December 31: Off-field hero needed, too

The betrayal of Avi Cohen's wishes by his family upon the advice of a rabbi distressed me.

letters 88 (photo credit: )
letters 88
(photo credit: )
Off-field hero needed, too
Sir, – Regarding “Israeli soccer icon Avi Cohen laid to rest” (Sports, December 29), I was shocked by Cohen’s death. He was a role model to many Israelis.
However, the betrayal of his wishes by his family upon the advice of a rabbi distressed me.
Most Orthodox rabbis throughout the world and in Israel support organ donation; it is written in the Talmud: He who saves one life saves a world. The chief rabbi of the IDF holds a card from ADI-Organization for Organ Transplants, as does Rabbi Riskin of Efrat.
Saving a life takes precedence over any other religious consideration regarding death.
Cohen’s family chose to ignore his wish to donate his organs to save lives. He supported ADI; he held an ADI card; he wanted to give to others, to be a positive example in death as he had been in life, and his illadvised family denied him this right.
Rishon Lezion
Sir, – I am very perturbed by the fact that although soccer legend Avi Cohen had registered with ADI and therefore wished that upon his death his organs would be donated, his family and rabbis decided not to honor his request.
Instead, Cohen was buried without having any organs donated.
Surely this should not have been allowed. If someone makes a request prior to death, shouldn’t it be honored? Can rabbis also decide that a person’s last will and testament be changed after his death if it does not suit them or the family? I think that there should be a law against this.
Credit where due
Sir, – I read with much interest the front page article, “Authorities hail 2010’s strong aliya growth” (December 29), and was left wondering if the private organization Nefesh B’Nefesh had closed. Wasn’t it responsible for bringing 5,000 olim to Israel, more than 25 percent of the total aliya? Shame on The Jerusalem Post for pandering to the Jewish Agency, an organization that is doing all it can to justify its very existence.
Pulling borders and chains
Sir, – Alan Baker’s lengthy article decrying the references being made by the Arabs to the pre-’67 frontiers (“The fallacy of the 1967 ‘borders,’” Comment & Features, December 29) missed several essential points.
First, before the outbreak of war in 1967, the border between Israel and Jordan was the 1949 armistice line.
When the Six Day War ended, it had been moved by the IDF to the Jordan River following a failed attempt by the kingdom annihilate Israel. Weeks later, the king renounced all claims to the West Bank.
A piece of land that was not an independent state fell to Israel in a defensive war. Its prior claimant renounced ownership. I don’t know why Israel should question the current Arab stand. In the space between the 1949 armistice line and today’s border on the Jordan, there never was a Palestinian state.
Our prime ministers are a laughing stock in agreeing to negotiate over land that is ours. Who has been pulling their chain?
Sir, – Alan Baker is to be commended for his excellent, very important and very valuable article on a subject that has been a thorn in Israel’s diplomatic side for years. Yet there is one word in the article that puzzles me greatly.
In reviewing the history of the 1949 armistice lines, Baker cites Security Council Resolution 62 of November 16, 1948, which, he says, “called for the delineation of permanent armistice demarcation lines.” The word “permanent” in this context contradicts everything he writes in the article, which boils down to the fact – as Baker keeps emphasizing – that the armistice lines were anything but permanent, both by their own terms and as understood and often reiterated by the parties to the armistice.