War Crimes 

Remarks by Gen. Halutz

Supporting Gush Shalom against war crimes. A letter from Jack Doner

Dear General Halutz,

You have served Israel for a very long time. I honor and appreciate that. As for Gush Shalom and your call to try them as traitors:

From the Harokeach, Eleazar Ben Judah of Worms said " ...cherish no too good opinion of thyself, but lend thine ear to remonstrance and reproof. "

We all understand the passions of these desperate times when it is easy to fall upon each others throats, but those among us who point out our mistakes, even taking steps to correct them, must be cherished perhaps more than those who agree with us. When we walk our path isolated within our own views, dangerous and terrible pressures may blind us to the deep chasm that lies ahead.

The same sage said " Keep peace both within the city and without (which may mean also within oneself and with others), for it goes well with all those who are counsellors of peace. " And " Cease to exalt thyself in thy own estimation, let none of thy failings appear small or triffling in thine own eyes, but all of them weighty and great. "

It is more important for leaders to reign in their passions and maintain balance, and model judicious restraint, than it is for anyone else. Ben Zoma (an associate of R. Akiba) said " Who is mighty? He who subsides his passions; as it is said. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth over his spirit than he who taketh a city. "

It is a good thing to find one or more whom we trust, and in private have them listen to us as we vent our angers and hatreds, our fears and our grief, fully. When we do this we clear the fog of passions from our minds and are able to see a better path and wiser decisions. It is good to return the listening as well.

In gratitude for your devotion to Israel,

Jack Doner

Human, Jew, Psychotherapist