August 6, 2017: Streamline the process

When it is totally clear that murder or attempted murder has occurred, do we need the wasteful and expensive exercise of trials?

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
With regard to “Stabbing at Yavne supermarket was terrorism, victim in critical condition” (August 3), would it be both possible and productive for the legal profession to formulate legislation particularly to fight terrorism?
When it is totally clear that murder or attempted murder has occurred, do we need the wasteful and expensive exercise of trials? Do there need to be levels of punishment?
Our situation is really dire and I, personally, as do many of my relatives and friends, believe we should put the death penalty on the table when the attacker survives his or her brutal act.
Bury the bad
Your August 3 edition was full of wonderful, good news about our incredible country – until I got to page 10 and read about the feud between Yair Netanyahu and Ariel Olmert (“Prime ministers’ sons – Netanyahu’s and Olmert’s – face off on Facebook”) and then about Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef’s criticism (“Chief rabbi criticizes Jews who visited Mount on Tisha Be’av”).
I hope The Jerusalem Post will continue to give us the news of the best country in the world, and hide the hateful news on the back pages.
Agency needed
Israel needs an agency tasked with two objectives: prodding the various ministries with regard to both foot-dragging and red tape. Each ministry would be required to report every investigation initiated, its results and the consequent actions taken, as well as decisions requiring action and periodic reports on the action.
Some examples of government shortcomings that demonstrate the need for such an agency:
• In your article “Venus, first Israeli research mini-satellite, already sends data: (August 3) we read: “Since the loss of Amos-6 about 10 month ago... no decision has been made regarding the future of the field....”
• In “Health Ministry lags behind Iran and PA in iodine fortification of salt” (June 18), the committee appointed by the ministry in 1996 recommended the fortification of salt on a mandatory basis, yet salt is not yet fortified in Israel.
• A recent State Comptroller’s report on Holocaust survivors described poor government coordination, a failure to use funds that had been budgeted, complex laws that were difficult to navigate for aging survivors, and a complete lack of government support for survivors who arrived in Israel in the 1990s from the former Soviet Union.
• In November 2008, findings from an assessment of geothermal resources in Israel commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructures included the following: “A geothermal system with high temperature and groundwater pressure occurs at the south border of the Golan Heights at relatively shallow depth and is suggested for further exploration toward generating geothermal energy.” The ministry never acted on this recommendation, and lest it be asked to actually do something, it has removed any reference to the report from its website, possibly as a result of a previous letter from me that appeared in your newspaper. Had this recommendation been followed up, it is possible that Israel would now be enjoying cheap electricity (also furnishing a means to control the staff of the Israel Electric Corporation, which is a law unto itself).
• Back in May 2013, we read in your article “OECD: Red tape hinders Israeli businesses”: “An interim Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report on Israel’s business environment found that despite an educated workforce and support for entrepreneurs and startups, the country’s bureaucracy and red tape still presented significant challenges in comparison with other advanced economies.”
It was therefore not surprising that the headline of an article appearing in your newspaper at roughly the same time was headlined “OECD: Israel is poorest of all developed countries.”
Beit Zayit
Our use of words
In support of your August 3 editorial “Less heat, more light,” you could have added prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s put down of opponents who could “spin like propellers,” and entertainer Tom Lehrer’s sage advice that people should “shut up.”
On the other hand, Micah Halpern, in his op-ed “Trump’s silence speaks volumes,” immediately to the right of the editorial, utters truth in that the US president should voice opposition to and act against terrorism.
Detrimental role
Lubomyr Luciuk’s “What Ukraine is fighting for” (Comment & Features, August 2) is a striking example of Russophobic propaganda that is not worthy of being published in such a respected media outlet as The Jerusalem Post.
Apart from unacceptable insults directed at the president of Russia, the piece contains absurd and unfounded allegations against my country. Using worn-out clichés like “Russian invaders,” the writer totally ignores the obvious fact that the war in Donbas is being waged by the Kiev authorities against a part of their own people, against those who do not wish to abandon their cultural roots and native language, and want to maintain friendly and neighborly ties with Russia.
Luciuk talks about a war to the bitter end but fails to mention the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015. These are recognized by the leading world powers and enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution as the only possible formula for a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis. The writer’s imagination goes as far as to depict Russia as an aggressor state, but in fact it has become a guarantor of peace agreements.
Moreover, it is Russia that has far greater interest in the peaceful development of Ukraine than many other countries have.
Praising actions taken by the Ukrainian military, Luciuk keeps silent about war crimes perpetrated by the Kiev regime in Donbas, including the shelling of civilian infrastructure, water supplies, schools and hospitals in the areas of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. None of this is speculation.
The facts are documented in reports drafted by UN and OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) observers.
And what about the practice of torturing Donbas’s defenders in secret chambers of the Ukrainian Security Service, or Kiev’s official policy to isolate and suppress the people’s republics economically? It is our belief that publishing balanced news and commentary is good both for the professional reputation of your newspaper and for your readers. Contributors like Luciuk, who is clearly infected by the virus of Russia- bashing, can play only a detrimental role.
Tel Aviv
The writer is press secretary of the Embassy of Russia in Israel.
Retired IDF dogs
Does anyone really think that a lone terrorist with a knife could have murdered three members of the Salomon family in Halamish if the family had a retired army guard dog in their home? That would have been the best protection, but most breeds would have helped protect the family, so any dog would have been better than none.
What do they do with army dogs that are too old to stand the rigors of army duty? They would be wonderful for families living in dangerous places. Such a simple and inexpensive solution – I cannot understand why this solution is not offered to such families.
First came the murder of the Fogel family at Itamar, and now the unbearable tragedy at Halamish.
History repeats itself.