December 31: Jury’s out

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jury’s out
After reading “New Year resolutions for the religious Right,” (Reality Check, December 28) I hope Jeff Barak would never be chosen for a jury.
He has convicted a whole group of people without any trial. Where does he think people come from except their family, friends and teachers? When evidence is found and seen then he can convict them.
Trained eye
As a trained general practitioner, I read the Post’s editorial (“No kindness,” December 25) with great interest.
As well, I must state that I am a great believer in human rights and values, ethics and morality, which I have received from my mother and late father.
However, at the scene of an intended murder, i.e. where the premeditated heinous crimes took place the victim should and must receive priority in medical care.
Attempted murder cannot and must not be compared to a car accident, as per the author’s standpoint in the editorial, where murder is not intentional.
Therefore I agree with ZAKA and not with Dr. Tami Karni, a surgeon and chairwoman of the Israel Medical Association ethics committee.
Once in hospital all patients are treated the same.
Speak clearly
There is a propensity in Israel to base foreign and security policies upon catchy phrases that are believed to correctly identify a problem and indicate an effective solution.
The results are usually abysmal and sometimes disastrous.
Two examples are noted in the December 29 edition of The Jerusalem Post.
The first is identified by writer Daniel Braunschvig in his letter “False Optimism.” It refers to the (in)famous assertion at the time of the Oslo Accords that peace is made with one’s enemies.
The writer demolishes that argument by pointing out that peace is made only with former enemies, either who have been unconditionally defeated, or who have seen the light and demonstratively renounced their enmity.
The second example is provided by Daniel Tauber who writes on the fate of arch-terrorist Samir Kuntar, (“This should be the fate of all the Kuntars of the world”).
In his article he derides the government’s long-standing policy with regard to terrorism that has been based on the notion of “mowing the grass.”
This entails reacting to the growth of terrorist violence by periodically cutting them back but not eliminating them, thereby allowing them to grow again until they inflict a critical mass of new Israeli casualties, and then once more trimming them.
The simplistic metaphor that sees our enemies as benign grass that grows naturally is the cause of this ill-considered policy.
In reality, terrorists are malicious weeds that destroy everything useful, and must be aggressively and completely uprooted and destroyed.
Other examples include such mind-numbing mantras as: land for peace; the enemy of my enemy is my friend; and America (rather than the more accurate Americans) is Israel’s best friend.
Learning to think and speak clearly and accurately rather than cutely and inoffensively might go a long way towards managing our public policies more effectively.
Not news
The Jerusalem Post’s front page article on December 29 entitled “HU Prof: Shaked is ‘Neo-Nazi scum’” does not deserve to be on the front page of any self-respecting newspaper, and certainly not the Post.
When a private citizen slanders a member of Knesset, even if that private citizen is a professor and an assumed patriot, it is not news at all.
The article also fails to mention that one of the two professors at hand, Amiram Goldblum, was one of the founding members of the NGO Peace Now, and was a spokesperson of the organization from 1980 to 2000. Thus his opinions are hardly unbiased.
The writer is professor emeritus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
No bearing
Regarding reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told leaders of the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties that he will not allow women’s Torah reading at the Western Wall, (“Women of the Wall: PM forgets women make up half of Jews,” December 30), this is not his dispensation to make.
His remarks have no bearing on the outcome of the lawsuits now being pursued to enforce the right of Jewish women to read from the Torah there – indeed, to have all the options available to men at the Western Wall since Israel retook possession in the 1967 Six Day War.
I and three other Original Women of the Wall activists, Cheryl Birkner Mack, Hannah Kehat and Andrea Wiese, have filed suit before the Supreme Court to enforce this right, recognized by a previous Supreme Court ruling from 2003.
In addition, we have filed suit in the local magistrate’s court for damages for this right having being denied.
Original Women of the Wall categorically reject the legitimacy of any and all negotiations to limit women’s rights at the Kotel, to accept any alternative site to the Kotel or to subsume the founding purposes of Women of the Wall under any other goal.
Our current High Court appeal challenges the legality of the directive, enacted with no legal authority, by the rabbinical administrator of the Kotel, which we believe discriminates against women – a violation of Israeli law guaranteeing equal access to and enjoyment of public space and public property – in this case, the Western Wall and the nearly 200 Torah scrolls maintained there, exclusively for the use of men.
The constitutional principle underlying our suits is that rabbinical or other authorities, may not improperly, arbitrarily, expand their reach through such rulings – an increasingly common phenomenon that threatens Israeli civil society as a whole.
Netanyahu can make whatever claims to his coalition partners he feels expedient.
They will have no bearing whatever on the prosecution of our cases and the rights of Jewish women being pressed by Original Women of the Wall.
Proud and disappointed
I was very proud of the Attorney- General’s Office in the Justice Ministry and of Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rozen, but I was extremely disappointed with the judges of the Supreme Court (“Supreme Court sends Olmert to prison for 18 months,” December 30).
A jury would have done more justice in this case and former prime minister Ehud Olmert and former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski would have got what 95 percent of the citizens feel and know that he deserved – a long term in prison without any pardon.
Justice was not done.
Kfar Shmaryahu
A story that appeared on Page 4 in December 30’s newspaper, “Elbit upgrades IAF’s fleet of Hermes 900 drones,” incorrectly listed the Elop (electro-optics) Division as being part of Elta.
Elop is in fact a part of Elbit Systems.
The Post regrets the error.