You’re on your own
Sir, – As long as President Obama is in office there is no possibility whatsoever of the US using its military to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, no matter how much it insists that “all options are on the table” and how many threats it makes (“PM to Biden: Only credible military threat will stop Iran’s race for nuclear arms,” November 8).
There are only two countries that could conceivably launch a successful attack: the US and Israel. Unless Israel acts on its own, Iran will possess nuclear weapons in the next year or so, and will use them against Israel in an effort to wipe it off the map. That’s reality.
There is no other way to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power and attacking as soon as it is able. None whatsoever. It’s kill or be killed, sad to say.JERRY PHILIPSON
Comox, British Columbia A truism on fur
Sir, – Regarding your front page story on Pamela Anderson, which mentions her anti-fur trade campaign (“Praising ‘gorgeous’ Israel, Pamela Anderson flies in to show us how to tango,” November 8), only animals wear fur.
MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Jerusalem Facing up
Sir, – I just finished reading the latest column by Marilyn Henry (“I choose life,” Metro Views, November 7), and it is amazing how appropriately it describes my own emotions.
My father, having beat cancer twice, thought he could beat the odds a third time. He was told by several doctors to seek only palliative care, but rolled the dice and gambled on a surgical procedure that took over 11 hours, and then required four more procedures to clean up the mess.
Instead of being with family and friends during his final months of life, he was imprisoned in a hospital and endured surgery after surgery to no avail.
I am sorry that Henry is ill, but from where I stand, she is making the best choice, not just for herself, but also for her loved ones. I only wish my dad had made the same one.JUDY SCHMELL
Sir, – Marilyn Henry’s column offers an important perspective on facing life-threatening illness and courageously espouses an often silenced voice. Patients facing terminal illness endure painful existential isolation as they become aware that their time is drawing short, and those around them knowingly or unwittingly deny this reality.
While well-intentioned family members and caregivers labor to maintain a hopeful stance, patients are prevented from living an authentic life that includes the ability to make autonomous and meaningful choices about how they wish to live their remaining days.
Life’s Door–Tishkofet, a nonprofit organization with programs throughout
Israel and abroad, has placed an emphasis on opening a frank dialogue
about serious illness and end of life. Our programs provide guidance and
support through counseling, groups and retreats, all aimed toward
enhancing the lives of patients and their family members. In addition,
LDT trains professionals to be able to be fully present, caring and
honest at these challenging moments when the harsh realities of
mortality are being confronted.
Henry’s insightful essay attests
to the power of supported honesty and inspires us all to foster
opportunities for others to travel the journey toward life’s end with
such dignity.PROF. BEN CORN, MD DVORA CORN, MSC
JerusalemThe writers are founders of Life's Door-Tishkofet Universal abuse
– The British foreign secretary, on his recent visit to Israel, was
questioned about the continued threat of arrest for “war crimes” hanging
over the head of any Israeli government or military personage visiting
the UK, and when his government would take steps to cancel or defuse
this ridiculous law. The minister replied with noticeable irritation
that “...we will continue to do it to our own timetable. We do not need
any intervention by other foreign ministers in that process, including
the Israeli one” (“We’ll amend universal jurisdiction within a year,
Hague promises,” November 5).
Granted, there might be complex
legal problems in changing the law or in government interference in its
application. However, I cannot believe that the home secretary is
meanwhile unable “in the public interest” to order the police to refrain
from any arrests. I am sure this has been done before in various
situations when it suited the government.
In connection with this
it has been suggested here that joint security, economic or scientific
projects with the UK be suspended until this situation is put right.
I would suggest that the British government be informed that all of
these projects will at some stage require unrestricted visits by senior
and lesser Israeli functionaries who must all receive cast-iron
guarantees of immunity from arrest before any of these projects are
allowed to go forward.REUBEN (BOB) PORATH
– I believe I might be the only person in Israel who has been (albeit
inadvertently) involved in the procedure for an application in the UK
for the arrest of a foreigner.
Long ago, when I was a practicing
solicitor in London, a client known to me slightly from previous
dealings consulted with me on business matters. When I had completed
offering my advice, he started to talk about the Universal Declaration
of Independence that had just been announced by Ian Smith as prime
minister of Rhodesia. He asked me what I thought about UDI. I told him I
had no special knowledge of the subject and we merely chatted. There
was no reference to a court or to any legal procedure, and I was not
providing advice. The conversation petered out and he left.
horror, the next day, when getting the Evening Standard, I saw
headlines that a warrant had been issued at Bow Street Magistrates Court
in central London for the arrest of Ian Smith following an application
by the individual who had pumped me for comments the previous day. What I
had said to him he repeated extensively to the court (although not
attributed to me, thankfully), and his application succeeded.
fact is that he knew nothing about Rhodesia and had no real interest in
the subject, but was playing with the court system and gaining wide
personal publicity. I did not meet the man again.
I was present
at the lecture on “lawfare” given last year at the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem by Baroness Patricia Scotland, the then-British
attorney-general, when she expressed her opposition to abuse of the
Universal Jurisdiction procedure.
She proposed that no such
application be made without the prior fiat of the attorney-general, a
simple solution. Shortly afterwards, she lost office in a general
As matters stand now, it is unlikely that parliamentary
legislation in England, even if begun immediately, would be enacted and
become enforceable before the end of 2011. However, in the meantime,
directives could be given to magistrates by the legal hierarchy – if it
Although I would not advocate it as an official
Israeli measure (as we should not be dragged down to that level), I am
sure the British government would promptly amend the law if “titfor- tat
lawfare” were engaged in and all those who have been members of
terrorist organizations become the victims of applications for arrest
warrants when seeking to visit Britain.MOSHE MORDECHAI BAR-SHALEM
Jerusalem The writer is a retired British and Israeli lawyer CORRECTION
Holocaust Educational Trust is an independent UK-based charity that has
received funding for its “Lessons from Auschwitz” project from
successive British governments (“Because hearing is not seeing,”
November 9). It is not a government organization.