Regarding the European – especially Iceland’s – boycott policy and anti-Israel bias (“Chilling boycott,” Editorial, September 24), I suggest that the Israeli government publicly state it has now been persuaded that its claim to this country is indeed illegitimate. This should be followed by an announcement that the Jewish population, numbering a little over six million, will be seeking resettlement in a safe haven in Europe as a result of becoming stateless refugees.
I’m confident that Europe will have no problem! JUNE SCHULDENFREI Ra’anana...and refugees
The Syrian refugee crisis should be a teachable moment for Israel and Jews (“UNGA president: Aiding in refugee crisis is mandatory,” September 22).
Much of Islam is derived from Judaism. Just as Jews belong to the Jewish nation – for which the Talmud states that all Jews are responsible for each other – Muslims are a part of the ummah, a global community of brothers and sisters beholden to each other. Yet the wealthy Muslim countries of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and the rising industrial power of Malaysia, have refused to welcome Syrian refugees.
Now we can understand that the refusal in 1948 of the Arab countries to integrate the Palestinian refugees was based not on humanitarian considerations, but on a desire to help them regain their homeland, using them as pawns to harass Israel until the end of time.
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JACOB MENDLOVIC Toronto
Too often, smart people can be very foolish. Case in point: Isaac Herzog and other so-called humanitarians who want us to accept a large number of Syrian refugees (“Herzog calls on Israel to absorb Syrian refugees,” September 6). Allow me to explain why I disagree vehemently with the idea.
I was born in Belgium at the outbreak of World War II. Just before the Nazis invaded the Low Countries, our family managed to escape to that strip of land straddling the frontier between France and Italy that was controlled by the Italians. When the Germans took over southern France, we escaped over the Alps to a small alpine village on the Italian side.
It wasn’t too long before the Nazis took over all of Italy as well. We were caught in a vice and had to leave the village.
We hid in an abandoned shack in the mountains until we were discovered and had to flee again.
My late father was caught and sent first to the French concentration camp at Drancy, outside Paris, and from there to Auschwitz. We never saw or heard from him again. I, as a small child of four, was hidden with French farmers until the end of the war.
Why am I telling you all this? Simply put, the international community didn’t care one bit what happened to the Jews as long as the world was permanently rid of us.
Call me a racist, a fascist, heartless or what you will, but I do not want a single Syrian to set foot in my country. We do not need more people who have been inculcated by their religion to hate Jews. We have enough of those right here.
Today’s refugees from the Muslim world are not being beaten, shot at or thrown into concentration camps to be exterminated when trying to infiltrate into another country.
When they break down walls and fences, and enter a country illegally, the bleeding hearts of the European community welcome them.
The State of Israel was established to provide refuge for only one persecuted people – the Jewish people.
AVRAHAM SCHONBRUNN Petah Tikva Chelm-like medicine
The efforts of Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman (“Litzman launches program to cut queues for MRIs,” September 21) is highly commendable. Yet it is entirely evident that in a country like Israel, where medical advancements are legion and cadres of world-class doctors practice their profession, the need to wait so long is tantamount to malevolent malfeasance.
You report that the Health Ministry “declined to give hospitals licenses to purchase MRIs, because it feared they would be ‘overused’ and ‘unnecessary scans’ would be carried out.” I submit that such a situation ought to be investigated by the attorney-general to see if perhaps the ministry is riddled with corruption. To tie the hands of physicians who are in need of this vital diagnostic tool is for a medical establishment such as ours nothing less than preposterous.
Five years ago, because of such delays here, my wife and I traveled to New York, at the behest of our son, a prominent New York malpractice attorney, for major surgery after a spontaneous fracture of her leg.
There, in New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery of New York Presbyterian Hospital, a top medical team led by a nationally prominent surgeon was able to operate on December 30, the day before New Years Eve, when eminent professionals prefer to be on vacation.
There was no delay in scheduling an MRI or four hours of surgery.
The surgeon, a nice Jewish fellow, repeated to us several times that the Israeli cadre of doctors was “truly a bunch of geniuses,” as if to say he didn’t understand why we had to come to New York for the procedure.
Were there sufficient MRIs available here, the need for having to take the trip and remain in the US for months of physiotherapy would have been averted. We were lucky that we had the means to do so.
Aside from the dearth of available equipment in Israel, there are other criteria that the Health Ministry invokes for licensing a hospital to obtain MRI technology. One such hospital up north had a foreign philanthropist ready to pay, down to the last dollar, yet that hospital was refused the necessary license because of the sparse population in the area it served.
Malfeasance? Corruption? Maybe. If I am not mistaken, however, we may be experiencing the resurgence of the most ludicrous logic of Chelm!
CHAIM WASSERMAN Jerusalem Impractical paradigm
The world, according to former Shin Bet division head Lior Akerman, is one of extreme change and chaos (“The new Middle East,” Observations, September 18.) Our region is being transformed into a hell by religious radicals who are as devout in their beliefs as Germany’s Nazis and the Soviet Communists were in theirs, if not more so.
Countries are disintegrating.
The flow of refugees is such as has not been seen since World War II. The upheaval is clear to anyone willing to give it a minute’s thought.
Yet there are those who, unbelievably, still adhere to a paradigm that never was practical, but today is as illogical as demanding that all the world’s globes be produced in a way that makes them flat. They refuse to banish the notion that the creation of an Arab state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is Israel’s road to peace with the Arabs.
What plan can be more bizarre? For these dogmatists, today’s Middle East is not boiling enough, cruel enough or dangerous enough, the flames not close enough to Israel’s frontiers. They insist on increasing the peril by risking an unstable terrorist state on Israel’s longest border, thus threatening the country’s strategic depth.
“Palestine,” an economic basket case of a country, unquestionably would be, first, a battleground between competing extremist factions, and then a launching pad for asymmetrical or even hybrid warfare.
Demilitarized state? Please, don’t make me laugh.
BERNARD SMITH Jerusalem
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