September 20, 2016: Getting too close

If security personnel suspect someone enough to ask for his identity card, one should stand at a distance with his weapon at the ready, while a second pats the suspect down.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Getting too close
With regard to “Terrorism surge continues with J’lem, Hebron attacks” (September 20), a soldier or policeman calls over a Palestinian to see his identity card, enabling him to get within striking distance. The Palestinian then pulls out a knife and stabs the soldier or policeman until the attacker is shot dead. I’ve seen this over and over again on TV.
Asking to see one’s identity card can allow a stabber to get too close. It serves the function that you want to prevent: close proximity by a knife-wielding assailant.
If security personnel suspect someone enough to ask for his identity card, one should stand at a distance with his weapon at the ready, while a second pats the suspect down. Only then should the identity card be requested in order to see if this person is wanted or has a record.
What’s the point of asking someone to come close enough to stab you?
Kfar Yona
Dayan makes sense
Kudos to Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan for his testimony on behalf of Elor Azaria (“‘All terrorists must be killed,’” September 20).
Most things in life are gray, not black and white. But if a terrorist lunges at you with a knife, he obviously wants to take your life, so you must react and take his life first.
That is black and white. No discussion is necessary. So why the numerous articles about the Azaria trial? The terrorist Abdel Fatah al-Sharif lay on the ground, apparently not dead.
Why not dead? He wounded an IDF soldier with intent to kill! If, as Azaria said, he feared for his life because the neutralized terrorist might have had a suicide belt under his jacket, the soldier must be believed. I believe that if Dayan’s pronouncement were implemented and bodies not returned to terrorists’ families, the terrorist problem could be solved.
Government’s fault
Regarding reader Jackie Altman’s question as to why Arabs can build “towns” and “villages” while Jews are always described as building “settlements” (“Correct terminology,” Letters, September 20), the answer is that the media are simply following the semantics of the Israeli government, which has always called new towns “settlements.”
It’s a poor connotation in English, to be sure. But that’s where the problem lies, and that’s where it can be fixed.
Dangerous man
With regard to your recent two page spread “Pride and affirmative prejudice: Donald Trump and the Jews” (September 19), I find it difficult to understand why The Jerusalem Post feels entitled to give Trump a pass on his antisemitism when, among many other incidents, he notoriously told the Republican Jewish Coalition, a potentially friendly audience, that “you’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money.”
Is this an example of what your editorial board approvingly deems “his refusal to kowtow to the consensus or be intimidated by conventional thinking”? Anyone with any knowledge of how prejudice works understands that working alongside members of the disparaged group, or even having relatives from that group, as Trump does, doesn’t equate to being free of bigotry.
Moreover, Trump has made clear countless times that he has no respect for religious liberty, the separation of church and state, civil liberties or anything else about the American constitutional republic that has made it a haven for Jews, as it is for countless other minority groups that are persecuted in other countries. And if you imagine that such a coward, bully and narcissist would stand up for Israel, you are sadly deluded.
You should be ashamed of yourselves for giving aid and comfort to such a uniquely dangerous man.
Potomac, Maryland
‘Who is Arafat?’
Reader Phyllis Stern is right in her analysis of former president Shimon Peres and his responsibility for “resurrecting” Yasser Arafat and the thousands of Israeli deaths caused by the later intifada (“Some ‘dream,’” Letters, September 19).
I was working in Washington, DC, during the time of Israel’s negotiations with the indigenous Palestinians and the surrounding Arab countries. I helped make up the Shaharit minyan of the Israeli negotiating team.
I got the sense that negotiations were progressing, albeit very slowly.
The Palestinians would always say that they had to “check with Arafat” in Tunis. But when it was announced that Arafat was returning to take over, their response was: “Arafat, who is Arafat? He doesn’t live here!” If Peres and his protégé Yossi Beilin had not broken the law forbidding contact with the PLO, we might have reached an agreement with our enemies without the loss of thousands of lives. Let’s not ignore facts in the name of political or emotional correctness.
Obligations fulfilled
Your September 19 editorial “Similar battles,” which comments on French député Georges Fenech’s visit to Israel to study its administrative detention and other counter-terror practices, appropriately highlights the delicate balance between protecting society and preserving freedoms.
Having been a lawyer in the United States for 30 years prior to my aliya, and having been privileged to observe an Israeli military court during my participation in the Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center’s Activist Lawyer Training Seminar this past March, I hasten to note that the once the administrative detention has been terminated and a trial is held, the Israeli military courts provide a degree of due process often lacking in American courts.
The trials are open to the public (and indeed, observers sympathetic to the Arab cause do attend). Defendants can freely confer with their attorneys, who might be licensed to practice by Israel, the PA or Jordan. Computer monitors at the prosecutor’s and defense counsel’s tables give each side a real-time transcript of the proceedings. The prosecutor and defense counsel each enter the courtroom through the same door. Cases not resolved by plea bargaining have an acquittal rate of approximately 25%.
The due process provided by Israel well fulfills the obligations of the commander of a military administration under the Hague Convention and the Geneva Conventions.
Petah Tikva
Run amok
Regarding “A call to ‘open doors’ for refugees” (September 18), HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, is a classic example of a moribund Jewish organization that has long since outlived its purpose, namely to assist Jewish refugees arriving in the United States.
Rather than go gently into its well earned night, the apparatchiks who draw hefty salaries from HIAS and the machers who would be redundant in more relevant organizations are attempting to keep the corpus rigor mortis above ground by betraying its raison d’etre. In so doing, they are siphoning Jewish dollars that are sorely needed for urgent purposes such as Jewish education, and directing them toward a global problem that is both out of their purview and totally beyond their ability to be of critical problem-solving value.
Indeed, there is not much that HIAS can do with its limited (but Jewishly meaningful) budget than assemble a handful of progressive, agenda-driven rabbis and issue a call for open doors to illegal immigrants. This is a classic and very costly example of tikkun olam (repairing the world) run amok, using that noble phrase to mislead the pubic and betray a trust.