April 30, 2018: Heads on a platter

Our readers have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Heads on a platter
With regard to “Head of pre-army academy held after death of 10 students” (April 29), the sorrow I feel from the Tzafit canyon hiking disaster is matched only by my fury. So many young lives, not even out of their teens, were cruelly cut short – and for what? There are literally no excuses.
Unlike other tragedies such as the 2010 Mount Carmel fire, this was no mere accident – it was but absolute negligence from start to finish. This was the deliberate sending of a bunch of kids on a hike in the Negev while the region was undergoing a well-publicized spate of flash floods, and precisely one day after the weather conditions claimed the lives of two others under similar circumstances.
There is no possible way for anybody to claim this could not have been foreseen and averted.
Every single person involved in the decision- making process for this trip – whoever planned it, whoever authorized it, whoever carried it out – they all share culpability. They are guilty of murder in all but the technical legal sense and I want nothing less than their heads on a platter.
Beit Shemesh
The two most dangerous words in the Hebrew language are yihiyeh b’seder (it’ll be fine).
They nearly lost us the country in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. They have caused us incredible, ongoing misery because of the Oslo Accords. They caused us to withdraw from southern Lebanon, with Hezbollah on our doorstep and the Iranians and Russians now crowding in. They caused us to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, leaving the lives of 9,000 Jews turned upside-down and constant fighting with Hamas and others.
Clearly, these words have caused avoidable tragedies – like the recent horror where beautiful young lives were lost while hiking in the Arava.
It is high time that we strike this innate hubris, over-confidence and insolent pride from our collective Israeli psyche and check and verify matters properly before plunging ahead!
Kochav Yair
Kudos for Hananya Naftali
With regard to “PM’s newest adviser: A Jew who loves Jesus” (April 25), excellent!
I looked at the YouTube videos of Hananya Naftali, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s social media adviser. He’s awesome! He says what I try to say, but better. Much better.
Well done Prime Minister Netanyahu. Great coverage, Jerusalem Post.
It’s ironic that people are criticizing Mr. Naftali for, of all things, his religion. That’s like saying King David was too small and his job was to bring lunch. But he defeated Goliath. Likewise Hananya Naftali. He speaks truth with great courage and skill.
He served in the Armored Corps and fought Hamas in Operation Protective Edge. Now he has been threatened for his version of being a Jew. If he believes in Jesus, how is that different from the sect of Jews who believe that Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson is the messiah?
I look forward to Israel being more effective in the social media.
A constitution is needed
Yedidia Stern is a brilliant lawyer, professor and analyst. However, his analysis of the Knesset’s attempt to weaken the Supreme Court (“A dishonorable burial of the constitutional regime,” Observations, April 20) is both simplistic and flawed.
The Supreme Court, especially under its former president, Aharon Barak, created the current climate through vast judicial overreach, ignoring many of the needs of the country, and by blatantly reconstituting itself on the left side of the political spectrum regardless of the will of the people.
At the same time, Prof. Stern’s notion that the Knesset represents the will of its citizens is laughable. Everyone knows that the system represents only the will of the “list-makers.” What individual citizen can call on his elected representative to voice a concern or complaint when he has no such representative?
What is transpiring now regarding the court might be problematic, but I suggest it represents only the naturally shifting concerns of a woefully unempowered electorate.
The only answer to the constant folly inherent in our government is a constitution. If and when we can overcome the entrenched power of the list-makers and adopt a reasonable and fair constitution, the issues about which he complains will evaporate.
Far from ‘bizarre’
In your April 18 editorial “Signs of change,” you describe the partnership of western progressives with violently reactionary Islamists as “bizarre.”
It is far from bizarre. In fact, it is simply a bonding between groups whose worldviews share a basic principle, sometimes unstated or even forcefully denied: antisemitism, and even when the Jew-hatred opposes their own economic, financial, social or security.
This has been the case throughout history. When the Jews were expelled from England, Spain, Portugal and other areas of Europe, those countries’ leaders were oblivious to the coming economic ruin. When the Nazis were on the verge of collapse toward the end of the war, they nevertheless dedicated crucial railroad rolling stock to the deportation of the Jews rather than their desperate military needs. Closer to home, during the early and middle 20th century, most colleges and universities in the US had strict quotas in place restricting the admission of Jews to the detriment of the schools’ academic standing and advancement.
In all these cases, virulent antisemitism overrode otherwise rational choices.
Politics of distraction
In October, 1973, US president Richard Nixon sent secretary of state Henry Kissinger to Moscow, ostensibly to stop the Soviet Union from heavily arming Egypt in the Yom Kippur. This came a day after the so-called Saturday Night Massacre, when Nixon abolished the office of special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, and in the process causing the resignations of his attorney-general and deputy attorney-general.
Could Kissinger’s sudden trip have been a distraction?
The “politics of distraction” is an interesting concept. The brouhaha over Natalie Portman and the Genesis Prize? The furor over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deliberately overshadowing Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein at the Independence Eve ceremony? Might these be attempts to obfuscate the Netanyahu’s far-more serious troubles?
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Shalom u’lehitra’ot
– Lawrence Rifkin