May 25: Lesser of evils

Dershowitz is talking like a political philosopher, not like a jurist!

Lesser of evils
Sir, – I was somewhat surprised to read that Alan Dershowitz, the professor of law, prefers there be “no international law to unfair international law,” and that his work is to “delegitimize international law” (“Top legal minds debate ways to fight terror under international law,” May 24).
Dershowitz is talking like a political philosopher, not like a jurist! Does not talk of delegitimization weaken the respect for law, especially international law, wherein punishment of nations for disobeying the law is not easily amenable to enforcement?
The jurist Aharon Barak in effect prefers unfair international law to no international law – with the proviso to work for the minimization and ultimate elimination of bias and discrimination against Israel by international bodies.
The elimination of injustice and unfairness in law is an ongoing problem, but in relation to delegitimization, it is the lesser of evils, not the greater of goods!
Quid pro quo
Sir, – I fail to understand why Hamas security prisoners should receive visits from the International Red Cross every three months, when such visits, as required by international law, have been withheld from Gilad Schalit (“‘Schalit bill,’ aimed at toughening conditions for Hamas prisoners, passes major hurdle,” May 24).
The reason given by a Hamas spokesman, that such visits would reveal Schalit’s whereabouts and thus provoke an Israeli attempt to rescue him, are, in my opinion, specious in the extreme.
Not the same thing
Sir, – Jeff Barak equates decisions by some Israelis not to visit Turkey with Elvis Costello’s decision to cancel his Israeli concert (“About these boycotts,” May 24).
I couldn’t disagree more with this comparison. It seems to me entirely relevant not to spend money in a country whose stated policy is totally anti-Israel, whereas Mr. Costello is surely being motivated by factors unrelated to the reality of the situation here in Israel.
Have they no shame?
Sir, – I read your article about Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir (“Searching for the elusive Rahm Emanuel,” May 24).
Shame on them both! Even though one might disagree with Emanuel, that’s no reason to track him down for the sake of heckling him during his son’s bar mitzva. Let the bar mitzva boy celebrate with the solemnity the occasion deserves.
Marzel and Ben-Gvir should show a little respect for their fellow man and his family during this joyous occasion. They should leave their sleuthing for some other occasion.
Hats off to chief chaplain
Sir, – Your May 24 editorial (“Ronsky’s contribution”) showed us an important side to the Chaplaincy Corps of the IDF.
Kol Hakavod to Rabbi Brig.-Gen. Avichai Ronsky for bringing the IDF to a new level and return to Zionism, and for making us truly a “light among the nations.”
Invest in Blue & White
Sir, – In Aaron Katsman’s May 21 column (“Your Investments – Greek aftermath: What to do with your portfolio”), the author leaves out the obvious solution: Invest in Israel. Israel has made it through every economic crisis in recent memory with flying colors.
I do, however, applaud Katsman for writing a thought-provoking column.
Boycott counter-productive...
Sir, – The self-destructive trend of the Palestinian ruling powers is to encourage citizens to boycott Israeli-made products, to take them off the shelves and destroy them (“PA: We’ve declared economic war on the settlements,” May 20). They have every right to do so, of course, but the abject poverty we are expected to believe exists is probably not so abject after all.
The average Palestinian suffers as a result of these boycotts and will have trouble making ends meet until the Palestinians’ rate of production reaches quantities that can fill their needs. Until then, the prohibition is spiteful and silly.
...and highly selective
Sir, – If I understand the Palestinians and their boycott of Jewish businesses and products , the logic should follow that they also boycott our ambulances and medical services, such as those used to help rescue passengers on the Palestinian bus involved in an accident on Sunday evening (“Bus turns over near Dead Sea,” May 24).
The seriously injured were evacuated with ambulances from Magen David Adom based in Maaleh Adumim and other settlements in the area. The seriously wounded went to Israeli hospitals.
Highlight our deadly roads
Sir, – Since when is an accident like the recent bus that overturned near the Dead Sea hidden at the bottom of an inside page of a major newspaper? Why are the injured, as well as those responsible, given such short shrift? It was highly irresponsible.
I am dismayed by the dismissive attitude of the print media regarding road accidents. There have been more people killed on our roads than in all the wars we have fought.
Editor’s note: The item on the bus crash was a late-breaking story, with little known at the time the paper went to press.
Play for Palestinians instead
Sir, – Kudos to Culture Minister Limor Livnat, who, regarding Elvis Costello (“No peace, love or understanding from Elvis,” May 20), states that "an artist that boycotts his Israeli fan base is not worthy of performing in front of them."
Perhaps it is time to boycott the music of artists who refuse to perform in Israel by not selling or downloading their music, as well as any products that provide them with financial gain.
The Israeli public should concentrate on artists like Rod Stewart, Elton John and even Metallica, which performed here this week, and leave those who choose to stay away to perform for their beloved and oppressed Palestinian people.
Mother knows best
Sir, – It was a thrill for me to read David Geffen’s article about the superlative on- and off-the-football-field exploits of my father (“Remember the days?,” Shavuot supplement, May 18).
To this day I am approached by folks who grew up Jewish in the US south and tell me stories of my dad’s iconic status as the Jew who never hesitated to “confront” anti-Semitism, and in the process restored the dignity of southern Jewry. Many of these stories I hear for the first time, as my father downplays them or has forgotten them – of course, witnesses to events often remember them better than the participants.
There is one element of the article that needs elucidation , though. As a freshman, my father did inform the Vanderbilt coaching staff that he would not play against the University of Georgia, as the game fell on Rosh Hashana. The article did not mention the reason: My grandmother would not let him.
Grandma did more than a few things right with her son.