Sir, – The article about earthquake preparedness asks: “Stay inside
or go outdoors? Quake drill leaves more questions than answers” (Reporter’s
Notebook, October 22).
The answer to that question is “stay
I learned that from many years of living in Southern
California. Running outdoors makes one vulnerable to being hit by, or
tripping over any number of falling objects such as trees, poles, pieces of
walls, broken sidewalks, roads, etc.
We were instructed to find shelter
under a strong table, in a corridor where we could support ourselves between the
two walls, in a bathroom with its substructure of pipes in the walls, to cite a
few examples. Our bomb shelters would also make excellent safety
For answers to the rest of their questions, I would advise our
Home Front Command authorities to contact their California
They’re not hard to find. Just check the telephone
Stemming the drain
Sir, – Prof.
Moshe Kaveh’s comments make interesting and very depressing reading (“Brain
drain, falling stars,” Comment and Features, October 22).
It seems to me
that, despite the Stars Program’s success in bringing academics home, the
present situation in Israel actually encourages the brain drain.
It is a
known fact that Israeli post-docs have to pursue their post doctoral research
abroad. A post-doc need not even apply for a position in Israel unless he or she
has overseas experience on their CV.
On the one hand, Kaveh is correct in
that overseas study is important because science is international. On the other
hand, are we not actually grooming these young people to become part of the
brain drain? If they are worth their salt – and the Israelis almost always are –
they are welcomed with open arms for post-doc placement in a super institution
with cutting edge research facilities, hardly any budget restrictions and a
lifestyle to which they can easily become accustomed.
If good schools for
their children and comfortable accommodation and amenities for six or seven
years are added to the mix, it is going to take superhuman efforts to attract
them back to Israel even if they want to come back and their extended families
Surely the resources the government has allocated to bring our
“brilliant minds” home would be better invested in not forcing them to go in the
If the government could find a way to contribute towards
setting up post-doc positions in our own academic institutions surely the brain
drain would be somewhat stemmed. The academic hierarchy would welcome the
opportunity to mentor these brilliant minds in their own institutions if they
had the resources.
The advanced technology available as well as Internet,
video conferences and easy travel would serve to satisfy the need for
international exposure to some extent and if an extended stay abroad would
become necessary, it should at least be restricted to a year – or two at the
The writer is the manager of the Israel
Cancer Research Fund
Cries for help
Sir, – Within the last two weeks the subject
of suicide has twice reached the pages of The Jerusalem Post. Unfortunately, I
knew last week’s victim.
It was a shock for us all.
No signs, no
indications. A quiet fine person, clearly keeping his feelings inside (“Man
kills himself in bathroom at Ma’aleh Adumim police station,” October
On the other hand, Raz Attias had told his friends of his suicidal
intentions (“Youth killed in ‘suicide-by-cop’ dreamed of military career,”
He even informed Channel 2’s website. He left cries of help
out in the open. Did anybody heed his cries? Did anybody know how to help him?
Last week, one of my students approached me after I spoke about suicide, how it
does not solve problems and how very important it is to share troubling issues
with friends, family, social workers, teachers etc.
My student told me
how suicide was on her mind. Of course I spoke with her and alerted the
Suicide is a topic that must be addressed. Young adults
must be educated to look for signs, even the invisible ones, among their
friends. Young adults must be educated as to how to seek help when
I believe that the Education and Health ministries should
design a plan dealing with this issue which would be introduced into the high
schools. A beefed up public campaign via radio, TV, billboards and newspapers
should advertise helplines for those who feel they can’t talk with someone they
know. Before it’s too late again.
Sir, – The
shocking tragedy of the needless loss of a precious young life should serve to
arouse within us some serious soul searching regarding some of our basic
The planning of a “double suicide” by two adolescents
raises many serious questions about education, religion, peer pressure, family
structure, sexual mores and the seeming lack of appreciation about the infinite
value of every single human life.
The fact that Raz Attias was prepared
to murder his pregnant girlfriend and then commit suicide defies rational
explanation and a total understanding of the pathology involved.
however a vulgar and perverted dishonesty by segments of the media to attempt to
obfuscate the real complex issues and divert the blame onto a reputable and
honorable organization like Efrat, which offers emotional, psychological,
spiritual and financial aid to those seeking alternatives to
Without attempting to impose a facile solution to this
quandary, I believe that the seeming ease that youngsters engage in
irresponsible sexual behavior with highly regrettable results deserves our
Sir, – Gil
Hoffman says that Netanyahu will earn votes from traditional Likud voters in
development towns and poor neighborhoods for building the security fence along
the Egyptian border, because it removes the “urgent threat [of] the wave of
migrants who took their jobs” (“An untimely departure,” Frontlines, October
No doubt these voters do look at things that way, and no doubt
Netanyahu doesn’t care whether that perception is true, but only whether voters
think it is.
However, the idea that African refugees take away people’s
jobs is nonsense, economically.
Native residents of a country often think
that poorer immigrants or migrant workers, who are willing to work for less
money, take away their jobs, because they can see when they lose a job, or fail
to get a job, that is filled by a migrant worker.
But, as the economist
Julian Simon showed in a study of immigrants to Western countries, these
newcomers create jobs as well as taking jobs, because their presence in the
country creates a demand for food, housing, telephones, clothing, and any other
products they consume, and the money earned by the people who fill those jobs
creates a demand for further goods, creating more jobs.
Simon found that
immigrants create more new jobs than they fill, so immigration produces a net
increase in the number of jobs available for native residents.
effect should occur from African refugees coming to Israel.
is that when people find a job that is created by African refugees, they usually
do not know that is why they found the job, so they perceive African refugees as
taking jobs away from them.