Letters: Enough already

I am getting tired reading about the horrible deeds of former president Moshe Katsav and about our wonderful court system.

Enough already
Sir, – I am getting tired reading about the horrible deeds of former president Moshe Katsav and about our wonderful court system (“A rapist reduced to blaming the courts,” Legal Affairs, March 25).
As a religious man, I am truly happy that the law prohibits cohabitation unless it is completely consensual, and a lack of consent may be inferred from a perpetrator’s use of force, threat or intimidation, as well as the perpetrator’s situational advantage. Since the perpetrator in this case was the president, it is not unreasonable to accept the victims’ version that the relationship was not completely consensual. In my opinion, such a law is praiseworthy because it considerably raises the moral standard.
However, in a secular society, where adultery is unfortunately not uncommon, to demonize the perpetrator for not maintaining these high standards is in my view hypocritical.
Don’t you see that according to these standards, high-ranking politicians can have an intimate relationship with almost no one? Are we going to close our eyes to the sad reality and truly believe that only Moshe Katsav is guilty of such misconduct? I really believe that it was a good thing to try Katsav and show the public how high moral standards ought to be. However, once the judges decided unanimously that these standards were not met, it would have been best to reprimand him and leave it at that. To sentence him to prison is cruel, hypocritical or both.
Sir, – An appellant, in the effective exercise of the right of appeal, is entitled to advance such submissions as can be justified on the evidence and the applicable legal principles in order to persuade the appeals court to set aside the conviction or interfere with the sentence.
It is therefore quite unacceptable to state that in exercising this right, Katsav is “reduced to blaming the courts.”
Ramat Hasharon
Must crush to win
Sir, – What remains unsaid in “Understanding the 3rd terror war” (Column One, March 25) is that Israel will have to resign itself to killing the enemy – not just the occasional terrorist, but lots of them.
Turn off CNN and the BBC because they are not going to like it, but sooner or later Israel is going to have to fight a war to win, and you win by crushing the enemy. Otherwise, the Palestinians will again nickel and dime you to death with a Fogel-type massacre a month.
By the way, what has Israel done to avenge that massacre? Nothing? Well, I’m sure the enemy has taken note.
ABE KRIEGER Highland Park, New Jersey
Incomplete picture
Sir, – The latest unemployment statistics are encouraging (“Unemployment drops sharply to 6.1%,” Business & Finance, March 25), but one should not overlook the fact that the statistics relate only to persons actually registering for unemployment or who are qualified to register as unemployed. They exclude very large numbers of unemployed people who have lost faith in labor exchanges.
The statistics also do not distinguish between part-time and fulltime employment, or temporary one-time employment.
Should a survey be done to establish how many unemployed we really have, the percentage would be dramatically higher.
Kiryat Ono
Lambs chopped
Sir, – “The emergence of Turkey’s hidden Jews” (Fundamentally Freund, March 24) was most interesting, but it did not mention the problem of mamzerut among the Donmeh since they almost certainly did not write proper gittin when they divorced.
Even worse, there was their “Night of the Lambs,” which was marked by wife-swapping. This was part of the Sabbatian concept of “descending into the world of the klippot (evil powers)” by the ritual performance of biblical prohibitions such as sexual relations with someone else’s wife in order to redeem the “sparks of holiness” lost therein.
In their esoteric theology, only children so conceived could become the vehicles for receiving the transmigrated soul of Shabbetai Tsvi and thereby bring the final messianic redemption.
Most astonishing eyes
Sir, – Regarding “Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79” (Arts & Entertainment, March 24), during the 1970s I served as executive secretary of the Hadassah Council in Israel, and our office was situated on the ground floor of the Hadassah building on Rehov Strauss.
Prof. Russell, who was a child specialist at Hadassah-Ein Kerem, had a unit for research two floors up, and one day he asked to use our board room, which was adjacent to my office, to host Elizabeth Taylor and her husband. They were going to be guests at a Variety Club event in Jerusalem to raise funds for children whose health was at risk, and he wanted to show them the model of a complex he was hoping to build.
There was no elevator in our building, and he explained that Taylor had broken her leg horse riding in England.
The day of the visit, Taylor had to go through my office, and she stopped to shake hands with me, so I managed to get a glimpse of her violet eyes – the most astonishing eyes I have ever seen.
The visit lasted 15 minutes.
We had been told it was to be treated with utmost secrecy, but with all the precautions taken, we could not prevent curious and excited crowds from gathering at the entrance to the building.
Miracles happen
Sir, – Regarding the possibility of a Hamas-Fatah union (“Hamas divided over offer by Abbas to visit Gaza for unity talks,” March 21), could a unified Palestinian people ever find a way to live with the Jewish State of Israel? As Elie Wiesel stated in his 2002 autobiographical documentary First Person Singular: “If Israel and Germany could find a way to make peace after World War II and the Holocaust, why is it not possible that the Israelis and the Palestinians might not do so as well?” Should Israel be leery of such an alliance between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority? Yes.
Nevertheless, in a Middle East where miracles occur every day, maybe, just maybe, radical transmutations might occur in the Israeli-Palestinian bubble, too.
YOEL NITZARIM Skokie, Illinois
Lessons from Japan
Sir, – The tragic earthquake in Japan has served to awaken many countries to the need to prepare for such disasters. Israel is particularly vulnerable, and The Jerusalem Post has accurately cited the urgency to take steps to minimize damage.
Emphasis, however, has been placed on more stringent building codes to strengthen old edifices as well as new construction.
Surprisingly, little attention has been focused on public education, including school safety.
Understanding what causes earthquakes, and basic safety instructions, are vital to lessening anxiety and saving lives. As a former teacher who has experienced quakes and was involved in earthquake safety in the US, I urge the government to create and initiate a program for its citizens.
Prof. Aharon Razin, shown here, was one of “2 leading Israeli scientists to get Canada Gairdner awards” (March 24). The photo and caption used for that article were incorrect. The Post regrets the error.