April 23: A preventable death

Blood-thirsty, hysterical demands for revenge will not bring her back, do no credit to the tragic victim nor to her mourning family.

 Sir, – The unnecessary death of Hila Bezaleli (“4 suspects released after soldier’s death at Mt. Herzl rehearsal,” April 20) and its poignant timing no doubt inspires anger; anger at the waste and anger at the lackadaisical corner-cutting, “it’ll be OK” kind of disrespect for rules and order that leads to so much contempt in our society on the roads, in building and almost every walk of life.
The malaise is deeply rooted and we are newly reminded of it after every tragedy, whether it is a bridge, a ceiling, a scaffold or our hope for change that repeatedly collapses. I have no magic solution to offer, cultural change is an enormously difficult challenge.
Yet another ugly face of the problem was unfortunately revealed by the media’s interviews with family members of the unfortunate woman. Relatives, nearly salivating with fury, were recorded calling for a veritable witch-hunt in terms and tones which had nothing whatsoever to do with justice.
“Seek justice,” say the prophets, not retribution.
Blood-thirsty, hysterical demands for revenge will not bring her back, do no credit to the tragic victim nor to her mourning family, and have no place in our society.
Sir, – The Jerusalem Post reported that the security (lighting) expert was unable to produce his permit, as well on other underhanded (e.g, bribery) activities. This should be a red flag. It should be quite obvious that these activities are most likely the norm, but it took a tragedy to bring them to public eye. One wonders why the authorities turn a blind eye, and hope that investigative reporting will bring to light further malfeasance.
Grave injustice
Sir, – Joanna Parasczuk states that the States Attorney’s Office admitted that prosecutors had made “a mistake in striking a too lenient plea bargain” with the drunk driver who struck Shachar and left her paralyzed for life... and “it’s too late for an appeal” (“Shachar Greenspan plea bargain ‘far too lenient,’” April 20).
It is too late for Shachar to have a beautiful bat mitzva ( I was invited to the celebration).
The guilty party is alive and and driving. If justice should be the most important word in a case like this it is never too late to correct a mistake like this! Until justice prevails we will see more sad cases like this one.
Sir, – Moshe Katsav gets seven years behind bars on a “he said-she said” rape charge unsupported by a scintilla of medical or police evidence.
Mark Patrick gets six months of “community service” and an NIS 1,000 fine for drunkenly turning a healthy 12-year-old girl into a life-long quadrapalegic with his car.
Israeli justice? Don't make laugh.
Sir, – Who is this Mark Patrick whose lawyers managed to convince Judge Tal Ostfeld-Navy that it was in the public interest to maintain the plea bargain system in this bizarre and skewed way? Is he a son of some diplomat? Or from a very wealthy family who was able to “convince” the police to “strike a bargain”? A young woman’s life is ruined; Patrick goes free to live his life. Oh, yes – he has to pay an NIS 1,000 fine. Probably his next drunken binge will cost him less than that. And the fact that he has had his license revoked for six years is a joke.
These irresponsible drunken drivers are models for recidivism as anyone who has been following the news for the past few years knows. What exactly is the gain from this plea bargain? That our court system was able to avoid a trial? For shame! The notation that the respondents “wish to express their sorrow for the pain caused to the petitioners, and give them strength in coping with the injuries caused to Shachar” is nothing less than obscene.
Who will help them with the tremendous expenses they face for the rest of their child’s life? Who will comfort them as they grow older, knowing that their child will constantly need intensive care, and they will not be there to assure it? The state attorney says it is not possible to revoke the plea bargain and it is no longer possible to appeal. Outrageous!
Shame and blame
Sir, – The article by Hirsh Goodman (“A shroud of shame,” PostScript, April 20) was ostensibly a criticism of Lt.- Col. Shalom Eisner, but simultaneously managed to vilify and denigrate every career army officer in the country. Let’s leave Eisner out of it for the moment, and address the fact that Goodman managed to make our combat officers sound like they’re on a permanent Caribbean cruise, with chauffeurs, helicopter rides, office staff and early retirement.
Oh, yes, and “by-the-by... serving our country.” On the eve of Remembrance Day, I call on every Israeli citizen to put the shroud of shame where it really belongs – firmly on the shoulders of Hirsh Goodman.
Sir, – The Jerusalem Post is fortunate to have Hirsh Goodman, a contributor who is obviously a clear-headed journalist and a credit to both your newspaper and the profession he represents.
He not only wrote the right things in criticizing your own newspaper for publishing op-ed pieces and letters in defense of Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner who struck the Danish protester in the face with his rifle butt, but he made it clear that the striking was wrong and to be soundly condemned; and for that Goodman is to be recognized and commended.
But why has Goodman’s column been relegated sometimes now to the rear inside page? And why do we have to suffer the huge rantings of Caroline Glick alone and, nowadays, the neighboring ones of Sarah Honig? Their two columns side-by-side collectively flooding the rear page of your “Frontlines” are enough to give the normal rational reader a permanent crease of the brain and curdling of the emotions. Do you wish reasonable people to continue purchasing your newspaper?
Sir, – In Israel Jews have the right and duty to protect themselves from all sorts of attacks, both physical and verbal with all the means available to us.
Lt.-Col. Eisner not only acted on this principle but may help to discourage other provocateurs in the future.
Defining ownership
Sir, – The Jewish communities which have been in litigation regarding ownership of their properties can take heart from the decision of the Supreme Court regarding Beit Hanina in Jerusalem (“Arab family evicted in Jerusalem, Jewish activists move into homes,” April 19).
The land ownership law has said that the Jewish ownership is indisputable and the final Arab tenant to the building has been evicted from the apartment.
The media played up the human element of his eviction in a way that is never really done with eviction of Jews all over Hebron, Judea and Samaria. The media’s bias is well known, but as the Left has proclaimed so vehemently the judgments of the Supreme Court are so supreme and everyone must uphold the Law.
We need better research of Arab owners who have sold properties to Jews and then negated their agreements. We must try in every legal way to uphold Jewish ownership of property.
It is important for a country where all citizens are equal before the law not to make Jews feel like second-class citizens.
The basis for many legal actions must be equality. Property rights should be clarified by the Knesset, and if it makes such laws, the owners of property will be able to make disposal of their assets as they wish.