Letters to the Editor January 18, 2023: Precautionary and preventative

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

 Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Precautionary and preventive

Regarding “IDF: Iron Dome not a cancer risk for crews” (January 10): We congratulate The Jerusalem Post for its article on our research and that of the IDF on cancer risk from non-ionizing RF radiation on Iron Dome crews.

Concerning a comparison between the two studies, we prefer to withhold comment until we can also study the IDF’s published study.

We appreciate its in-depth discussion on our recommendations to prevent exposure to those with either direct or bystander exposures. Anyone with a microwave oven can see the preventive Faraday Cage in its window. This means also that soldiers have the right to know and the IDF is obliged to inform.

No less important is that the soldiers have the right to recognition and compensation. Many of them stressed the need to prevent the same harm coming to those recruited after them.

The model is the precedent, but we must not have to wait 20 years for recognition as occurred in our research on the naval divers in the Kishon River. We suggest that the weight of evidence for a cause-effect relationship between electromagnetic radiation (RF) and cancer among Iron Dome crews appears to be at least as strong, if not stronger than that found between the naval divers’ exposures and their cancers.

This is because there has been much prior knowledge about exposure to RF in radar workers, while the Kishon divers were the first of their kind to involve water pollution.

Our paper is based on data reaching strong statistical significance. It shows increased all-cancers rate in a small subgroup and an increased hematologic cancers percentage frequency (hematologic cancers relative to all cancers in the group) in the whole group.

Those are the same characteristics of personnel exposed to RF radiation reported previously from similar groups in Poland, Belgium, Israel, and among American radio amateurs and the US Navy as well as in animal model research, as detailed in our paper. We included analysis of the cumulative number of cancer cases as a function of years from recruitment to highlight short latencies.

Whatever the army findings, Faraday shields need to be deployed immediately in all army settings as a precautionary and preventive measure for separating the workers and soldiers from the exposure sources. We have a responsibility to protect the soldiers who protect us.

An additional note: Michael Peleg is not a professor as stated mistakenly in the article, rather an engineer and researcher.

ELIHU D. RICHTER, associate professor


Old fashioned and inflexible

After reading “Sole protective wall” by Uri Regev (January 15), I wonder why there is a need for elections. According to Regev, election results have no meaning and what those who clearly lost the elections think is the only way forward. Debate is important and healthy but there must be recognition that election results bring change.

Everyone knows that Herzl and Weizmann had certain views but they don’t have a monopoly on any issue. Of course,as usual, the various Orthodox groups are held to blame for having the nerve to dream of a more traditional Jewish state. How ironic that 3,000 years of Jewish tradition and yes, religious observance is looked upon as old fashioned and inflexible while failed doctrines of secularism are sacred and dare not be compromised.

The writer gives the impression that a schism will be caused with Diaspora Jewry as if until a couple of weeks ago there was none. Surely Regev knows that most irreligious Jews have been distanced from Israel for a long time, with leading Reform rabbis joining with J Street to run Israel into the ground. Enough is enough.


Chief Rabbi of Dimona

Crucial step

I am a sworn admirer of Amotz Asa-El’s weekly column “Middle Israel,” but I was deeply disappointed by his column of last week (“Wanted: A war leader,” January 13).

I realize, as he does, that the issue of government plans to undo Aharon Barak’s judicial revolution declaring that everything can be handled judicially is a crucial step. But he failed to mention that even before this revolution, there was a Supreme Court in Israel and there was also a government that was duly elected by the people.

What right does Barak have to “elastically apply [the court’s] own sensibilities to socially re-engineer Israeli society in their enlightened image” to quote David M. Weinberg’s most eloquent column, “Judicial reform is reasonable and right” (January 13)?

The government’s desire to return the power to the people is both justified and admirable. It definitely is not the end of democracy in Israel.


