June 20: Awaiting justice

The "lightning plea bargain" struck between Yona and state prosecutors is indicative of the sort of justice one can expect if one is the victim in our country, and not the perpetrator.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Awaiting justice Sir, - We Heftsiba clients are not lamenting, we are wailing, and waiting for justice. And NIS 854 per family is a joke ("Former Heftsiba clients lament plea bargain," June 18). The mere fact that a deal with Boaz Yona was concluded, apparently on the airplane to Israel after his extradition, without any input from our lawyers, is disgusting and belittles our pain. That he could have made a deal with the government in which, after stealing NIS 400 million, he pays only a NIS 4m. fine is a slap in the face to the many thousands affected by this man's greed. The "lightning plea bargain" struck on Monday between Yona and state prosecutors is indicative of the sort of justice one can expect if one is the victim in our country, and not the perpetrator. Even former senior police officers and chief criminal investigators have named the arrangement contemptuous of the plight of the people affected. Is there, in good conscience, no way to overturn this travesty? REIDA MISHORY-ISSEROFF Moshav Olesh Neigh to an evil sport Sir, - "Bringing horse racing to the Israeli masses" (Sports, June 13) presented an inaccurate image of what this kind of gambling will bring to Israel if the Knesset fails to vote against it. The reality is an ugly one: thousands of horses bred annually, the few fastest picked out to race and most of the rest sent to slaughter; catastrophic injuries caused to horses by being trained and raced before their bones have hardened; drugging to enhance performance or cover up pain so the animals will race even while injured; bleeding in the lungs, which can be fatal, chronic ulcers and heart attacks. No longer fast enough by age six - thoroughbreds can live to 25 - they are sent to slaughter or sold from hand to hand in a downward spiral of abuse. Will Israel go into the horse slaughter business, or ship live animals abroad to end up on dinner plates just as other countries are ending these barbaric practices? Insurance fraud, crime and social problems caused by addiction are also an inherent part of the industry. No wonder Israel's chief rabbi issued a ruling saying horse racing violates Jewish law and many MKs have vowed to vote against it. If England and the US‚ extensive laws and State Racing Commissions have been unable to regulate the industry, Israel will surely be unable to do so. When gambling enters the picture, greed overrides ethics. The deaths of Barbaro and Eight Bells were not isolated incidents - on the day Eight Belles died, 15 other horses died on US tracks. Even veteran US racing journalists are finally questioning the morality of the sport, comparing it to bullfighting. NINA NATELSON, Director Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI) Alexandria, Virginia Sir, - If the UK horse racing industry is any indication, this is something Israel can definitely do without. About 350 horses are raced to death each year in the UK, with one billion pounds spent on betting. Is this the shape of things to come in 21st century Israel? ANDRE MENACHE Sevenoaks, UK