Letters: A ‘tzaddik’ receives

It is the sign of a tzaddik (righteous person), and what action can make one more worthy of the title tzaddik than to give life to so many people?

A ‘tzaddik’ receives
Sir, – Eitan Davis, the young father who saved the lives of so many (“Three families save lives of 11 by donating loved ones’ organs,” March 28), was not short anything when he was buried.
Interred with him was a Torah.
The Torah had been brought to Israel by the young man’s grandfather and was used for many years in the synagogue of Asseret, where Eitan grew up. Last week, as he lay dying, it was discovered that the Torah had become pasul (beyond repair), and the community decided to bury it along with Eitan.
It was very emotional – although Eitan had donated so much of himself, he, too, was a recipient, for no greater honor can be bestowed upon the deceased than to be buried with a Torah. It is the sign of a tzaddik (righteous person), and what action can make one more worthy of the title tzaddik than to give life to so many people? Perhaps the telling of this story will encourage more people to come forth and donate organs.
Who knows?
Side by side
Sir, – The Post did us all a favor on March 28 by juxtaposing Jeff Barak’s and Barry Rubin’s respective takes on Israel’s prospects visa- vis Gaza.
In “Another Israel-Hamas war is inevitable” (The Region), Rubin presents dispassionate analysis. He does not incite; he merely states facts.
In stark contrast, Barak’s column (“The last thing we need is a second round in Gaza,” Reality Check) is suffused with invective and loaded terms applied to Israeli government members, such as “dangerous rantings” and “rabblerousing rhetoric” (love the alliteration).
Moreover, he states as fact that Western European leaders can “barely stomach a telephone conversation” with Netanyahu. On the other hand, regarding Hamas, he states that Egypt had considered it to be merely “bothersome.”
Any objective reading of Rubin’s column clearly exposes Barak’s rantings as arrant nonsense.
Sir, – Jeff Barak learned the wrong lesson from Operation Cast Lead.
He argues against another war with Hamas because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cannot expect the same positive response that Ehud Olmert received from the leaders of several European countries immediately following Cast Lead. But Barak forgets that their understanding for Israel’s “painful battle against Hamas terrorism” has not stood the test of time. Many of Israel’s initial “supporters” accepted the Goldstone Commission’s damning conclusions without question just months later.
Certainly, Israel must carefully present its position to the rest of the world. It must proclaim loudly and clearly why it has every moral and legal right to act militarily. Ideally, it should allow the world’s news media to observe its actions in real time to erase any doubt that Israel complies with all applicable laws of armed conflict, and it should cooperate with subsequent objective reviews.
In the end, however, the government’s primary responsibility is to protect the Israeli public. Barak is silent on how to end the latest barrage of mortars and rockets, suggesting only what not to do.
EFRAIM A. COHEN Zichron Ya’acov
Sir, The columns by Jeff Barak and Barry Rubin both seem to assume that there are only two choices for dealing with Hamas aggression: Either we grit our teeth and do nothing or we instigate a major war.
This is tunnel vision at its worst.
Another option, never yet tried, would be to order the IDF to retaliate immediately to each attack with a brief barrage of artillery or mortar fire. A ratio of five rounds to one rocket to start with seems reasonable.
Even the UN would have difficulty criticizing us, though no doubt it would manage.
If there are civilian casualties, as seems likely, we can point out that if they don’t like it, all they have to do is stop the rocket attacks on Israel. If it turns out that this does not discourage Hamas or its Iranian overlords, we can always up the ratio until deterrence is achieved.
For this to work, the response must be immediate and unaccompanied by empty, blustering speeches.
STEPHEN COHEN Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – As I read Jeff Barak’s column, I wondered how a thinking person could praise former prime minister Ehud Olmert while quoting from his self-aggrandizing autobiography, and then state that Prime Minister Netanyahu has done nothing to try to promote peace? Was Olmert the one who declared – and upheld – a 10- month moratorium on building in Judea and Samaria, the heartland of Eretz Yisrael? Perhaps the praise stems from the fact that Olmert offered so much, and joyfully.
Netanyahu has repeatedly offered to meet with Arab leaders, but they have refused to meet with him. Why should they? After all, Bibi will not hand out the largesse that Olmert offered – and which they refused.
It would be wise for Barak to read the Post columns that followed his, those by Barry Rubin and Elliot Jager, to see what dangers lie ahead and what strength we need and must display in order to survive as a country.
Even Barak wrote about the new threats coming from the Sinai now that Hosni Mubarak is no longer in control of Egypt. The signs of weakness he would like us to show are just that, and they would be the greatest danger of all, since they would come from within.
Plain and simple
Sir, – Sadly, Moshe Rosenbaum’s letter (“Enough already,” March 28) entirely misses the point. The purpose of the trial of former president Moshe Katsav was not, as he would like us to believe, to “show the public how high moral standards ought to be.” The sole purpose was to prove according to the Israeli Penal Code as to whether Katsav was guilty of rape, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice.
On the evidence produced to the court, the three judges found him guilty of all charges.
Israel’s criminal courts are not courts of moral standards, and for Rosenbaum to believe that they are is a misunderstanding of both the purpose of the trial and the Israeli criminal justice system itself.
Sir, – A “reprimand” for a serial predator and rapist? All through his career, Moshe Katsav harassed women, and now Moshe Rosenbaum wants him back on the streets to rape again. Has he no sympathy for the victims?
Sir, Moshe Rosenbaum makes the mistake of equating adultery with rape. While they both may be immoral (depending on one’s moral compass), the latter is definitely criminal.
No hemming or hawing
Sir, – Further to the interview with former UN ambassador Gabriella Shalev (“How the Palestinians will use the General Assembly to advance statehood,” Editor’s Notes, March 25), it seems to me that it is imperative that the Israeli government issue a warning to the Palestinian leadership, including the leadership in Gaza: Any unilateral application to the UN for recognition of a separate Palestinian state in the disputed territory of Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem would be considered an act of war. It would require Israel to reoccupy the whole land up to the Jordan river – immediately, meaning without waiting for the outcome of any resolutions by either the General Assembly or the Security Council.
Shadmot Mehola