August 2, 2017: The Azaria case

'If Azaria should ask for a pardon, he should get it.'

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Azaria case
I disagree wholeheartedly with Prof. Asa Kasher (“Kasher: ‘Light’ sentence for Azaria sets wrong precedent,” August 1).
Because we live in anxious times and are bombarded by terrorists in our homes and on our streets, we must suspend – though not for long, I hope – the high ethical values of the IDF, specifically not to shoot a murderer if he is unconscious. The soldier who originally shot the terrorist missed, so Elor Azaria finished him off.
In our Torah (Shemot 22:1), it says that if a man comes to kill you, kill him first. If Azaria should ask for a pardon, he should get it.
As a Jew and a human being, it disgusts me that Elor Azaria was sentenced to only one and a half years in prison for executing a man without trial.
It was murder. It was against the Ten Commandments. It was against God. It was against human dignity and human rights accepted worldwide. Israeli politicians calling for a pardon are disgusting.
I am not excusing terrorists, but what you are doing is an affront to all humankind, as well as to God.
New York
Your article raises the point of the light sentence given to former prime minister Ehud Olmert.
Elor Azaria acted against IDF regulations in the heat of the moment. But he certainly did not do it for his own benefit, with forethought and years of maturity behind him, as did Olmert with his own crime. Olmert should be judged more strictly then the common man because one who is given greater authority should be held to a higher standard.
Men died on the battlefield because of Olmert and his incompetency. He enriched himself on the backs of the Jewish people. We should have compassion for him but not for Azaria?
With regard to “IDF chief Eisenkot hints at Azaria pardon” (July 31), Israeli officials keep repeating the mantra that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. This includes due legal and judicial process.
In the Elor Azaria case, where you say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is among those pushing for his freedom, it appears that if due process results in unpalatable outcomes, some of our leaders won’t accept them and will want to take political action to interfere.
If this succeeds, the judiciary becomes a political tool and we would head down a slippery slope.
Kiryat Tivon
Temple Mount
In “PM on Temple Mount crisis: Look at the wider picture” (July 31), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defends his decision to remove the metal detectors on the Temple Mount, claiming, as you report, that “he sees a bigger picture that not everyone is privy to....”
While the prime minister is undoubtedly right, this identifies precisely his failure in this tragic affair. Being privy to a bigger picture, how could he not, when ordering the installation of the metal detectors, predict how the Palestinians would react? Leaving aside the question of whether the decision was right in the first place, it is clear to me that the combination of hastily installing them and then removing them was the worst possible course of action.
You report in the same article about a poll finding that “fully 77% of the population believed the removal of the metal detectors was a surrender to the Palestinians.” This statistic might concern Netanyahu, but what concerns me is the certainty that 100% of the Palestinians think the removal of the metal detectors was a surrender to their violence.
The immediate result of Netanyahu’s zigzag might be the restoration of the status quo, but its broader effect is to confirm for the Palestinians that their uncompromising terrorism will continue to prevail against Israel’s indecisiveness.
Ma’aleh Adumim
In her “Levelheadedness and good judgment” (Think About It, July 31), Susan Hattis Rolef predictably blames Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the events on the Temple Mount.
Never mind the murder of two Israeli policemen there and the Salomon family in Halamish, or the incitement about the Aksa Mosque and the hiding of weapons in that holy place: It’s always our fault.
No wonder the Left in Israel is so irrelevant and ignored.
Petah Tikva
How has Israel turned into such a wimp? So we made a mistake and installed metal detectors and cameras on the Temple Mount without consulting the Jordanians, causing World War III.
Okay. Dumb move. But I keep reading (in our papers) how the Temple Mount is Islam’s third-holiest site. The papers should report in the same breath, every time, that it’s Judaism’s absolute holiest site. It is our Mecca.
We should now take the offensive and insist that the Jordanian- controlled Wakf Muslim trust (whatever that is) must protect the Temple Mount with metal detectors of its own. Protect it like Mecca!
Islamic State will sneak in and blow up the Aksa Mosque. Then what? Our fault?
Tel Aviv
Controversial character
Regular readers of The Jerusalem Post are familiar with Jeff Barak’s Reality Check columns, which regularly and consistently besmirch and debase Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In “Height of hypocrisy” (July 31), he refers enthusiastically to Larry Derfner’s book No Country for Jewish Liberals, calling it “excellent.”
Not too long ago, this book was negatively reviewed in your weekend Jerusalem Post Magazine owing to the ultra-Left and illogical anti-Israel views of Derfner, a former Post columnist. For these reasons, Derfner was relieved of his position.
Openly and proudly siding with such an inflammatory and controversial character as Derfner puts Barak in the same category. As such, all his thoughts and ideas are similarly suspect.
Mevaseret Zion
Whose problem?
David Breakstone (“It’s our problem, not theirs,” Keep Dreaming, July 28) fails to realize that being Jewish and a Zionist are not one and the same.
Just because he is both, he presumes that all his descendants will be, too – especially if they are living here. Does he not realize that there are many Zionists who are not Jewish and many Jews who are not Zionists? If he wanted the comfort of moving to Israel to ensure that his grandchildren would be Jewish, it is solely his son’s choice that resulted in his present discomfort. Harsh, but true.
The law in Israel has always held that being Jewish requires a matriarchal line. That is our faith. If we ever bent that requirement to allow in immigrants who could not establish this beyond any doubt, it was simply an act of hesed (loving-kindness), not a precedent with which anyone can now beat the government or Chief Rabbinate over the head.
There has been no “dastardly act of betrayal of Jewish unity,” as Mr. Breakstone claims, merely a proposed enforcement of rules that were always there. To now claim “disunity” is wrong since this arises solely from irreverent disregard for Orthodox law, which led to the formation of non-Orthodox alternatives. That is the betrayal.
Had Mr. Breakstone’s daughterin- law sought and obtained an authorized Orthodox conversion rather than one under the auspices of the Masorti (Conservative) Movement, neither she nor her children would have a problem today, and he, notwithstanding his Zionist achievements, would have no discomfort.
The fault, dear Brutus....