Residents and strikes
Sir, – Regarding “Medical residents agree to return to
talks with Treasury” (November 21), when light rail drivers go on strike, many
people are inconvenienced.
When sanitation workers strike, garbage piles
Inconvenience. When postal workers strike, our mail gets delayed.
Usually, not a big deal.
When medical personnel strike, though, lives are
put in jeopardy.
That is totally unacceptable.
another way to air their grievances and put forth their demands. But they cannot
strike. The cost to the rest of us is simply too high.PHIL CHERNOFSKY
Sir, – It is with increasing disgust that I continue to read about the
ongoing travesty vis a vis Israel’s medical residents.
From afar, it
would appear that, both individually and collectively, the residents have no
rights. The Finance Ministry and deputy health minister seem to routinely flex
their muscles instead of attempting to reach a compromise.
Medical Association seems to have abandoned all sense in agreeing to a nine-year
In short, this is a contest of wills, and the state and
existing physicians are winning against the individual. Shame! I walked out on
strike in 1980 here in Ontario, as did thousands of my fellow medical residents,
after much soul-searching.
Thirty years later, the residents of today
benefit from that action.ALBERT KIRSHEN
Toronto The writer is an
assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto Is he for real?
Sir, – Regarding “Gantz warns of possible Gaza offensive” (November 21), I
wonder what it would take to actually force this initiative – perhaps dozens of
Israeli deaths or the population becoming raving lunatics for having to live
under daily bombardments while those in charge continue to abide by rules that
exist in no other country? Our chief of staff says: “If we don’t have a choice
we’ll know how to operate in Gaza.” There has been no choice for years (and our
top soldiers have the chutzpah to tell us they called off a military operation
due to an Egyptian request to give ceasefire efforts a chance!).
guy for real or does he actually not see that it is our enemies setting the
timetable and rules? YENTEL JACOBS
Netanya Women and song
Sir, – Regarding “IDF
chief of staff rejects rabbi’s remarks on singing women” (November 21), isn’t
there anyone in the upper echelons of the IDF with an ounce of common sense?
Does it really make sense to create a miserable rift in the military by
obdurately insisting that soldiers listen to singing, by females or not, at the
cost of offending the principles of a number of them, often the cream of the
crop? Assuming that such programs are intended to contribute to esprit de corps,
they are apparently having the opposite effect.
If someone up there would
have a mind to ban the wearing of tefillin
on the grounds that they are not part
of the uniform, or order the cutting off of sidelocks as not being militarily
correct, I am sure all of Israeli society would be appalled.
Sir, – The words of Rabbi Elyakim Levanon (“Chief rabbi of
Samaria region: Better that soldiers face the firing squad than listen to a
woman sing,” November 20) follow on sayings of the sages that are still
observed: The voice of a woman is erva
(sexually exciting), the hair of a woman
is erva. With separate seating in synagogues, at weddings and other religious
functions, it is presumed that the body of a woman is also erva.
were it that, heaven forefend, the rabbi suddenly had cardiac arrest and the
only instant medical help available was a woman. Would he prefer to meet the
Angel of Death, his sword at the ready, rather than subject himself to
cardio-pulmonary resuscitation at hands of a woman? SONIA GOLDREIN Jerusalem Not
‘far-fetched’ Sir, – James Adler (“Serious charges,” Letters, November 21) says
that accusing Arabs of wanting to blow up buses is “grievous” and “far-fetched.”
Really? Anyone who lived through that awful time will never forget
Our lives and the lives of our children were in mortal danger every
time we got on a bus. We never knew if we would step off at our destination or
be scraped off.
Yes, I “understand the other side.” While the
Palestinians have now stopped blowing up buses, they are actively supporting the
monsters who were responsible. The PA is financially supporting them with
housing and naming streets after them.
In other words, Palestinian
society still, either actively or passively, supports vicious
Adler is asking us for empathy for the “other side.” Not on my
life. Not on the life of my children.THELMA JACOBSON
A knee-jerk query to letter- writer James Adler is irresistible: Where are the
other side’s partners in “empathic reciprocal understanding” for our maze of J
Street, Peace Now, Physicians/Rabbis for Human Rights, Adallah, Ir Amin, ISM,
the Sheikh Jarrah protesters, B’Tselem, ACRI, ACLU, the Israel Policy Forum and
very many more? Bus bombing may seem “farfetched” in far-off Massachusetts, but
no one seriously can claim it is “frivolous.”ESTER ZEITLIN
Sir, – Liat Collins wrote a very interesting piece (“Not-so-easy
riders,” My Word, November 20) in which she discusses the absurdity of Israel’s
It is incomprehensible how Israel has managed to exist in
relative and absolute terms. It is surrounded by constant enemies, including
Iran, which has trained Palestinian terrorists. We have Arab representatives in
Knesset who refuse to swear allegiance to the State of Israel.
government allows an Arab bus with anti-Israel slogans on it to ride blissfully
through the land until it reaches a Jerusalem checkpoint. Only Israel has this
Thank God we live in a land that has a sense of humor about
its fate.TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem Damned anyway
Sir, – Your article “By
next decade, over half of citizens won’t do IDF service – top officer” (November
18) states that among males, “the largest number of exemptions is given to the
haredi sector, which constitutes 13% of draft-dodgers.” According to the math
that I learned, this means that the other 87% aren’t haredi. Why don’t we hear
about them? The same article also mentions allegations that the IDF is “being
overrun by religious extremists.”
The religious sector is denounced if
its members don’t serve, and excoriated if they do.SHIFRA PAIKIN
Sir, – I was on the first kindertransport arranged by
Solomon Schonfeld, which left Vienna on December 20,
After that there were many children who were brought to the UK by
Rabbi Schonfeld in organized kindertransports or as individuals before, during
and after the war.
On February 27/Adar 4 we will mark the 100th
anniversary of his birth. I hope to arrange a memorial tribute on that date in
Jerusalem and wish to invite Schonfeld kinder
who would like to attend.
can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by mail at PO Box 18279,