Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ortal Shmueli vs. Lag Baomer Animal Abuse

Sir, - I must confess that it was curiosity that prompted me to read the article by Rachel Avraham about Ortal Shmueli titled "A wonderful candidate for Beersheba's city council." Never having heard her name, I was interested in finding out why she merited an article that essentially was nothing other than a letter of recommendation for her election, plus some statements by Shmueli herself expressing her interest in helping Olim and some of the programs that she would like to promote.

Shmueli, however, also informs us about an additional agenda to that of serving the citizens of Beersheba, one in which she wants to help educate the population against the abuse of animals. In pursuit of that goal, she is quoted as saying that "many children around the country throw animals into fires during Lag Baomer and abuse animals in horrific ways."

My family and I have celebrated Lag Baomer more than 40 times in Israel, and I state categorically that we have never witnessed or heard from any of our many friends about the revolting practice that Shmueli describes. It is a most unfortunate and baseless exaggeration, that not only brings no credit to its author but will also undoubtedly be added to the list of calumnies against the people and state of Israel. It is a hapless statement that has no redeeming qualities and for me reflects quite negatively on the merits of Ortal Shmueli.

Petach Tikva

[Image credit: אדיר-מתן אוזן]