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Criticism of Paluch family misguided and insensitive

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I totally disagree with Yvonne Kaplan’s letter in last week’s SA Jewish Report. From the outset, our hearts reach out to the Paluch family over the tragedy that it has suffered. Their tragic loss is ours as well, and we grieve with them.
by Jonathan Cooper, Johannesburg | Jan 31, 2019

Having suffered a farm-murder tragedy in my own family, I believe any tragedy is unique, based on its own set of circumstances. Perhaps this is where her letter and message therein unravels and falls horribly short.

Her knee-jerk letter contains several inaccuracies, and a dangerously misguided opinion. Referring to the Paluch family’s actions and decision to take legal action as, “keeping this feud alive” is simply not true. There is no feud. Period.

Reading the front-page article published in the SA Jewish Report which details yet another goal-post tragedy and resulting death, the Paluch decision to take legal action is based on pure freedom of choice, and it is a decision they feel justified in taking.

Their decision represents an action and justified right that could contribute towards preventing a recurrence of a similar tragedy at another time, at another school, and at another sporting event. Their G-d-given right to take legal action will, in one way, highlight this ever present danger.

Furthermore, if the Paluch family feels legal action is the correct approach to take to bring attention to the obviously ever prevalent danger nationwide (and globally for that matter), then so be it. I also find it amazing that she has personal insight into the Paluch’s “spiralling legal costs” and finances. Her words and baseless accusations are extremely hurtful and upsetting in the face of such communal tragedy.

The Paluch legal action has nothing whatsoever to do with whatever perceived “anger and bitterness” she is accusing them of. The content within the front page article makes this clear. No one is “extorting money” from anyone in this tragedy. It is inappropriate and extremely insensitive to use such words.

I would like to suggest to her that her thoughts and opinions on the matter, both of which she is entitled to, would be better directed in starting a charitable foundation or creating a fund to kickstart a concrete project to ensure the safety of other children. 


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