Butt out, please
Sir, – “US should push exclusion of Muslim Brothers from Cairo
gov’t, congressman tells ‘Post’” (March 6) is real chutzpah.
has the US, or for that matter any other country, to tell another state or
government to exclude or include a party into its administration? Why does the
US not look after its own affairs before meddling in other countries’ business?
Has it not enough troubles of its own? From our point of view it would be good
to exclude the Muslim Brotherhood from the Egyptian government, but we certainly
cannot demand it any more than other countries can demand from Israel to exclude
a political party such as Kach or Meretz.OSKAR PRAGER
Sell-out explains it
Sir, – The revelation that the prestigious London School of
Economics accepted millions of pounds from Libya and sold a PhD to Muammar
Gaddafi’s son explains much about the anti- Semitism and vilification of Israel
that pervades so many universities in Britain, America and Canada (“London
School of Economics head resigns over Libya link,” March 6).
bribes from oilrich Arab countries, these universities are selling their souls
and abusing the concept of open intellectual discussion and
Instead of students coming from these countries to learn and
be instilled with democratic principals, it is the universities that are
absorbing anti-democratic principals.
Sir, – Ruth Schueler’s list of bicyclists’ misdemeanors on
our roads (“Helmets, or not,” Letters, March 6) calls to mind a road safety
hazard of a different kind that is very prevalent in Israel: the dearth of
roadside postings of the speed limit.
You can travel for miles and miles
along our roads and highways without seeing a sign telling drivers how fast they
are legally permitted to travel. This stands in stark contrast to the practice
in the US, where the driver is reminded at quite frequent intervals of the legal
In a country like ours, where we constantly bewail the high
rate of road accidents, this is a serious shortcoming. True, a more systematic
posting of such signs would not provide an ironclad guarantee that drivers
refrain from speeding, but it would surely serve as a warning and a reminder. At
the very least, it would help the well-intentioned and law-abiding driver (and
we do still have a fair number of these in Israel!) to keep within the legal
People keep talking about “Israeli drivers.” Well, clearly it’s
not always the driver who is to blame. It’s high time our Transportation
Ministry took this important matter in hand and did something about
Jerusalem Naïve noses
Sir, – Your article on the
participation of West Bank farmers in the recent International Agricultural
Exhibition in Tel Aviv made for interesting reading (“Palestinian farmers show
wares, eye innovations at TA agro-fair,” March 4).
You refer several
times to the fact that the representatives came from the PA. However, you should
be aware that one of the exhibitors (Sinokrot Global Group) had a very colorful
brochure in which it recorded its farms and offices as being in the Jordan
Valley in Palestine.
Of course, there is no state of Palestine, but this
brochure, seen by numerous participants from all over the world, conveyed this
Moreover, as the future of permanent jurisdiction over
the Jordan Valley, which is now in Area C, meaning under Israeli control, will
need to be resolved in peace talks, its description as being in Palestine is
The organizers of this exhibition should be ashamed of this
subtle but blatant politicizing being carried out under their obviously naïve
Tel Mond Double-dipping docs
Sir, – I always read and
appreciate Asher Meir’s column Ethics@Work, but I must take issue with his
surprising assessment of the degree of criminality inherent in the situation of
a health fund doctor taking “money under the table” to enable faster or
preferential service (“Payment for services is not bribery,” March 4).
is against the law, corrupt, a breach of contract and economically
discriminatory. An oncologist who benefits monetarily by taking advantage of the
plight of desperate people fighting a difficult and time-sensitive disease is
ethically very much out of line.
Please do not condone this as a fee for
service. It is over and above the actual fee for service and puts a terrible
burden on families that must come up with large sums of cash in order to go to
the head of the line to possibly prolong a life.
And what about those who
cannot come up with cash and have to live with the guilt of not being able to
finance the speediest and best services for their loved ones? ELLEN JAFFE
Sir, – Asher Meir’s arguments do not fit the facts, and his defense of
the doctor is not correct.
A professional who works privately can charge
for his services, whether a doctor, a lawyer or a columnist. Dr. Fiegler is an
“employee” of Ichilov Hospital.
For him to charge extra is a violation
his job description and also immoral, as he is paid by his employer for his
The doctor could also be called a professional under
contract to the hospital and thus be obliged to treat patients the hospital
admits, with any payments to him being made by that hospital.
doctor wants his patients to pay him directly, he can go into private practice,
just like a lawyer, accountant, consultant – and columnist.AHARON
Hatzor Haglilit Everyone benefits
Sir, – The Post’s Editor’s Notes is a
must-read item, and the latest one was, as usual, right on the mark (“Okay, so
there goes the neighborhood. Now what are we going to do about it?,” March
However, there was one sentence that struck a wrong note. Discussing
the desirability for the West to create economic opportunities in Arab
countries, David Horovitz wrote: “Not, heaven forbid, to exploit underemployed
work forces for Western profit, but rather to....”
Twenty years ago, the
Far East (Japan excepted) was a swamp of underemployed work forces. The amazing
growth we have witnessed there was not driven by altruistic foreign aid but by
companies in the West, most noticeably Wal-Mart, which exploited these masses
for huge profits by buying cheap clothes, toys and what have-you, and selling
them to Western consumers.
The wages and conditions in these factories in
China, Vietnam, India and Indonesia were appalling by Western standards, and
still are – however, not as appalling as the alternative, which is
semi-starvation and back-breaking labor as subsistence farmers.
profit motive will generate a thousand times more improvement in the quality of
life in Arab countries as would the application of economic aid, which in failed
states inevitably enriches a few kleptocrats, leaving the masses
The nature of the help the West should give is to encourage
the establishment of conditions under which entrepreneurs will be able to
exploit cheap Arab labor to produce goods that the West is willing to pay for.
As labor rates inevitably rise in the Far East, an opportunity exists for
countries like Egypt to manufacture the low-tech items we now import from China.
The one necessary condition is a stable political system and a free and fair
market in which an entrepreneur can exploit opportunities without fear of being
robbed of his profits.STEPHEN S. COHEN