March 1, 2018: General poor behavior

Jerusalem Post readers speak out about the day's hottest topics.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
General poor behavior
For months now, every time we pick up our newspapers we read about corruption investigations, bribery investigations, obstruction of justice charges and more involving many municipal officials, businesspeople and Knesset members, going up to our prime minister. And now the icing on the cake – the “texting judge affair” (“Texting judge in Case 4000 fights to keep her job,” February 27).
All of this reminds me of the joke about the new immigrant who, when asked how it felt to be a Jew living in Israel, replied: “It’s okay. However, if there were another Jewish state, I would go there.”
I am ashamed.
In light of the many investigations involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the police recommendation that he be indicted, he is obviously the best choice to run this country. We are so steeped in shady dealings that any honest action is only worthy of a freier (sucker).
Mr. Netanyahu’s behavior justifies our own petty corruptions. Hurrah for Bibi!
The rule of law
Caroline B. Glick’s tirade against pending investigations of apparent government corruption is vacuous and unconvincing (“Defending the rule of law,” Column One, February 23).
First, she asserts that the attorney general is “controlled” by the courts because judges are the nominators of the candidates the prime minister chooses to appoint. Nonsense! By parallel reasoning, any appointee to public office is beholden to and subject to the whim of the appointing authority, yet the assumption is that public officers are independent in serving the public interest.
In the case of Avichai Mandelblit, any concern about bias or predisposition should be about potential favoritism toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he served as cabinet secretary before being appointed attorney-general.
Equally unconvincing is Ms. Glick’s suggestion that the attorney-general’s subjection to the courts is shown by his occasional refusal to defend certain government positions in the courts. On very rare occasions, an attorney-general makes a judgment that a government position is so outlandish or legally unsound as to be indefensible in the courts. That is a principled judgment using the legal expertise that the attorney-general presumably possesses. On those rare occasions, the government is not helpless and simply hires another attorney to present its case.
Finally, without any serious consideration of the mass of testimony, recordings and documents assembled, Ms. Glick summarily pronounces that the investigations “have little weight” and are “insufficiently substantiated.” I suggest we leave it to the attorney-general to determine, based on careful consideration of evidentiary materials, whether the charges warrant indictment. If an indictment ensues, Mr. Netanyahu deserves an opportunity to contest the charges.
Contrary to Ms. Glick, I submit that the public interest demands investigation of prima facie misconduct involving high public officers according substantial, sometimes massive, favors in exchange for selfish gains and benefits.
Tel Aviv
The writer is an emeritus professor of law at Rutgers Law School in the US.
Caroline B. Glick states that Israel’s democracy has been under assault and elected officials have been losing a battle to the judiciary and police, supported by the leftist media.
Unfortunately, under Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, the government is gradually removing the ability of the judiciary to keep a check and balance on the ever-changing scene of political realities. She is making the judiciary select judges who identify with the ruling majority instead of maintaining an independent body where judges are chosen based on their knowledge of law and their ability and courage to rule according to their best judgment.
Shaked is a highly qualified electrical engineer but she is destroying the checks and balances that the judiciary has been maintaining since the establishment of the state.
Ms. Glick also claims that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is brought down because of false allegations, no elected leader will be able to rule and democracy will suffer. I respectfully disagree.
Politicians wishing to be elected will have to watch their conduct – and remember that if elected, they must serve the public, not the other way around. This will only strengthen the voters’ faith in them and the system.
Gun laws in America
Reader Haim Shalom Snyder (“That Second Amendment,” Letters, February 25) is right in saying that the right to bear arms in the US is not unrestricted. There are conditions to gun ownership. However, he is wrong when he relies upon the “well regulated militia” clause of the Second Amendment to assert that no one has the right to bear arms because there have been no militias since World War I.
Two relatively recent US Supreme Court cases have held that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” is the law of the land. District of Columbia v Heller held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. McDonald v City of Chicago held that this right is incorporated by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and thus applies to the states.
Importantly, the court also said that the right to bear arms is not unlimited – it can be regulated. However, these precedents make it clear that the individual has a right to own firearms, and “regulation” cannot amount to a ban on such ownership.
Arming teachers seems like a good idea at first glance. But it will only last until the first teacher loses patience with a pupil or is threatened by one and shoots him.
Suppose a female teacher is surrounded by three threatening teenage boys and she whips out her revolver and blasts them. Or suppose a teacher hides a gun and a pupil steals it and then uses it. Having armed guards outside the school is no use either, as shown by the recent incident in Florida, where a police officer stood guard outside while the shooter was killing 17 people inside. Having an alarm system will be too late.
The only sensible precaution is to bar all teenagers, all felons and all those with mental conditions from being able to buy guns. Period.
This will not stop other supposedly normal and sensible people from buying guns, and it will not stop such school shootings because in a country with more than one gun per person, it is always easy for kids to borrow or steal their father’s or uncle’s gun. But let’s at least make it more difficult for them by banning automatic weapons altogether – their only real function is to kill people.
The Bill of Rights in the US Constitution (Amendments 1-10) was created in 1789 and ratified in 1791.
If one thinks about the types of weapons available then – how long it took to load them, problems with gunpowder, etc. – maybe only muskets and long rifles should be available to American citizens. School children and everyone else would certainly be safer.
Must remain invisible
The silent soldiers mentioned in “How the IDF’s cyber warriors stopped a major terrorist bombing” (February 22) must remain invisible to the public. Nothing beyond what’s already been disclosed should be revealed or you will compromise their mission and safety.
Arlington Heights, Illinois