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June 27: Disaster next door
By JERUSALEM POST READERS
06/26/2012
US President Barack Obama had to know that the vacuum created in Egypt by the Arab Spring would eventually be filled by the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Disaster next door
Sir, – With regard to “Islamist Morsy declared Egyptian president” (June 25), US President Barack Obama had to know that the vacuum created in Egypt by the Arab Spring would eventually be filled by the Muslim Brotherhood, a virulent anti-Semitic organization whose stated goal is the eradication of Israel and the Jewish people.

The position of the Obama administration is “we can work with them.” Long-standing friendship, cooperation and common cause between the US and Israel are evaporating due to the actions of this administration.

AL EISNER
Silver Spring, Maryland

Sir, – “Israel appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects the results of the presidential elections,” read a statement the Prime Minister’s Office issued after the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate emerged victorious (“Israel hopes for continued cooperation with Cairo,” June 25).

I can’t help wondering what “continued cooperation” they are talking about. It surely can’t be the fact that infiltrators and terrorists are allowed to cross the Sinai into Israel and the gas supply is constantly interrupted.

As Yaakov Katz points out on the same page in “Security on the Sinai front” (Analysis), if Morsy gives the military an order to move a division to the Sinai for training, it would be in violation of the peace treaty – but would Israel go to war? Probably not, because we don’t do that.

It’s just like the promises we made to take back the guns we gave to Arafat if he used them against us, and the promises we made that if rockets were fired from Gaza we would throw Hamas out and take the area back. They remained just words.

YENTEL JACOBS
Netanya

Tell us about them
Sir, – Thank you for giving us facts about the wonderful athletes who are going to represent Israel in London during the Olympic Games (“Introducing Israel’s Olympians,” Sports, June 25). I hope you will do the same for our even more wonderful participants in the Paralympics games.

SALLIE TANGIR
Tel Mond

Explain yourself
Sir, – In his latest piece (“Stupid, seditious or suicidal?,” Into the Fray, June 22), Martin Sherman hits out in all directions.

He castigates the Israeli Left as imbecilic or iniquitous, the Israeli Right as impotent or insincere, and the rest of those who disagree with him, including Dennis Ross and Peter Beinart, as Arab-appeasers and Muslim-mollifiers, to say nothing of his current favored term of abuse: “two-staters.”

This doesn’t leave all that many to endorse his favored recipe for the future.

He does not expound upon this recipe in his latest piece, but those who follow his lucid, rational and sometimes brilliant but essentially impractical and politically naïve arguments week by week will know that he is all for his version of the one-state solution – in short, an Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria.

The inevitable consequence of such a move on world opinion, not that any Israeli government in its right mind would contemplate it, would be to confirm for Israel the status so ardently desired by its worst enemies – a pariah state.

It seems to me that Sherman, justifiably in many ways, sees a future Middle East through the prism of copper-bottomed, guaranteed security for Israel. But he discounts all other considerations.

Most of the rest of the uncommitted world, while not dissenting from that objective, sees a future Middle East as containing a sovereign Palestinian state.

How to achieve the one without forfeiting the other is the political conundrum that has to be cracked.

NEVILLE TELLER
Beit Shemesh

Sir, – I read Martin Sherman’s columns and think he is a pretty smart guy. What I can’t figure out is how he thinks we can move ahead to our one-state Jewish status with all these fertile and breeding Palestinians on our backs? Does Sherman really believe we can pay them to move to a nearby Arab country? Maybe when the Messiah comes, but not at this stage, when they are being injected with fanatical love for their dear fictional baladi (nativism or homeland).

Yes, I, too, would love to see population transfer, which was okay in other places in the world but would probably cause World War III if we did it. But come on, Sherman, let’s have some workable ideas and not pipe dreams.

IRENE STERN
Netanya

MRIs and Sheba
Sir, – In “Litzman calls out unnamed hospitals for alleged ‘black market’ in MRI scanner use” (June 20), health editor Judy Siegel-Itzkovich quotes anonymous “senior medical administrators” to the effect that the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer is using unlicensed MRI machines (heaven forfend, for the benefit of its patients).

This is simply not true, as a simple check of Health Ministry records would have ascertained.

Sheba operates five top-of-the-line MRIs, fully licensed by the Health Ministry (license numbers 2004: 10, 14, 149, 171 and 182).

The Sheba Medical Center is the largest, most comprehensive and technologically-advanced medical center in the Middle East and abides by all government regulations and international standards of safety and scientific excellence.

The article also impugns the good name of Sheba director Prof. Zeev Rotstein by alleging that he “did not receive official ministry permission to fill all of [the] positions” he holds, in addition to his leadership of the medical center. Again, simply not true.

Two of Rotstein’s “positions” are teaching posts at Tel Aviv and Bar-Ilan universities – as is expected of someone with his experience – and his other three medically-related responsibilities are well within the approved guidelines of the Civil Service Commissioner. This was affirmed in the recent State Comptroller’s annual report.

The Post owes its readers more careful fact-checking.

DAVID M. WEINBERG
Tel Aviv
The writer is spokesman for the Sheba Medical Center

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich responds: I stand by my story after many hours of careful checking. Seven hospital directors-general, unwilling to be quoted, told me separately that five MRIs lacking licenses for diagnostic scans are at Sheba. “Every [senior manager] in the health system knows this,” they said, “including in the Health Ministry.”

They said licenses only for research had been obtained, but that Sheba switched the MRIs to diagnostic use for which payment is made. At the same time, some hospitals in the periphery have no scanners because their requests for the rationed licenses were turned down, and patients have to travel to Sheba and other hospitals in the center of the country to obtain a possibly lifesaving scan.

These hospital directors could not explain why Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman announced there were “four or five unlicensed [diagnostic] MRIs” without saying where they were. The ministry refused to confirm, after a week of requests from the Post, that the MRIs Litzman mentioned were at Sheba.

The Health Ministry is responsible for supervising all hospitals. If it’s clueless as to where these huge, multi-million-dollar devices are – and they cannot be hidden under a hospital blanket – the ministry is negligent.

As for the State Comptroller’s 280-page Hebrew-language report on the ministry, I thoroughly read it twice, and my summary covered a whole broadsheet page in the Post at the beginning of May. Thirteen paragraphs of the report were a severe and unprecedented criticism of Rotstein’s “moonlighting,” as well as that of another hospital director. The comptroller stated that it was not advisable to both run a major medical center and fill so many additional posts. I repeated a short mention of this criticism in my MRI story.

Instead of “shooting the messenger,” Rotstein and Weinberg should complain to the comptroller.
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