Letters to the Editor: May 13, 2020: Third deadlock

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Third deadlock

In “The Shkedi Model to build trust” (April 10), Yaakov Katz refers to The Jerusalem Post’s extensive writings about the need to break the haredi parties’ monopoly in the Knesset.
How disappointing therefore is the fact there was an opportunity to achieve this through a National Unity Government between Likud and Blue and White after the third deadlock election How disappointing it must be that Yesh Atid leader Lapid failed to grasp this challenge, but instead allowed his personal animus against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to prevail over everything else.
Such a change could only be achieved through the combined support of the two major parties representing the moderate Right and moderate Left.
Katz should face the fact that it is most unlikely that his objective will be achieved now in any realistic time frame to make his objective worth pursuing and recognize the cause of this failure.

PETER SIMPSON
Jerusalem

Regarding “Blue and White? It’s black” (April 10), in the time of coronavirus. can there be anything more depressing than reading the latest diatribe from former prime minister Ehud Olmert?
In this period of lockdown we are not short of stark “white” reality, however, after we emerge from this “black” nightmare, as we surely
will, hopefully sooner rather than later, we seek the positivity of “Blue” skies ahead.
His negative, viral nonstop revenge outpourings do very little to inspire the nation – in fact, quite the opposite and his legacy as a bitter doomsayer is further sealed with every word.
STEPHEN VISHNICK
Tel Aviv

Herd mentality
In “Life-saving or lunacy?” (April 8) Prof. Yoram Lass’s proposal adds up to herd immunity based on mass exposure to the Covid19 virus.
The preponderance of world experts are of the opinion that the only reasonable way that herd immunity is to be achieved is via the use of a vaccine if and when it becomes available. As a senior citizen with three of the 4 the major risk factors involved, Lass’s proposal would be a death sentence for me and numerous others.
DR. SAMUEL DERSHOWITZ
Jerusalem

“If this is war, we must attack the enemy, without fear” (April 8) by Sylvan Adams, who is described as an Israeli entrepreneur and philanthropist, is based on grossly erroneous premises, distortion of the numbers (most glaringly the percentages of sick, hospitalized, and recovered patients – no mention is made of the dead), and a misunderstanding, misreading and incorrect analysis of the current and future situation.
His solution of “herd immunity,” which may be called “herd suicide or herd death” is imbecilic, and takes us back to the Black Death and plague solutions of the Middle Ages.
In Italy, the mayor of Bergamo, a town at the center of the pandemic storm near Milan, said that only 30% of the deaths that are caused by Covid-19 are being reported as such. There is an increase of deaths compared to previous years, but if the dead person has not been tested for COVID-19, then the increased deaths are not attributed to the virus.
In many non-Western countries, testing is almost non-existent. It is only reasonable to assume that the number of dead is far in excess by many multiples of the published numbers. If the numbers of dead are compared to the number of infection-free recovered, we see that the incidence of dead to recovered is currently 21%!
One in five of those who enter the infection recovery cycle die. This is the true undisputable figure that Adams should be sleeplessly concerned with.
DR. MAURICE MOSHE ERNST
Jerusalem

The strategy outlined by Sylvan Adams is spot on. However, two critical elements must be included in order to facilitate its success.
1. Carers of the vulnerable under curfew must be provided with the best possible kit in order to ensure that they do not transfer the virus to those most at risk.
2. The curfew must continue in specific geographic locations that are hardest hit and/or do not obey the social distancing recommendations still in place (e.g. masks).
With this strategy in place, we can save all the businesses and self-employed that are now on the verge of collapse and enable employees to honor their financial commitments without state support.
NATAN NAMIR
Bnei Re’em

Courting disaster?
The article by Ayelet Shaked (Leadership in a time of coronavirus, April 8) is no more than a feeble subterfuge for advancing her tried and failed policy of seeking to undermine our historically sound and sagacious judicial system.
One of the principal criteria for the appointment of judges is based on merit having regard to qualification, integrity and efficiency with ability to interpret and implement the laws of the Country. Political activity should not be a material consideration.
She complains that appointments to the bench are not democratic, yet seeks praise for herself in nominating 334 judges, the majority being of a conservative background. Since when does political allegiance ensure judicial appointments of persons of the highest integrity and honesty?
She would do well to refer to the advice given to Moses (Exodus 18:20): So that God be with you, appoint judges from people of “integrity who despise money” who can better deduce new laws from legal precedent.
This short egotistical article seeking to enumerate her personal achievements sounds rather like her political obituary – for which many of us would lose little sleep.
AUSTEN SCIENCE
Herzliya

Ayelet Shaked was probably the best justice minister Israel has had for a long time.
She was introducing some long-overdue changes to ameliorate the disaster wrought by former chief justice Aharon Barak.
Her recent article reminds us that there is still important work to be done, and she may be the best person to do it. The sub-context is the disgraceful attack on the running of the people’s elected representation – the Knesset – by five unelected judges.
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, only makes things worse when he calls for the “rule of law,” which is a euphemism for “rule by lawyers” who will make up the rules as they go along, which in his case is trying to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from remaining as prime minister, and will also be read by others as the leftist wish to have the Supreme Court continue to interfere with the democratic process, and to hear petitions from fringe groups within days that would never even receive a hearing in more established democracies.