Kibbutz Kfar Etzion

Russian invention

Regarding “European vision in Area C is in Israel’s interest” (January 16): The European Union delegation to the Palestinian Authority, like the UN, would have no legitimacy in a court of law. Under the influence of the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, what chance does the one and only Jewish state have? Then there is the pressure from the millions of Muslims who have emigrated to Europe and whose goal is the replacement of the West with a caliphate.

No nation has a more solid legal basis than Israel. It was defined at San Remo in 1920, confirmed by the League of Nations in 1922 and sealed by article 80 of the UN Charter. This means that Israel includes every dunam of the British Mandate for Palestine.

So, what is Palestine and who are the Palestinians? They are a Russian invention.

In 1952 Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew King Farouk, becoming president of Egypt. America and the UK were funding the New Aswan Dam project, but pulled out in 1956 when Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. The Soviet Union stepped in.

To further diminish American influence, the KGB created the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964. They simply called Israel “Palestine” and all the Arabs living there “Palestinians.” The West Bank and Gaza were not considered part of Palestine as they were under Arab occupation.

Yasser Arafat, an Egyptian, became the first Arab Palestinian and leader of the PLO. The modus operandi of the organization was terrorism to drive the infidels out of the Middle East.

The number of Arabs living in the Mandate doubled from 1920 to 1948 due to employment opportunities the Zionists created and at the urging of their leader, Haj Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem. Husseini was Hitler’s ally.

During the Mandate, only Jews were called Palestinians. All their institutions reflected this. Arabs identified with their families or tribes or from where they had emigrated. Only 15% of Israeli Arabs identify as Palestinians. Most Arabs under what is now PA control began calling themselves Palestinians after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

Israel is a liberal democracy. It is one of the small number of UN members adhering to the human rights the UN purports to uphold.

Today, Islamic states are working with Israel despite the Palestine issue. Only Israel and the Arabs will ultimately determine the borders of Israel and a new state of Palestine. Unilateral and illegal actions by the EU and UN will only embolden Palestinian intransigence.



‘I would consider leaving’

It’s frightening but you have to agree with the analysis of Yochi Rappeport that Israel is headed down a long and dark tunnel into a theocracy led by ultra-Orthodox extremists (“The beginning of the Jewish republic?” January 17). This descent will only worsen due to the demographics – the large ultra-Orthodox families.

The ultimate question concerning whether democratic and liberal Israel will  survive in the long term will be how far the ultra-Orthodox go in their demands for a halachic state. At some stage, will they realize that they are vigorously cutting off the branch on which they sit?

A few days ago, my wife of 51 years, a proud Sabra born in Haifa, a graduate of the Reali School, an education officer during her service in the IDF, blurted out after reading the news developments: “If I was younger, I would consider leaving.”

If the ultra-Orthodox think that they can survive without a large and happy secular segment of the population, Israel’s future, and theirs, is in dire danger.



Stupid fight

The full-page article by Maya Margit and Steven Ganot, “‘This is a moment of truth for nation’s women’” (January 17) was laughable in its naivety. Your correspondents should be proud that in Israel, important decisions regarding government and other official appointments are not based on gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.  They are, or they should be, based on one value alone, merit.

The questions which need to be addressed are: Who will do the job best? Who is best qualified? Who has the most valuable experience? – nothing else; not quotas for men and none for women; no “token” Ashkenazi, Sephardi, white or black – just merit.

Indeed there are certain positions which can only be filled by men, and others that can only be filled by women. The attempt to ”overcome” this “obstacle” may lead to dangerous situations, such as when the training of soldiers in the tank corps has to be limited and rethought since women can’t carry items as heavy as men can (generally), nor run faster than men (generally), and have certain times of the month when their physical abilities may be curtailed.

The article wishes to point out how “insane” it is that only 0.9% of philanthropic donations are designated for women’s rights organizations. Well, does that not speak for itself? It would seem that those philanthropists are ad idem on this subject.

Let us drop this stupid fight for so-called equality. Apples are not pears, they are shaped differently and taste differently. So it is with men and women. So let’s not compare because each has its merits and defects, its advantages and disadvantages and each has its own particular place in the intricate framework of human society.