September 19: The dry facts

Every year the level of the Kinneret gets lower. How much water are we sending away from our arid country?

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
The dry facts
Sir, – The front-page article “Embassy personnel in Amman to return after weekend” (September 16) said: “Several hundred protesters outside of the embassy in Amman called on Thursday for Jordan to cancel the peace treaty with Israel.”
I, for one, hope it will. Then we will not have to give it the huge quantities of our dwindling asset – water. In a burst of breathtaking stupidity, that was what we paid (and continue to pay) for the treaty. Every year the level of the Kinneret gets lower. How much water are we sending away from our arid country? We who questioned the wisdom of such an agreement asked what would happen if, God forbid, we had a real drought? No problem, was the answer – we will just buy water from Turkey.
Petah Tikva

Cancel the invitation
Sir, – Your suggestion (“Obama, visit Israel,” Editorial, September 16) is inappropriate as it doesn’t deal with the issues.
Jews in the US need to decide whether President Barak Obama’s policies during his first four years fundamentally assisted Israel or were detrimental. A short stay, producing nothing more than platitudes, would prove nothing and should be given no more weight than an election campaign ploy to reverse falling Jewish support.

Sir, - My impression of the general tenor of your editorial is that President Obama is being encouraged to come to reconnect with the Jewish community in the US, a relationship that seemed to suffer a severe setback during the recent special congressional elections in NY.
Am I to infer that The Jerusalem Post is encouraging Obama’s reelection in 2012 without even knowing who the alternatives might be?

Sir, – Your editorial is totally misguided. Obama’s animus toward our state has been manifested over and over. He was here when he was a candidate, yet that didn’t endear us to him.
The only purpose of a visit now would be for him to impress American Jewry into voting for him again in 2012. That should be the last thing we encourage.

Perils for Israel
Sir, – Prof. Shlomo Slonim’s “Obama, the ’67 lines and Jerusalem” (Comment & Features, September 14) is right on the mark.
The focus in this article, understandably, is on Jerusalem, with Shimon Peres and the late Yitzhak Rabin being cited as having spoken out on the city’s legal status as Israel’s united and undivided capital. But it is instructive to note that Peres, in a recent book, also came out against a Palestinian state having the 1949-67 armistice lines as its border, noting the perils such a state would pose for Israel.

Sir, – We gave up our claim to Judea and Samaria when we, as a nation, signed the Oslo Accords.
This was followed by a much graver disaster in 2000, when Israel offered to divide Jerusalem at Camp David, a point Shlomo Slonim overlooked.
True, we could claim that in view of the innumerable Palestinian violations of existing peace accords it is our right to consider all these agreements as nonbinding.
Unfortunately, the world has already decided that there will be a Palestinian state.
This we cannot change. All that is left for us is to negotiate the boundaries.
We are not in a position to demand anything from the US.
The smartest thing we can do and the best we can expect is to put forward an alternative plan that reflects our red lines on Jerusalem and national security, and hope and pray the US can sell it to the rest of the world. I prefer not to think of the alternative.

Petah Tikva

Sir, – Shlomo Slonim says “it is necessary to analyze what (Obama’s) pronouncement calling for talks to start on the basis of the June 1967 lines entails.”
But he does not go on to explain that the reference to “1967 lines” is in fact to the 1948 armistice lines, and not those resulting from the 1967 war.
I think you will find that many outside Israel understand the reference to “1967 lines” refers to those resulting from that war.
It would benefit Israel in getting its position understood if the reference by all future commentators were “pre-1967 lines” so that no one would be under any misapprehension as to the dire position that would leave Israel in.

Those old textbooks
Sir, – During the recent protests for social justice, we heard many demands on the government to change its budget allocations. One aspect never mentioned would cost the government nothing but would provide significant savings for every family with children.
Families spend a fortune on textbooks. Unlike previous years, however, books from last year cannot be handed down or passed on. The explanation given is that they are “new editions.”
This absurd situation hides inefficiency and a lack of professionalism in our education system, and merely provides additional wealth to publishers.
Changes are urgently needed.

Cold shoulder
Sir, – Considering all the problems in the healthcare system of this country (like strikes, shortages and brain drain), one would think the Health Ministry would welcome immigrant healthcare professionals from the West with open arms. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, it’s the opposite.
I worked as a dietitian in the US for over 20 years. I have a bachelors and a masters degree.
I successfully completed an accredited internship program and passed the nationwide exam to become a registered dietitian.
I am also licensed to practice in Illinois. However, this is apparently not sufficient for an Israeli license.
A “friend” at the ministry said the law states that my diploma must have the word “nutrition” on it. For some unknown reason, the University of Illinois granted all dietitian students a “Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resources and Family Studies.”
That was the name of the school in 1984 when I earned my degree. The school has since broken up into smaller schools and the degree is now called a “Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition.”
The associate dean at the university was kind enough to write a note explaining that the degree I received in 1984 is comparable to the degree in food science and human nutrition that is awarded today. The course of study is the same. I was even told by the director of a program here in Israel that the course of study I completed was comparable to the course of study here.
My “friend” at the ministry was not impressed. He demanded that a new diploma be made for me that says “Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition.” The associate dean at the University of Illinois explained that my diploma is a legal document and cannot be altered 27 years later.
I have been working on this since I made aliya in 2009. I am at risk of losing my jobs because I lack an Israeli license.
I am not alone. I know two English doctors who have had problems with their license. The physiotherapist at the hospital where I work is having trouble, and many nurses are having difficulties, too. Is this the way to treat professionals who took large pay cuts and left their family and friends to pursue their dream in the Land of Israel? Talk about social injustice! Are there any tent communities left that I can join?
Ma’aleh Adumim