Judy Siegel-Itzkovich’s “Care improves from one war to the next” (Health & Science, April 12) was a very interesting article on medical treatment in combat.
However, I have to correct her on her facts regarding the use of freeze-dried plasma by the IDF.
The article states that it is an Israeli innovation developed by Core Dynamics in Ness Ziona. I wrote an article on this subject for Jane’s International Defence Review, and the product in question, LyoPlas N, is a freeze-dried plasma made by the German Red Cross. It is made from blood and plasma donations. It contains human fibrinogen, as well as the factors of the coagulation cascade.
Perhaps it was modified by Core Dynamics for Israeli conditions.
IDF medics used freeze-dried plasma operationally for the first time in March 2013 to save the life of a Palestinian man who had been in a traffic accident.JOE CHARLAFF
The writer is a freelance journalist.
Legs to stand on
With regard to “Freedom message” (Editorial, April 12), I never heard the saying “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” until November 1975, when I was driving back roads between potential customers in Australia and came across a small British Legion meeting house with those words writ bold and large above the entrance. It was a further 20 years before I read the same words on the plinth of Thomas Jefferson’s statue in Washington, DC, by which time I had discovered what they really meant.
Democracy can be likened to a three-legged stool that can be made stable on almost any terrain.
An important part of democracy is the right to free speech and opinions that many people will not like. One might suggest that this right is one of the legs upon which democracy stands. But where it is obvious that freedom of speech can be likened to someone sitting on the stool and sawing a leg off, we have the right to say stop, you are going too far.
The classic example, of course, is anti-Semitism, especially Holocaust denial, which, when left unchecked, destroys the democracy that allows it to flourish. Take the UN, which hears Iran call daily for the destruction of Israel and Jews, without a single world leader saying boo. That organization no longer has any legs to stand on.
It is fascinating to record that one of Hitler’s favorite scientists, Werner Heisenberg, was a rabid anti-Semite. He showed that when attempting to measure atomic dimensions, the light that was used to measure a nucleus made accurate measurement impossible. Truth was thus lost in the observation.
To preserve democracy, we have to be vigilant and careful that the light of unbridled free speech does not distort truth and destroy the nucleus of freedom.KALMAN BOOKMAN
Jerusalem Western Armenia
Raffi K. Hovannisian, in “Remembering the Armenian genocide” (Comment & Features, April 12), must be taking advantage of the lack of historical knowledge of the average reader. What he calls “western Armenia” has been in the hands of the Seljuks or Turks since 1071. They took the area from the Byzantines after the battle of Manzikert.
Demanding the area back from Turkey is as hopeless as the American Indians asking for the wild, wild West back from the Americans.
For hundreds of years, the majority of western Armenia’s inhabitants have been Turks and other Muslims.
Dreaming of taking it back is nothing more than contemplating an apartheid state.ERKIN BAKER
Alton, Illinois How typical
In “Obama finds out that honesty on Iran deal doesn’t pay” (Analysis, April 9), Yossi Melman says that “only a few truthful statements have been heard. They have come from Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Ali Akhbar Salehi.”
How typical of Melman to believe that “Iran did not produce a bomb for religious and ideological reasons,” and not to trust Israeli experts.
Anyone with even a slight knowledge of Islam knows that jihad is a primary tenet of the faith. Therefore, nuclear weapons are a valuable asset to extend a caliphate throughout the Middle East and beyond. I challenge Melman to prove his statement that Salehi’s statement is “held by most senior experts in the world.
He correctly claims that Sheldon Adelson is a patron of the Republicans and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. US President Barack Obama and the Democrats have their own, equally wealthy patrons.
So what? STEVE KRAMER
Alfei Menashe In his own words
With regard to Gershon Baskin’s “We have the chance to do the right thing in Yarmouk” (Encountering Peace, April 9), Israel should never offer a home to a “few” Palestinians in Damascus’s Yarmouk refugee camp. (Some 18,000 – that’s a few?). The reason lies in Baskin’s own words – that the Syrian capital “became the home for Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front General Command of Ahmed Jabril, and other radical Palestinian opposition groups.”
Would Baskin care to guarantee that they have since become less radicalized and would never again strike an Israeli or Jew? MICHA’EL S. BLOCH
Each morning, looking out the window on a rainy cold day, I imagine the people of the Yarmouk camp going through their hell, especially the children. At the same time, I see those Palestinians who steal the millions of dollars they receive from the West without doing anything to save these people.
In their schools, Palestinians teach youngsters to hate the Jews, that the Jews are monkeys and thieves, and that the Jews stole their land. Death to the Jews.
Mr. Baskin, why do you think that accepting a few thousand suffering Yarmoukites here will be a step forward in making peace, and not a step backward toward increasing the danger to Jews who are being threatened continuously? MICHAEL TAL
US President Barack Obama was quoted as saying in his interview with New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman that “if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there.”
Was America “there” when Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea? Has America been there when Russia-sponsored gangs are occupying additional sovereign territories in eastern Ukraine, killing Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, and destroying that beautiful, peaceful country that naively believed Western promises? Did the liberal, pacifist West achieve diplomatic solutions with the Taliban, Saddam Hussein or North Korea? How can Israel rely on American guaranties? Obama’s America is “there” – with Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinians. Not with us.PETER ROTBERG
Ramle Learn from history
At about the time of the first Passover in 1230 BCE (see Timelines of Jewish History, 1993, by Judah Gribetz), the ancient Egyptians under Ramses were recycling building waste (see Egyptian temple exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art).
Pharoah’s architects realized that dilapidated buildings were a useful source of stone.
The stone blocks were carefully dismantled and cleaned (possibly by our own ancestors), and then shipped from Amana to the western bank of the Nile to serve as the foundations of the temple at Hermolis Magna.
Perhaps it is time for modern, hi-tech Israelites (who mostly dump their building waste by roadsides, as well as in nature reserves and landfill sites) to learn from history and manage building waste in a more responsible and useful manner.JACK SHEBSON
The writer is an attorney and director of Eurotrade Recycling Limited of London and Jerusalem.
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