Mark and Ellen Newman
Please send this out to everyone you know, both your personal email contacts, and your social media outlets. This needs to go viral so that the national media gets interested. The Israeli prosecutors must understand that American lives have value and, when Israelis negligently kill an American, Israeli authorities will hold the killers criminally accountable. Until this is done, it puts anyone traveling to Israel in the summertime to go hiking in desert or other hot areas at risk. Every year, thousands of people go to Israel and go hiking in the desert in the summertime. Besides the two Americans mentioned below who died in similar circumstances to Ariel Yitzchak a”h, one in 2015 and one in 2016 (both on organized hikes died of heat stroke), there are many others who go on organized hikes and end up emergency evacuated to medical facilities due to dehydration because of poor heat-safety standards. This must stop!
The article is good but it skips over much of the objective evidence that exists, way above and beyond merely the witnesses. A quick summary of some of the relevant points are:
Points to Ponder for the Prosecution
The criminal suspects:
- Knowingly and intentionally changed the date of the hike from January 2015 to September 2014. This change alone prevented acclimatization, physical fitness training, and a significantly cooler environment.
- Knowingly and intentionally did not coordinate the hike with SPNI (Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel) or any similar organization, as was required by MASA Israel. SPNI would have informed anyone that hiking that day in that area was prohibited in the daytime between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. due to excessive heat. Mechinat Yeud didn’t even bother to have a contract with SPNI.
- Knowingly and intentionally forced rank beginner hikers to complete in six hours a hike which is normally at least eight hours long for an intermediate to expert hiker. Insufficient resting for hours in a very hot environment is always potentially deadly.
- Knowingly and intentionally forced rank beginner hikers on a very long difficult path in the desert in the summertime in the daytime. This violates long standing official and non-official Israeli safety guidelines.
- Knowingly forced everyone in a summertime, daytime, desert hike with only around two hours sleep the night before and very little sleep the nights before that due to jet lag and uncomfortable cots. Inadequate sleep is a major factor in exertional heat stroke, especially if the hike is over more than one day and the lack of proper sleep is cumulative.
- Knowingly did not monitor fluid intake to ensure adequate hydration in any of the rank beginners. Besides orally reminding the hikers from time to time to drink, no actions were taken at all to ensure that Ariel Yitzchak a”h drank enough water.
- Knowingly allowed Ariel to wear long black pants made out of nylon that trapped half his body heat.
- Knowingly and intentionally took the group out with the hike leader lacking proper tour guide licensing or any valid medical certification. This is a violation of Israeli law on both counts.
- Knowingly and intentionally forced Ariel to continue hiking under deadly conditions even when Ariel not only appeared in great distress and pointedly ignored his pleas to end his suffering by not allowing Ariel to return in the protection of the available car or bus.
Ellen and I ask also that you pray every day, especially Thursday morning, for our attorney’s success in convincing Deputy State Attorney for Criminal Matters Shlomo Lamberger to do the only right thing: initiate a criminal negligent homicide prosecution against Ettinger and Shapira immediately. The evidence is OVERWHELMING! Their meeting is at 4:30 p.m. on January 11, 2018 Israel time (or 9:30 a.m. EST).
Please note that when Ariel Yitzchak was admitted to the hospital his inner core body temperature was 43 degrees Celsius or 109.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The emergency room medical staff worked on him for over an hour and, among many tests, conducted two echocardiograms and confirmed his heart was fine. The medical report from the hospital concluded Ariel Yitzchak died of heat stroke (and dehydration).