Playing its part
Hail to Israel once again in the world arena – it has sent teams of medical personnel to Mexico that have done their work par excellence (“ZAKA volunteers recover body of rabbi from rubble left by Mexico City earthquake,” September 25).
Israel stands foremost among the nations that are trying to help. Many other nations talk big and do nothing. They talk big of giving money but they don’t. How many nations have you heard of that are giving money to Mexico?
I think the world has to bless Israel and its leadership for its New Year. The world is a better place because Israel has truly shown the way and is playing its part in the global community.
With regard to “Well-wishers greet ailing Erekat in US” (September 25), the allocation of scarce resources is an important topic in contemporary medical ethics. A lung for transplant is arguably the most scarce medical resource.
We learn from your article that a transplant hospital in Virginia added Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat to the national waiting list. When a donor becomes available, all the patients in the pool will be compared to that donor. Several factors will be considered, but in the case of lung transplantation, priority is mostly determined by the severity of the disease.
Patients from other countries can travel to the US to receive transplants. Once accepted by a transplant center, they receive organs based on the same policies as US citizens.
When Erekat, whose lies have cost countless Israeli lives, receives a lung transplantation, it shall be at the expense of a US citizen who will likely be allowed to die in order to allow Erekat to live.
The writer is a physician.
Musician Elvis Costello will appear at “Tower of Song: A Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen” (“Leonard Cohen memorial concert in Montreal to feature Sting, Elvis Costello,” Arts & Entertainment, September 25).
Throughout his life, Cohen was a great supporter of Israel and gave wonderful concerts here. However, Costello supports BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel. In 2010, he canceled performances here and posted a message on his website in which he announced he did so in protest at “the intimidation and humiliation of Palestinians by Israel.” He acknowledged that he was unlikely to be invited to Israel again and said: “Sometimes a silence in music is better than adding to the static.”
Cohen’s son, Adam, should honor the memory of his late, great, poet-singer-songwriter father by disinviting Costello. He could send him a message: Well I heard there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the Lord. But you don’t really care for our music, do you?
Ra’anana Time to atone
Susan Hattis Rolef should apologize for getting me angry every time I read her Think About It columns that focus on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s questionable behavior.
In her latest, “Netanyahu and some thoughts toward Yom Kippur” (September 25), she should not have reiterated the shortcomings of the prime minister and his wife in some areas; instead, she could have chosen Benjamin Netanyahu’s unbelievable abilities to involve the whole world in trying to get all our enemies to become our friends. He is incredible in his positive governance of our state.
As for some “thoughts toward Yom Kippur,” Ms. Rolef should not only send me a letter of apology, she should ask God to forgive her for her hurtful words and give her the ability to focus on the larger picture, not only the negative.
Jerusalem Subsidizing the arts
Reading “Controversial film ‘Foxtrot’ wins ‘Israeli Oscars’” (September 24), as long as government subsidies are granted to the arts on a rationed basis, some criterion must be used to decide who gets what. Since the judgment of art is necessarily subjective, there can be no escaping bias, whether pro- or post-Zionist.
It is self-evident that no state need subsidize its own destroyers, but it is not self-evident who those destroyers are. It is only sensible for the government to stop subsidizing art.
Let non-profits or the private market do so.
Tel Aviv Why her?
Regarding your holiday supplement “50 most influential Jews” (September 20), sometimes I wonder who, why and how these 50 are chosen.
I can understand political standing, intellectual achievements, financial and other world-influencing capabilities, or influencing the Jewish world. But when someone has an aim to uproot Jewish traditions and values, and to appeal to a failed overseas concept of Judaism, there is something wrong.
Anat Hoffman was chosen as No. 8. Just look at all the surveys of what is happening to Reform Judaism in the western world. To increase its dwindling numbers, it seems that one only has to like Jews to be included. This is what Hoffman is trying to do in Israel.
Ask her if she puts on tefillin every day, if she leads an observant lifestyle. Besides making a lot of noise, what has she done for Israel or the Jewish people? After seeing her at No. 8, it wasn’t worth seeing who was considered less influential.
Ma’aleh Adumim Side by side
I refer to “A year to decide” (Editor’s Notes) by Yaakov Katz, and Caroline B. Glick’s “Israel and the American Jewish crisis” (Column One), which appeared side-by-side on the last page of your September 20 edition.
Katz is worth quoting: “It is time for the country to make some serious decisions on matters of religion and state. Seventy years after the establishment of the State of Israel, it is not fair or democratically right to hold the majority hostage to the whims of a minority just because they are needed for government coalitions.” He also states: “Living in a democracy means you have obligations, but you also have rights....”
Glick has a very dim view of the Conservative and Reform movements. She refers to their “dwindling bases.” Is she expressing her bigoted outlook because she is subconsciously worried that the progressive streams of Judaism are in fact resurgent and will very shortly be taking the lead both in Israel and the Diaspora?
She is an ardent supporter of the wily Benjamin Netanyahu and is delighted to see the prime minister ride roughshod over respectable, patriotic and religious Jews whose ethos offends her. She is intelligent enough to remove her blinders and be aware that the prime minister is not to be relied on and tomorrow could easily pivot in the other direction.
There are too many Jews who do not approve of having to live in a theocracy, which is what the ultra-Orthodox are trying to impose. The sheer numbers of non-Orthodox Jews are going to sway the vote very soon.
The progressive Jews will be given their space to pray and the sky will not fall. In fact, it will be a sweet, quiet rejoicing that won’t offend the likes of Glick – and the land of milk and honey will be much improved.
The haredim will carry on with their religious lifestyle without impediments. Their inevitable enlightenment will also happen, and Israel will mature into the nation it is meant to be.