Nothing Learned From Maccabi Bridge Disaster

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Sir, – Maccabi World Union deputy chairman Oudi Recanati would have done better to remain silent because his outrageous remarks demonstrate that nothing has been learned from the disaster (“A view to a bridge,” Nov. 25).

Recanati says: “According to what I understand we went according to the law” but in future “we are definitely going to do much more to show that everything (safety and security) was looked at and taken care of. But I don’t think any changing of heads, of those who have done a good job until now would be warranted.”(!)

Words fail me. It is extraordinary that even now the MWU leaders try to pass the buck onto others for the disaster. In any reasonable organization, the leaders would make some symbolic personal gesture of remorse and accept responsibility for a disaster that could have been avoided had there been minimal supervision. For the leaders not to resign and simply dismiss the incident as a “tragic accident” is contemptible.

I also condemn the MWU for not directly confronting their insurance company for its inhuman behavior towards the families of the deceased and the injured. It is simply not good enough for the MWU to say “We are sorry. It is beyond our jurisdiction.”

No country in the world is more sports-minded than Australia. But I believe that the Australians are totally justified in boycotting the next Maccabi games unless the MWU takes appropriate steps to demonstrate a genuine sense of remorse. And I am disappointed that more Maccabi affiliates failed to show solidarity with their Australian colleagues.

Israel is a country which has experienced tragic loss of life through war and terrorism and appreciates the sanctity of life. Australians can take some comfort in the fact that most Israelis (who Recanati dismisses as “no longer being Zionistic”) are disgusted with and ashamed about the disaster and needless loss of life which should have been avoided and agree that the behavior of the MWU leaders has been despicable.

ISI LEIBLER, Jerusalem.

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