No mandate

Sir, – Regarding “Health Ministry DG Ronni Gamzu to quit in June” (March 30), Gamzu refused to implement a government and Knesset decision to establish a dental corporation that would have allowed self-employed dentists to treat children for free under the Health Law. He also formulated a policy of trying to force private dentists out of business. In November 2013, he wrote in a letter to the Israel Dental Association, saying that “if it were possible he would close all the private dental clinics.”

As a civil servant Gamzu was never given a mandate for this agenda. He has harmed financially many dentists who invested years and lots of money in their practices.

As for MK Ilan Gilon, if Gamzu was so good at his job, why is the health system in such deep crisis?

DAN CHEIFETZ
Modi’in

The writer is a dentist A little experiment

Sir, – I would like to thank Eli Kavon (“Walking the tightrope,” Comment & Features, March 30) for calling me a “superwoman of synthesis.” Up to now I had considered myself just a Torah-observant woman, but given the fact that I am as comfortable with Rashi as with Rousseau (in the original, yet), I seem to have acquired a lofty tittle.

Having said that, I would like to ask Rabbi Kavon to investigate religious society a little more deeply. He might find that I am not very unusual; I just do not fit the model the media like to sell.

I propose a little experiment.

Let’s say we can enter the thoughts of a bunch of religious Jews (modern and haredi) while they are eating madeleines for breakfast. I bet some will think of the taste, others the hechsher. But there might be some who think of the last time they read Proust.

JANA SIMON
Jerusalem

Vituperative fiction


Sir, – Reading the insightful interview with Palestinian Authority Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud al-Habbash and the account of the mendacious Yasser Arafat’s ascendancy to the Arab pantheon as the father of Palestinian nationalism, one cannot escape Mati Wagner’s doleful conclusion that “this clash of two nationalisms – Zionism vs.

the Palestinian national struggle – is all but intractable” (“A clash of narratives,” Comment & Features, March 30).

I would suggest, however, that the root of the intractability lies not in the “nationalisms” but, as the article’s headline states, in the “narratives.”

It is a tragic irony that the Palestinian leadership unwittingly uses the term “narrative” to further its demonization of Israel and support its assaults against the Jewish state’s presence in this land – allegations that the PA’s gullible (and not so gullible) sympathizers in much of the world accept as undeniable truth. Among its various correlatives, a primary synonym of “narrative” – as given in Roget’s Thesaurus and other sources – is “fictional.” The term is an apt description of assertions such as the denial (by Habbash, too) of a Jewish Temple (in contradiction to the Koran, Sura 17) and his assertions that the Jews have no historical roots here, that Muslims have been traditional protectors of Christians in their midst and, among an endless litany of absurdities, that Jesus was a Palestinian.

Israel did not initiate the wars it has been forced to wage to assure its security and survival.

The concessions it has made are clear evidence of its yearning for peace. Even with the price it has paid, most Israelis would probably respond with empathy to the maternal longing in Golda Meir’s famous observation: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children.

We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”

When the leaders on the other side replace their narrative of vituperative fiction with truth and verifiable objectivity, the prospects for peace might, we pray, no longer be intractable.

JACK E. FRIEDMAN

Jerusalem

No difference


Sir, – Uri Savir (“Transition,” Savir’s Corner, March 28) does not let an opportunity pass without blaming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians.

As Israel’s chief negotiator for the Oslo Accords, Savir fails to accept the widely held view that they were, if anything, a disaster, resulting in frequent acts of terrorism.

While blaming Netanyahu, he omits to report on prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s speech to the Knesset on signing Oslo 2, in which he stated that there would be a united Jerusalem to include both Ma’aleh Adumim and Givat Ze’ev as the capital of Israel; that the security border of the State of Israel would be located in the Jordan Valley; that changes would include the addition of Gush Etzion and other communities east of the Green Line; and that blocks of settlements like the one in Gush Katif would be established in Judea and Samaria.

Can Savir in all honesty claim that Netanyahu’s stand differs from all that? MONTY M. ZION Tel Mond Not funny, not clever Sir, – The actions of some students and their parents at the Harel High School in Mevaseret Zion (“Mevaseret politicians refuse to condemn KKK costumes worn by teens for Purim,” March 27) is horrific.

Dressing as KKK members and slaves is neither humorous nor clever. It is the representation of a historical bigotry that caused great terror, fear and even death for many. It is also contrary to Jewish values.

The parents should not be opposed to having their children’s conduct rebuked. They should also teach them that such behavior is not acceptable because of its harmful consequences and insensitivity.

I hope the lessons from this are learned at Harel and elsewhere.

Do not make the same mistakes that so many people made in America, Europe and elsewhere.

ERIK HEARON
Ridgeland, Mississippi

Out with Akunis


Sir, – Unless I missed it, there was no report in The Jerusalem Post on a recent meeting between the Likud’s Ophir Akunis (a useless deputy minister) and members of the fascist Flemish party Vlams Belang, which is boycotted by official Israel due to its openly racist and anti-Semitic views.

This seems not to have concerned Akunis. Not only is he not ashamed, he published details of the meeting on his Facebook page. Nor did it seem to have concerned settler leaders Yossi Dagan and Gershon Mesika.

Such conduct will only assist the enemies of the settlers, who will be able to use such meetings to exploit the connection between them and extreme- Right European parties.

A government official with any sense or intelligence would not meet with these politicians. In this case it was done only so that Akunis could keep a high spot on the Likud list. Above all, it shows that he is certainly not fit to be a deputy minister.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, as head of the Likud, should fire him and, more so, expel him and his pals from the party. Not to worry, though. This would require strong leadership.

HENRY WEIL
Jerusalem

Take note, Yair


Sir, – The other day, my husband received a form letter from the National Insurance Institute (NII) wishing him a good holiday.

Why? The money spent on paper, envelopes, color printing and the NIS 2 postage (as well as on some salaries) would be better spent increasing payments to the hundreds of thousands of recipients of NII benefits.

Finance Minister Lapid: Take note!

JESSICA FISCHER

Michmoret

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