACOBSON Petah Tikva Pliable vis-a-vis the powers that be Sir, - As always, Irwin Cotler, a true champion of human rights, gave a lucid and convincing analysis in "The Goldstone Mission - tainted to the core" (August 17 & 19). However, I would like to suggest that it is not only the mission that is tainted. I met Goldstone nearly 50 years ago, and have always admired his legal skills. When I practiced law in South Africa, I gave him his first brief at the Bar, and subsequently his first brief to the South African Appellate Division. However, his recent conduct, alas, leads me to question his claim to moral stature, starting from his unjudicial rush to judgment against Ariel Sharon on Panorama, and now his foolish acceptance of chairmanship of the commission to examine the events of the Gaza war despite the obvious bias detailed by Prof. Cotler. A man of Goldstone's intelligence must surely have realized that he was chosen as a Jewish fig leaf to disguise naked bias. Goldstone served as a judge in South Africa for many years in the apartheid era, initially as a trial judge and subsequently as an appeal judge. There is no question that, as such, he implemented apartheid law. It is well known that in the apartheid era, the death sentence was not handed down in any manner that could remotely have been described as just. Blacks received death sentences whereas whites would not - for the identical crime. In addition, for crimes other than murder, death sentences were given only to blacks. This lack of simple justice pervaded the South African criminal system in all its aspects as well as administrative law in such matters as the Group Areas Act. Anybody who was part of this skewed system shares moral responsibility for it. People make career choices and live with them. However, anybody who acted in this system as a judge or prosecutor cannot afterwards claim the high moral ground where human rights are concerned. There were distinguished barristers who refused to accept judgeships in that era. Goldstone chose a different path, and this casts suspicion as to his pliability in favor of the powers that be - in this case the powerful anti-Israel lobby. Surely it is not only the mission which is tainted, but the man himself. LOUIS GARB Jerusalem You can't beat an original Sir, - Re your reader's August 14 letter in response to Sarah Honig's "(Trans)Jordan is Palestine" (UpFront, August 7): Although Buddy Holly has been dead a very long time, Yehuda Ben-David has a "brand new album" - no doubt because you can't beat an original. Why, therefore, does Mr. Ben-David have a problem with Ms. Honig because her column applies to "a 50-year-old fact"? Does that make it any less valid or true - or is he suggesting that we adopt the Arab and Obama narrative where our historical rights are simply removed? EDITH OGNALL Netanya Home run Sir, - Re "Lockerbie bomber to be released" (Online Edition, August 20): If Scotland can defy Barack Obama's wishes by sending Abdel Baset al-Megrahi home to Libya, why does Prime Minister Netanyahu find it so hard to stand up for Israel's legitimate interests? How can it be in Israel's interest to have had a de-facto settlement freeze for five months already, and received nothing in return? PETER SIMPSON Jerusalem Bernie's secret life Sir, - I couldn't believe the article about Bernie Madoff ("Madoff lover stayed on because of tenderness, lust," August 20). Who cares about the extramarital life of the greatest gonif the world has ever known? Does Sheryl Weinstein, with a prestigious position at Hadassah headquarters, expect to recoup her investment by exposing her secret life in a book about her affair with Madoff? David Voreacos and Linda Sandler of Bloomberg could have been more discreet in their reporting. I have The Jerusalem Post delivered daily, and my grandchildren visit me very often and many times they sit down to read my newspaper. What do I say to them if asked to explain the episode of Sheryl and Bernie? It's trash, and does not belong in the Post. L. BOLNICK Jerusalem Sir, - Adversity makes strange bedfellows, but not here. These two are birds of a feather, because both took without scruple what belonged to others. What surprises me is that she entrusted her money to a cheater, yet still seems to value his words of endearment. Some people just don't want to know the truth. M.M. VAN ZUIDEN Jerusalem Top it off Sir, - I wish the designers of the Taga bicycle-stroller all the success in the world ("Israeli-Dutch bike-baby carriage hybrid hopes to stroll to success," August 20), but I would like to see them showing more social responsibility. Why in the publicity photo accompanying the article is neither mother nor child wearing a bike helmet? However sturdily built the Taga might be, facts are facts - one is nine times more likely to incur serious head injuries riding a bicycle without a helmet than with one. The fact that this vehicle is not intended for street use is no defense; you can just as easily be involved in an accident on a bike path or park lane. MICHAEL D. HIRSCH Kochav Ya'ir Taking the pulse Sir, - The article showing that many Ashkenazi Jews can be shown genetically to be of Sephardi origin left me wondering: Can an Ashkenazi Jew of Sephardi ancestry eat kitniyot on Pessah? ("Zeide wasn't meshugana - family has Sephardic genes," August 19.) RONNIE STEKEL Jerusalem

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