September 29: Another warning?

Ridding the world of barely 15 million Jews – whose existence has been the catalyst that keeps democracy alive – will be essential for the Muslim caliphate to become fully functional.

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
September 28, 2013 22:40
Letters

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Another warning?

Sir, – Isi Leibler’s “Anti-Semitism in Belgium reaches new heights” (Candidly Speaking, September 25) is yet another warning for European democracy.

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For Hitler to have succeeded in world domination he would have had to destroy democracy. History has also proved that no democratically elected government that allows rabid anti-Semitism to go unchecked can survive.

Ridding the world of barely 15 million Jews – whose existence has been the catalyst that keeps democracy alive – will be essential for the Muslim caliphate to become fully functional. Most assuredly this will happen unless politicians in Europe realize that the history of the 1930s is being replayed and there is now a race to see which European country becomes an Islamic state.

KALMAN BOOKMAN
Jerusalem/Glasgow

Sir, – I usually appreciate Isi Leibler’s columns. However, as a survivor of the Shoa thanks to Belgium’s Christian heroes, I must say that his most recent column was not sufficiently balanced.

Only two days before, Belgian Ambassador John Cornet d’Elzius made some important statements in your pages (“Belgian anti-Semitism,” Letters, September 23). I don’t want to minimize the importance of combating anti-Semitism, in particular in Belgium, but Leibler needs at the same time to recognize, appreciate and encourage all actions coming from Belgian authorities, as described by the ambassador.

Other European countries don’t have the courage to do even part of that.

THOMAS COHN
Tel Aviv

Priorities first Sir, – Rabbi Philip Berg, founder of the highly controversial Kabbala centers and a resident of Los Angeles, was buried in Safed (“Kunis, Kutcher attend Berg funeral,” News in Brief, September 20). Similarly, many Jews who live their lives in America or Europe are buried in Israel.

As more and more land will be needed for other purposes, the country should ban burials of Diaspora Jews. It is not a right but a privilege that should be reserved for illustrious Jews.

The living should have priority over the dead.

JACOB MENDLOVIC
Toronto

Accepting the other

Sir, – With regard to “Intermarriage” (Editorial, September 20), fighting this phenomenon requires strong ties with the State of Israel, and I completely agree with you. However, without fighting racism in our midst this enterprise would be null and void.

As for intermarriage in an open society being inescapable, only acceptance of the other will provide Judaism the powerful tool of showing the world the true values of our tradition.

Unfortunately, a majority of Jews still think that anti-Semitism is like a fatality and that the walls of the ghetto have to be strengthened.

Until when will Jewish leaders keep their eyes closed and continue to promote a policy that obviously does not work? The choice, as presented by the editorial, is between weakening the ability of Judaism to perpetuate itself by rejecting those who decide to marry out of the community, and perpetuating the inability of the Jewish people to show itself in the magnificence of its traditions by turning young people away from their dreams of a normal life.

The creation of the State of Israel was paramount to such a desire, but spending millions of dollars on Birthright programs will, unfortunately, not make a difference. Fighting racism is a much harder task but is the only way to attract to Judaism members of the tribe as well as their non-Jewish spouses.

DENIS FRENKEL
Yverdon, Switzerland

Ridiculous claim

Sir, – David M. Weinberg’s “Emasculating America” (Observations, September 20) is so ridiculous that it deserves a response.

President Barack Obama took a very courageous gamble in sending American forces to kill Osama bin Laden. He has killed many additional terrorist leaders using drone strikes.

Obama has also ended a disastrous Iraq involvement that is estimated to end up costing the US at least $3 trillion, in addition to the loss of 4,500 American and over 100,000 Iraqi lives. He will soon end US involvement in Afghanistan.

Through the persistent efforts of Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel and Palestinians, after years of failed attempts, are again at the negotiating table.

While many readers will not regard this as positive, I believe a comprehensive, sustainable resolution of the conflict is essential to enable Israel to avert renewed conflict, effectively respond to its economic, environmental and other domestic problems, and remain both a Jewish and a democratic state.

Obama entered office with the US and the world on the brink of a depression, with over 750,000 US jobs being lost per month. He helped stabilize the American economy such that there have been positive private sector job gains in the past 40 consecutive months despite consistent Republican efforts to have him fail.

Like all previous presidents, Obama is far from perfect, but to claim that he is purposely trying to weaken America’s standing worldwide is outrageous.

RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ
Ma’aleh Adumim/New York

Sir, – To suggest that the president of the US is making a project of weakening American influence in the world must rank among one of the most ignorant and politically motivated things I have read.

Barack Obama inherited from his Republican predecessor a situation that in military and political terms left America in a mess. There is now a president with a view to restoring the credibility of that great country.

To blame Obama for the failings of an extreme group of neocons is an insult to the intelligence of any reasonable-minded person.

ARTHUR GREMSON
Netanya

Drug of last resort

Sir, – In “Glutamate, the next psychiatric revolution” (Health & Science, September 15), Prof. Uriel Heresco-Levy is quoted as saying: “Today, most of the inpatients have schizophrenia resistant to drugs.”

Unfortunately, no mention is made of clozapine, which, despite its age (it dates back to 1959), is still undisputedly the foremost drug for the treatment of drug-resistant schizophrenia.

Currently in Israel, clozapine is underused. I am 100 percent sure that Prof. Heresco-Levy is well aware of this, but I expect that 99% of the readers of The Jerusalem Post are not.

Not all patients respond positively to clozapine. This poses a very serious problem, as clozapine is the drug of last resort and when it fails, no alternative is currently available. Therefore, all efforts should be taken to prevent the unnecessary failure of clozapine treatment.

One way in which treatment fails is when, for one reason or another, adequately dosed clozapine does not lead to an adequate concentration of clozapine in the blood. The only way to ascertain adequate levels is to measure them.

No such measurement is possible in Israel because the method has not yet become available in any of the country’s laboratories. This is in sharp contrast to the practice of laboratories in the developed world. Israel needs to allow for the measurement of clozapine levels in at least one laboratory.

In the meantime, many hospitalized patients can benefit from improved clozapine treatment and be discharged to live on their own.

DAN COHEN
Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands

The writer is a psychiatrist and member of the Dutch Clozapine Collaboration group

CORRECTION Dr. Alexander Lerner is director of orthopedics at Ziv Medical Center, and not as stated in “Wounded 8-year-old Syrian girl walks again after treatment at Safed hospital” (September 24).


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