Jerusalem Post readers weigh in on previous issues of the 'Magazine.'

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Self-inflicted struggle
Sir, – Your article “The struggle of Palestinian healthcare” (January 16) left me in tears! The poor, persecuted Palestinians...
It seems to me that putting their billions into housing, healthcare and social services instead of weapons and terror infrastructure, not to mention lining their leaders’ pockets, would bring more benefits than bashing Israel once again.
Your need for evenhandedness has been driving you into blindly accepting all their hogwash lately! A bit of a surprise from a paper that was once the uninterrupted spokesman of Jews and Zionism in this land.
Petah Tikva
Sir, – Your article is an exercise in irresponsible journalism and disinformation, to say nothing of anti-Israeli propaganda.
Qatari ruler Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani boasts that his money goes to build hospitals in the Gaza Strip. If so, where are the CAT scan machines? Israel may deny Gazans entry for medical treatment, but Hamas – which rules the Gaza Strip – denies them exit.
During Operation Protective Edge Israel set up a field hospital at the Erez crossing, but Hamas would not let Gazans go there for treatment.
It is biased and inaccurate to say that “most Palestinian civil servants have not received salaries for several months.” The truth of the matter is that civil servants affiliated with Hamas have not been paid, while those affiliated with Fatah have. Hamas’s military/terrorist wing threw Fatah supporters off the roofs of high-rise buildings or knee-capped them.
Does Hamas really expect Fatah to pay their salaries? What does the gratuitous fact that 2,200 “Palestinians” (more than half of them terrorists, a fact carefully not mentioned) were killed in the war have to do with healthcare? Nothing.
Kiryat Tivon
Sir, – Physicians for Human Rights in Israel advocates that the Jewish state has the responsibility to give equal health treatment, medical equipment and medicines to Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank, as it does to Israelis.
I would like to know why the Palestinian Authority doesn’t use the billions it receives each year from America, the European Union and the Gulf oil producers to provide for medical needs. If Palestinians have the money to build terror tunnels, why can’t they build hospitals (and then bring in supples, equipment and medicine through the tunnels)? I offer a challenge to the physicians: Let them convince the Arabs of these areas to give up their genocidal war against Israel.
They will see Israeli compassion.
Sir, – “The struggle of Palestinian healthcare” was appropriately placed next to “Hot off the Arab press.” It simply strengthens the arguments of our adversaries without explaining the reasons why healthcare suffers in Gaza.
The fact that huge sums from abroad make their way to terrorist infrastructure is never mentioned. The lack of access to Israel and Egypt is somehow deemed oppression without mentioning regular terror attempts by suicide bombers.
Lack of equipment would not be a problem if funds made their way to the intended humanitarian uses.
Has it wrong
Sir, – Brian Blum has it all wrong in his defense of USY, the Conservative Movement’s youth group, allowing its leaders to date non-Jews (“Hold on to your kippot...,” This Normal Life, January 9).
Blum would have it right were the Conservative Movement a social organization and nothing else. But that is not what it supposes itself to be. It is a religious movement, with a commitment to Jewish law, including kashrut and Shabbat observance; with synagogues where people pray to God; and yes, a stance against mixed marriages.
Apparently, not enough leaders of the movement have the courage to say what Conservative Judaism stands for, and the honesty to state openly: “If you cannot at least aspire to our standards, perhaps we are not the best place for you.”
The USY decision is simply not true to the official teachings of the Conservative Movement.
Or has it lost its bearings?
Tel Aviv
Sir, – I have rarely read such a defeatist article as the one dealing with USY accepting inter-religious dating as part of its conclave resolutions. This is an absolute admission of failure for the Conservative Movement of America.
Instead of praising Jewish awareness and consciousness of Jewish identity to the level where young people will truly say they will only marry Jews, the young have bowed to the fact that their Judaism has not given them strength, but has made them as non-identified as the vast majority of American Jews.
These young people have gotten very little from their Jewish education. They go to public schools, and they go on to colleges where they meet few Jews. It should have been a requirement for every member of a Conservative synagogue that the adults and young people learn about Judaism, its contacts and debates with other religions, and what Judaism has to say about God’s spirituality, religious discipline and experiences with love and marriage.
Too bad the rabbis cannot give these feelings to their congregants, and too bad that Conservative Judaism never really understood that Jews can be proud of their identity and mingle with the public.
Put that in your pipe
Sir, – We found “Up in smoke” (Police and Thieves, January 2) very disturbing.
In the opening paragraph, Ben Hartman admits glibly: “Yinon Magal does not remember the last time he smoked marijuana, but that makes sense, it tends to cause memory loss.” What about the minority who are left with addiction or permanent mental illness? The column talks about the criminalization of marijuana users by almost trivializing it. It totally ignores the other consequence, in a significant number of people – who are left with permanent mental damage and hearing voices.
People have no idea what they are smoking (not to mention that cannabis is an introduction to cocaine and other hard drugs).
There is often a lack of curfew among students at seminary and yeshiva courses, and on summer programs. Stuff is given away in pubs to unsuspecting people. Our son, who was in peak fitness, admitted taking cannabis while undergoing his IDF medical; he was required to postpone the application for 12 months. He is now 25, and in and out of mental hospitals. He is in the top percentile of cannabis takers who have a permanent disability and needs psychological treatment.
A moral failing or a cardinal sin? Perhaps Hartman and Magal should visit an addiction clinic or a mental health unit and then ask: “Would I prefer a criminal record rather than a permanent mental illness?” It is an impossible question to answer.
Commonplace casual pot smoking in Israel is not to be taken lightly because of the permanent health consequences hospitals in Israel, the US and, in our case, the UK have to contend with when the students return home.
You should consider publishing an article expressing the experience of mental health professionals, and also from the parents’ point of view.
Name and place of residence withheld by request
Sir, – The real danger in Israeli law enforcement against the possession of marijuana and hashish is that it encourages the use of much more dangerous drugs.
It does so by giving the false impression that cannabis is harmful when in fact, it is less so than alcohol or for that matter tobacco. People who use marijuana will assume that since they have been lied to about its dangers, the same is true for the dangerous use of harder drugs like cocaine or heroin. Youth are particularly prone to this kind of thinking.
Needless to say, any drug can be abused, but we should stop the waste of time and money and legalize cannabis in Israel.
The writer is a drug counselor.
Deviant anatomy
Sir, – Reader Sha’i Ben-Tekoa asserts that the Eustachian tubes are part of the female reproductive system (“Sexual deviance,” Letters, January 2).
His woeful ignorance of anatomy is exceeded only by his benighted and bigoted views on transgender people.
The Letters editor responds: It is also my fault, in having forgotten my 10th-grade anatomy lessons.