June 26: Disturbing news
Our gov't busies itself with political turmoil over a major fire. Meanwhile, our very sovereignty is being blatantly violated.
Sir, – The news on the front page of the Post these days has
been very disturbing.
An enemy fires dozens of rockets at our southern
towns and our answer is to send a sophisticated and expensive warplane to snipe
at and wound a terrorist.
When additional rockets fall and disrupt the
lives of a million of our countrymen we complain to the UN. Our Iron Dome units
neutralize only one or two rockets.
Our government busies itself with the
political turmoil over a major fire. Meanwhile, our very sovereignty is being
Sir, – The
anti-smoking campaign of Amos Hausner and his colleagues (“Yearning to breathe
free,” Health, June 24) is scary. If they have their way we’ll end up like
America in the 1920s, when a prohibition on the sale, manufacture and
transportation of liquor led to a massive increase in crime, racketeering,
public corruption and widespread, irrepressible flouting of the
Bootlegging became a major industry and other illegal activities
flourished. The Mafia evolved and grew rich, spreading its tentacles to other
spheres that continue to have a negative influence on society to this
While I support any law that seeks to prevent one person from
harming another (which might include a ban on smoking in enclosed public
places), I strongly condemn any legislation that generalizes to the point of
interfering with the freedom of an individual or company to conduct an otherwise
legal activity, be it for gain or pleasure.
A universal ban on anything
is dictatorial. If people want something they will always find a way to get it.
(Street drugs are a notorious example.) By making tobacco companies less
profitable, what will happen to the many pension funds that invest in them, the
numerous ancillary businesses that depend on them, and the various cultural and
sporting events that survive through their sponsorship? (And let’s not forget
the contribution of smokers to government revenue through taxation.) Is Hausner
willing to pay more tax as a form of compensation?
Sir, – With regard to “What she was trying to say?” (Politics, June
22), good for Anastasia Michaeli! We need a few more MKs like her. What she said
was needed and correct.
The majority of the press hates the Right. Have
people not noticed on a global level how the media seize on anything that is
anti-Israel, and anything that isn’t anti-Israel they either twist or avoid
Sir, – Regarding “Being a
‘hospitalist’ after the big physicians’ strike” (3rd Opinion, June 22), Gabi
Barbash is in principle correct in that SHARAP, or private medicine, is the best
of a bad list of alternatives.
As a member of the Israeli public I have
dealt with both private and public sector health care. Many of the senior
doctors are dedicated and struggling to meet the obligations to both their
private patients and their hospitals. They are highly skilled and deserve a
However, during visits to public hospitals, including the
Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, I have met with lack of consideration and
respect for the patient, and sloppy diagnoses. I do not have one friend without
a similar story.
Barbash needs to instill in his staff the feeling that
the patient is of primary importance during work time, and that the bitterness
these staff members feel should not be made apparent.
This is not an
issue of money, and until this change takes place, few will support his
If Barbash wants support he needs to reduce public anger by
putting a maximum effort into making sure that the public – without
consideration of race, sex, gender or religion – is treated with dignity. If he
implements a program of zero tolerance to rudeness, callousness and inefficiency
he will win the hearts of the public and be able to obtain support for his
Sir, – Patients and families are at their
worst coming into a hospital.
There is danger, pain, uncertainty and
overwhelming fear. Overworked and understaffed, nurses and doctors confront
these suffering patients.
Over the years I have accompanied my ailing
husband on several hospital stays. Praise is due for the dedicated and concerned
care he has received. The disturbing part is that only a minority of the
attending doctors and nurses have been compassionate and accessible, clearly
addressing families as equal partners in the patient’s recovery.
often been greeted with impatience and indifference.
are elusive and distant. The patient hangs in limbo because the family
physician, who best knows the patient, is disconnected from hospital
I feel that much of the violence in hospitals is a terrified,
helpless response to poor interpersonal communications with members of the
staff. Something is missing in human relations training for medical
To the rescue
Sir, – The letter from
Alice Eve Harary Sardell (“Where credit is due,” June 21) shows one of two
things: Either she is jealous for not sharing the limelight with Judy Feld Carr
or she is not acquainted with Carr’s 30 years of rescuing over 3,000 Syrian Jews
from Syria as early as 1977.
It is unfortunate that Jewish organizations
that spring like mushrooms after the rain with self-appointed presidents and
staff, legitimate as they may be, find the need to justify their existence at
the expense of dedicated individuals behind untold contributions and
I assume Sardell’s claim about US government involvement is
correct. But according to her letter, that specific operation took place between
1989 and 1994, years that do not coincide with the history of the persecution of
Syrian Jewry and their rescue.
It behooves Sardell to consult the
literature written about Carr specifically, and Jews from Arab countries in
general, and perhaps to conduct interviews with people who have publicly
declared that they owe their lives to “Miss Judy,” as they called
With all due respect to the US administration, neither public
records nor public figures can do justice to one of the most daring missions
ever undertaken in an Arab country by one individual, and that individual is
Judy Feld Carr.
The writer is a professor in
the Department of Multi-Discipline Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
and founder of the J.R. Elyachar Center for the Study of Sephardi Heritage
– How tragic that a representative of the former New York-based Council for the
Rescue of Syrian Jews, which I helped to create before Alice Eve Harary Sardell
even joined, should find it appropriate to attack my clandestine work of
rescuing over 3,000 Jews from Syria in operations from 1977 to 2001, about which
Sardell knows absolutely nothing.
Public demonstrations and
representations from several countries, not just the United States, certainly
drew attention to the plight of Syrian Jews.
For a period of a few months
in 1994, Hafez Assad opened the doors for some Jews to leave, but slammed them
thereafter. Over 600 who could not afford to pay for exit permits during that
short period were assisted by me from Canada.
The actual methods of
rescue of not only individuals but whole families were secret and will remain
JUDY FELD CARR