JOSEPH BERGER
Netanya

I read former justice minister Ayelet Shaked’s opinion piece and was impressed with her ideas to reform the Histadrut and selection of judges. However, she left out the most important reform her party supports: a Knesset override of the Supreme Court.
This reform would lead to the establishment of an autocracy of the ruling party, which would allow the ruling party to pass laws irrespective of minority rights or concerns. It could even legislate that only certain parties could run in elections or end elections altogether.
This is not the person or party I want leading our country.
BARRY H. LYNN, PHD
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Crisis by the numbers
It is mind-numbing to try to keep up with information on the numbers of ventilators in Israel.
In “Coronavirus prep continues with 100 ventilators on their way to Israel” (April 10), the Health Ministry states that there are 3,051 ventilators in Israel, but only 1,869 are available for use. This begs the question of the status of the remaining 1,182.
How many of these are being used for people with other illnesses than the virus? Does the number in use include the 110 or so currently being used for virus patients? Are some of the 1,182 broken? If so, how fast are they being repaired and added to the number of those available? Are some reserved for the IDF? Are some privately held? etc.
Also, there are probably multiple types of ventilators, with suitability for different patients at different points of treatment. That information would be useful as well, and if applicable should be used to qualify the numbers requested above.
It is unhelpful to your readers to provide differently inconsistent numbers in different articles. And while we’re at it, can we also get a consistent list of all the efforts that are creating and importing additional ventilators with quantities and expected availability dates. Providing this information would be a service to your readers.
MATTHEW SCHEIN
Jerusalem

Virtually the whole of the country has been experiencing financial problems as a result of the corona pandemic.
While it won’t make a huge difference to the budget deficit, I wonder why the Knesset members haven’t seen fit to join the rest of us by taking a voluntary pay cut.
MICHAEL BRODY
Jerusalem

Neither rain nor snow nor virus...
As English-speaking citizens of Israel, my wife and I would like to express our sincere thanks to the editor and staff of The Jerusalem Post.
Even though we are all experiencing the horrific consequences and effects of the coronavirus, our Jerusalem Post newspaper has appeared in our post box every single morning. As seniors, reading the daily news, the various articles and of course the daily crosswords and puzzles, have always been an integral part of our lives. I truly don’t know how you have been able to continue to do this, but thank you.
DR. MERVYN LEVITON
Netanya

I must express great gratitude to all the journalists who are tirelessly writing and providing us with important news and coronavirus updates. There have been many articles on Torah, beauty products and recipes. Since I can’t go out, I can’t make those recipes because I can’t get to a grocery store and I can’t order a couple of ingredients, but I will save the recipes for next year when my Seder goes from two to 20 people.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for a bit of normal.
A very special thank you to the newspaper delivery guy, who has faithfully delivered the paper at my door every day at 6 a.m. I often run outside my door with a mask on to say thank you but I have yet to catch him. When I was six years old, I often accompanied my 13-year-old brother, who was a “paper boy.” I loved seeing how happy people were when they got their paper delivered.
On another topic, I have read that both the president and the prime minister had family come for their Seder. Many people had to be alone on the Seder night; it breaks my heart to hear the sadness of these people who were alone. They all could have gone to family.
I am ashamed and disgusted by our leaders who can’t keep their own rules.
SARAH MASLOW
Jerusalem

Compassion, not blame

Although it is upsetting to see the disproportionate number of coronavirus cases in haredi and hassidic communities such as Bnei Brak here in Israel and Monsey and Brooklyn in the United States, the response should be compassion and help rather than blame.
In many of these communities without newspapers, Internet or television, information came late, and when it did it seemed incomprehensible to separate large families cramped into tiny apartments and neighbors from helping each other. It seemed against the natural order of things for an ailing grandmother not to have the help of her daughters and granddaughters, when no other help was available, particularly before holidays.
The disregard for social distancing was not restricted to the haredi communities. I have heard of corona cases among non-Orthodox acquaintances in New York, when mere weeks ago, it seemed absurd to cancel or not attend a large family bar mitzvah, unfortunately with disastrous results.
Moreover, we cannot ignore the “thumbing one’s nose” and total evasion of governmental ordinances by our own young people – for example, on the beaches of Tel Aviv, who seem not only oblivious but uncaring of the pandemic that is killing so many. Indeed, they tell stories of how they “cleverly” evaded police barriers in order to do their own thing.
This should not be a time for finger pointing or blame, but rather for education, empathy and coming together to defeat this viral enemy, after which we hope we will have gained a better understanding of ourselves and our neighbors.
MARION REISS
Beit Shemesh

Small business

Regarding “Finance ministry to create a loan fund worth NIS 6 billion” (April 9), the journalist spells out that “...such loans are limited to businesses earning between NIS 200 million and NIS 400 million.”
While Israel is a democracy, it is far from equitable when it comes to the exercise of governmental economic powers. Israel’s economic governing style is to favor big business over the legitimate needs and talents found in small and independent businesses.
Instead of building a middle class, Israel keeps the bulk of its citizenry bound within the confines of a hierarchy. This is one reason why so many Israelis leave for greener pastures – to lands that reward their individual efforts, instead of repeatedly hampering their efforts, in favor of well-connected/favored/”indespensible” big business.

AHARON KATZ
Jerusalem