December 30: Backwards editorial

It is appalling that the paper makes no moral distinction between a terrorist and his or her victim when it comes to emergency medical treatment.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Backwards editorial
Although Jerusalem Post editorials bend over backwards to be balanced and fair to everyone, the author oversteps the paper’s sense of liberal morality with the editorial, “No Kindness” (December 27).
It is appalling that the paper makes no moral distinction between a terrorist and his or her victim when it comes to emergency medical treatment.
Yes, both are human beings, but the former has intentionally chosen, in a premeditated act, to use deadly force to take the life of an innocent victim – man, woman or child.
This is about a person that is not morally equivalent to his victim.
The author’s equating a terrorist to a driver guilty of causing a car accident is inane. The driver did not set out to intentionally kill himself, his passengers or other innocent victims.
Intention matters. The terrorist knows that he or she is most likely to be killed (80 percent are neutralized on the spot). That is not a deterrent, since he or she will become a “martyr,” firmly believing that by engaging in an act of terrorism the terrorist will receive both benefits of fame and glory (as well as rewards for the attacker’s family) in this life and eternal bliss in the next world.
In contrast, the victim wants to live; to grow old with his or her family and contribute to society.
Should terrorist and victim really be equal in the eyes of first-responders? Why is it morally objectionable to immediately treat the victim, who may be suffering undetected internal bleeding or an impending heart attack in those initial precious minutes, before the apparently more injured terrorist, who aspired to be a martyr? Even the morally elitist Israel Medical Association sometimes needs to distinguish between good and evil.
The controversy relating to ZAKA as noted in the December 27 editorial misses one important point. Regardless of who they say they will treat first, the fact that they will continue to use “white [body] bags known by their ZAKA insignia” (which was not announced last week as stated in the editorial, but rather when the wave of terrorism was just beginning, “ZAKA to use black bags for terrorists,” Briefs, October 15) is gross and offensive.
Through use of body bags with the ZAKA logo, they market themselves as if they are a commercial enterprise: “this corpse brought to you by ZAKA.”
“True kindness” as the author notes, which is part of the acronym that makes the ZAKA name, is translated from hessed shel emet, (but part of what makes it an act of true kindness to deal with a dead body is the notion that one performing the act does not receive any benefit afterward.
It turns the notion of an act of true kindness on its head by using any body bags with the ZAKA logo. It’s gross and offensive and there should be an equal public outcry to have ZAKA change the way it handles any human remains without use of their logo.
Use of logos on their body bags is an act of true public relations and marketing.
End the hysteria
I am horrified and disgusted by the coverage of the “Death Marriage” video, (“Police probe J’lem wedding video dancers for incitement,” December 25).
Upon what basis is this dancing at a wedding perceived as showing joy and acceptance at the horrible death of the family in Duma.
Has anyone asked any of the dancers about what they were doing? I don’t think that I am being overly naive in believing that a much more logical explanation is that they were showing support for their friends that were being “tortured” by the Shin Bet. Why has there been no statement from any of the dancers? Whether any of the three youths were responsible or not for the tragedy in Duma, I cannot believe that they meant to kill the three family members or that they are happy that they are dead.
The media has been going crazy making these youths and their friends the worst terrorists since the state was born. To add to the nonsense, because some of these Jews would like to see the country run by a rabbi, it is now claimed that they are working to overthrow the government and are anti-Zionist. Simply having a belief does not make someone a traitor.
I pray that this hysteria will end soon and that we can get back to condemning the people that really deserve it.
Kfar Saba
Tough week
This has been a tough week for me. For half a century I have been an admirer of the State of Israel. I saw it as a vibrant democracy with a resourceful and compassionate people who were politically engaged. I saw its leaders as practical and sensible. I was such an admirer that I made aliya this year.
My timing wasn’t the best because I arrived in time for the Duma affair: teenage Jewish boys locked in solitary confinement for a month without access to an attorney; allegations of torture that have at least been partially confirmed by one of the cabinet ministers who authorized it; a press that has not only failed to investigate and to provide the oversight of leaders necessary for any democracy but has convicted these boys without a trial, relying only on hearsay and group affiliation.
And what about the leaders? They are full of bombast as they try to have us believe that teenage boys are a threat to the survival of the state.
Did the pilot make a wrong turn? Am I in Syria or Iran? What has happened to the State of Israel, the so-called “only democracy in the Mideast?” I’m new here so I have mostly questions. At the moment, I don’t want to stay long enough to discover the answers.
Beit Shemesh
Speak loudly
Finally, a non-parliamentary group is speaking loudly out against our enemies inside Israel, who are defaming, and blacklisting our soldiers and our country for a handful of dollars, granted them by their misguided donors (“Im Tirtzu to NIF donors: Demand end to support for defamation of Israel,” December 20).
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, exemplary by all Western standards. These self-haters of the New Israel Fund cannot forgive their mothers – that they have been born in a womb of a Jewish mother. Therefore, this intrinsic hate of the Jewish State of Israel will accompany them until the end of their days into their graves.
A mugged liberal
Gershon Baskin is starting to sound like the classic definition of a conservative: a liberal who’s been mugged. In his case, he has been mugged by the reality of the situation here that has moved him to the recognition that the non-existence of peace is not all Israel’s fault (“Yes, it is difficult to make peace,” Encountering Peace, December 24).
For that he should be congratulated.
But there is still a profound problem with his thinking. First of all, the fact that there are two peoples here doesn’t necessarily mean there that there should be two states. Statehood is qualitatively much more than just being present.
Second, his analogy of the multi-cultural party he attended as the microcosm of the peace he envisions is misplaced. There was no ill feeling there because the price of admission was comity and acceptance.
Which brings us to the real point, and the real error in his thinking. It is not a peace agreement that will be the precedent to peace. It’s the opposite. It’s a fundamental peacefulness, a mutual acceptance, a mutual recognition of the right of those two peoples to exist, each as we choose to, much like existed at his party, that is the essential pre-condition for peace.
Until that situation exists, peace will not be difficult to make; it will be, by definition, impossible.
Rosh Pina