A nurse’s killing
With regard to “Sympathy and outrage over nurse’s murder” (March 16), a presumably mentally sick patient poured a flammable liquid on a devoted medical nurse and set her on fire.
Everything possible should be done – in fact, must be done – to prevent violence of any sort against medical personal and any other person.
Education at the home and in schools and youth clubs will certainly help. Mentally unstable individuals should be kept under observation. Special attention by medical personal when dealing with patients who show signs of unstable or aggressive behavior is necessary.
But to declare a strike and not treat people who need medical attention is outright stupid! It is not important at all if the strike is an eight-hour strike or a two-hour strike – a mentally unbalanced person causes a horrible tragedy, so we punish the innocent who need medical attention? Is this a normal behavior or are we all slightly unbalanced? Once upon a time, people worked under abnormal conditions and were exploited by employers, who were only interested in increasing their profits.
Workers’ strikes were the only possible way to act effectively against such employers. These strikes resulted in financial losses to the employers and did not harm innocent bystanders.
The age of workers’ strikes against exploitive employers has long gone by. Such strikes are no longer necessary or justified in a country such as Israel. What is urgently required is a law that forbids strikes of any sort. All demands should be solved by compulsory arbitration or the labor court system.
If such a law is passed, it will save a great deal of harm and trouble for innocent people who suffer from totally unnecessary and unjustified strikes.
It seems to me that a simple solution for reducing the ongoing violence in emergency rooms and medical clinics would be to post a policeman in each and every one!
TAMAR H. KAGAN
Jerusalem Haredi protests
The front-page photo of haredim gleefully yanking on the tail of a police horse was very disturbing (“Stop right there,” March 16).
The protesting horde was remonstrating against the legal arrest of a yeshiva student who had failed to report to an IDF enlistment center, but taking precious time from Torah learning to engage in tsa’ar ba’alei haim (cruelty to animals) certainly does not advance the merits of their protest.
Our sages taught us that it is forbidden to cause needless pain to animals. While not explicitly expressed in the written Torah, this principle was established by the Talmud (Bava Metzia 32b) as being a Torah obligation. It is sourced in the Talmud from Torah law obliging a Jew to lend a hand in unburdening animals from their heavy loads (Exodus 23:5).
God saw Moses’s compassion for animals and propelled him to become the shepherd of the Israelites (Exodus Rabbah 2).
Even Judah Hanassi linked his own ailment to a punishment for having once failed to show compassion for a frightened calf.
Those who witnessed the vile and repulsive act in Jerusalem last week should have vehemently voiced their disapproval.
Failure to do so made them complicit in the infringement of Jewish law.ISRAEL RUBIN
In World War I, an organization calling itself the Order of the White Feather distributed white feathers by hand or letter to many of the conscientious objectors who refused to serve in the British Army. Let’s give out white feathers to haredim (and left-wingers, among others) who refuse to serve in the IDF.
Thank God, we in Israel have disabled persons who insist on serving in some way in the army. Many men and women who are otherwise medically unfit nonetheless volunteer to serve and in some way replace such dastardly individuals.
Falk at it again
With regard to “UN: Israel imposes ‘apartheid regime’ on Palestinians” (March 16), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is made up of 18 Arab member states whose human rights records are charitably described as questionable. Most of these states do not recognize Israel.
The Reuters news item says that the author of an ESCWA report “accusing Israel of imposing an ‘apartheid regime’ of racial discrimination on the Palestinian people” was Richard Falk, a former “UN human rights investigator.”
In 2014, then US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power condemned “Falk’s relentless anti-Israeli bias,” saying it had “tarnished the UN’s reputation and undermined the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council.”
She added that the United States “welcomes Mr. Falk’s departure [from the UN], which is long overdue.”
In 2013, responding to Falk’s statement that the Boston Marathon bombings were justified, former UN ambassador Susan Rice tweeted: “Outraged by Richard Falk’s highly offensive Boston comments. Someone who spews such vitriol has no place at the UN. Past time for him to go.”
Richard Falk wrote the ESCWA report, so what level of integrity and accuracy can you expect from it?
The United Nations has done it again, thanks to the unlovely former “special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories,” Richard Falk.
I shall not dwell upon that unsavory person, but on the UN itself.
One of its most senior officials a few days ago declared that the world faced the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, with 20 million people in four countries facing starvation. There are two main reasons for this crisis: the strife in those regions and the lack of drinking water there.
About strife, as long as the western powers sit on their hands, nothing will change. As for the water situation, if the UN (and its Human Rights Council) spent less time demonizing Israel and instead used their funds to transfer Israel’s water technology to the parched regions, within five years there would not be any water problems.
That is what Israel has done for itself, and that is what the UN should do to alleviate this crisis. But as long as the world body allows actors like its “special rapporteur” to remain on the scene, progress is not on the horizon.DANIEL BRAUNSCHVIG
Jerusalem Mother-tongue news
If you, like me, are upset that there are no plans to have an Israeli English-language news broadcast on television when (if?) the Israel Broadcasting Authority is replaced by a new entity, please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a terrible thing! It leaves English-speaking olim (including those of us who made aliya but can’t master Hebrew) as well as tourists to receive only the slanted views of the likes of BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera to inform them of what is going on here and in the world at large.
This is a huge mistake and I hope it will be rectified. If enough people complain, perhaps they’ll listen to us.ANNICE GRINBERG
Once again we hear rumors that the English-language news is being canceled by the new broadcasting authority.
Are we mad? English is spoken everywhere, and this is one way to put out unbiased reports. If we lose this, we are really shooting ourselves in the foot.
Please, please think of your loyal followers who don’t know Hebrew too well and would sorely miss out on all that is happening here.JUDY PRAGER