Sir, – Judy Siegel’s report that the growing number of premature
births in Israel is causing a shortage of caregivers and facilities (“Dearth of
medical professionals and neonatal ICUs increases rate of preemie deaths,”
November 6) is worrying.
However, there is one proven treatment for
premature babies that is totally without cost and is not invasive: kangaroo
Started in Colombia, where mothers often gave birth in remote areas
far from medical care centers, it was taken up by leading neonatologists in the
In Israel, a study of its effects was published by Prof. Arthur
Eidelman, then head of the neonatal ICU at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in
Basically, kangaroo care is keeping the infant for several
hours of the day resting skin-toskin on the mother’s body. The physical benefits
are stable heart rate and breathing, improved body temperature, improved weight
gain, less crying and colic, increased lactation success, shorter hospital stays
and longer periods of alertness.
Beyond measure are the emotional effects
on both the baby and the parents. One of the hardest aspects of parenting a baby
in special care is the distance created by incubators and equipment, and if this
can be compensated for by spending some hours of the day holding the baby close,
it will ease the transition when the infant is released from the
The writer is a childbirth educator and
Sir, – Your editorial “Kosher
competition” (November 6) carried a balanced and calmly argued account of
attempts to break the monopoly of the Rabbinate in the matter of kashrut
supervision in restaurants. Yet it concluded with the following: “We hope the
resulting improvement in kashrut supervision will give the organized Jewish
religion a better name.”
A lawyer once told me that you learn much more
from a witness’s throwaway comment at the end of a response than from the actual
response. What is the hidden agenda here?
– Gershon Baskin (“The leader and the leaderless,” Encountering Peace, November
6) is unable to accept that he is wrong about Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas. In fact, he is unable to accept that the policies of the Left
have been and continue to be disastrous for the State of Israel.
the impression that Baskin thinks of himself as some superhero who, if only
given the chance, could sort out all our problems with the nice
Mr. Abbas. He would have us believe that Abbas was sincere when he made
certain pronouncements in a televised interview:
1. As long as Abbas is
president of the PA there will be no third intifada or return to
violence. The problem here is that when speaking to his own people, he
has always added that his belief about non-violence is due only to the fact that
they are not yet strong enough to defeat us.
2. The Palestinians
recognize Israel within the pre-1967 borders and agree to territorial swaps that
will modify the borders. Such largesse! In the meantime he tells his
people that all of Israel is Palestine and it will be freed, and to prove the
point there is no mention of Israel on any PA school map and there is talk of
the liberation of Palestine in all PA media.
3. Abbas has no intention of
returning to his birthplace, Safed, hinting that Palestinians who want to return
to Palestine should come to the Palestinian state. This he later clarified as a
personal opinion and not meant for the millions of refugees. In fact, in a
series of statements, Abbas has vehemently denied allegations that he has given
up the refugees’ “right of return.”
We must hope that the majority of
Israelis are better able to understand what Abbas is all about.
Sir, – The commentary by Tal Harris (“Conflict
in the education system,” Comment & Features, November 6) really hurt. Not
only do high school students lack knowledge about African and Palestinian
refugees, they hardly know what cities border on the Mediterranean Sea. Some
have never even been to Jerusalem (“what is there to do?”).
library in Holon is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can see people
over 30 and parents with young children. High school children sleep late because
they were out at night before.
The One Voice Movement can help make a
difference. Keep it up!
OLGA P. WIND
Sir, – Due to a
misunderstanding, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has, over time, accumulated a
large water bill (“Holy Sepulchre in row over unpaid NIS 9m. municipal water
bill,” November 4).
Surely, an obvious and mutually beneficial resolution
of this issue would be for the Greek Orthodox Church to agree to change some of
the Jerusalem water company’s product into wine in lieu of
Sir, – Isi Leibler is
right when he argues that “American Jewish leaders must seek to reverse the
growing threat from the far-Left anti-Israeli activists in the Democratic
party....” (“An election of great importance for Israel,” Candidly Speaking,
It is not simply a strange aberration that the drafters of
the 2012 Democratic platform omitted language from the 2008 platform that called
for the isolation of the terrorist organization Hamas, no Israeli return to the
perilous 1949 armistice lines, and the resettlement of Palestinian refugees of
the 1948-49 war and their millions of descendants in a future Palestinian state.
And it is no accident that the reinsertion of language from the 2008 Democratic
platform on God and on Jerusalem being the capital of Israel was bitterly
opposed by at least one-half of the delegates at the party’s August convention,
as anyone who watched on TV knows.
It is clear enough from history that
the Democratic Party has had its Israel critics, as have the Republicans. But
today’s penetration of the Democratic Party by anti-Israel forces means that
Leibler’s call for the Jewish leadership to confront this threat should be
MORTON A. KLEIN
The writer is national president of the
Zionist Organization of America
A man, a plan
Sir, – Why can’t the Israelis sit
down with Fatah and Hamas, without the United States, and say the following:
If we go on like this we will keep killing each other for the next 100
• You Palestinians are losing out more than we Israelis are, so
let’s just draw this line. You get Gaza and this part of the West Bank and this
part of the Galilee, and we get that part of the West Bank and keep that part of
the Galilee. We split Jerusalem along this twisting line or the Jews take it and
leave you Ramallah, since although we say Jerusalem could be an international
city, neither of us is willing to be ruled by the other and Jerusalem is very
big in Judaism.
• No right of return for you, and we Jews don’t get to
live everywhere Jews lived a thousand years before you Palestinians came here,
unless of course from time to time we let some Palestinians immigrate to Israel
and you let some Jews immigrate to Palestine.
• While this deal is not
what either of us wants, it is as good as either of us can get without driving
the other out of here, which apparently is not going to happen, and this ends
STEVEN K. ROSS