Letters to the Editor February 22, 2023: Collecting dust

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

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

Collecting dust

I would like to commend David Levine for his insightful article “How to fix a broken medical system” (February 19). The subject of the shortage of health professionals is terribly painful.

I have no doubts that Mr. Levine is correct in his analysis. It’s all about money.

Although he is very vividly presenting the problem as it appears to the general population, an in-depth study for the Health Ministry has been made by a commission headed by Prof. Ronni Gamzu, recommending the steps needed to fix the grave problems of shortage.

Unless the government would implement a system such as the one suggested by Mr. Levine to issue municipal bonds to fund these expensive initiatives, I am afraid that Prof. Gamzu’s recommendations will end up like so many recommendations made by the state comptroller, collecting dust.

 THE MDA response was quick and the ER care was state-of-the-art. However, the care on the floor after admission was not up to modern medical standards, says the writer. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90/ILLUSTRATIVE) THE MDA response was quick and the ER care was state-of-the-art. However, the care on the floor after admission was not up to modern medical standards, says the writer. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90/ILLUSTRATIVE)

My big question is, why aren’t we all demonstrating and shouting to our politicians: “Enough with a substandard health system!”

After all, health is a subject that is dear to us all, from Right to Left.



Little Israel

Kathryn Wolf’s article “Our rabbis are betraying us” (February 21) comes as no surprise to those of us with memories going back to before the 1967 Six-Day War. Until then, Reform in England was like Reform in prewar Germany. In their own words, they were Germans, or Englishmen, or women of the Jewish persuasion. After Israel’s astounding victory, when everyone loved little Israel, Reform jumped onto the bandwagon and suddenly were all Zionists.

Now that “The Squad” and Left-leaning US Democrats have joined the chorus of Jew-haters, they are reverting to type. There is nothing new about that.



Shout out to the world

The most recent article by David Weinberg, “Settlements redux” (February 17), is brilliant and perfectly timed to let Israelis know this is our land, God-given, and settled with blood, sweat, and tears.

He begins the article with the relevant news that foreign ministers of four European countries, as well as Canada, have joined forces with the United States, to lecture and oppose our actions legalizing nine Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria. These towns, however, had been in the planning stages for building additional housing for years.

He continues with the sarcastic use of the word “unilateral,” implying Israel may not move forward with any plans to continue settling the land, and even more so, Israel “itself is retroactively one big mistaken unilateral action... against the indigenous Palestinian [Arab] people and against a so-called international consensus.” All must remember we resettled our land after thousands of years of wandering and persecution.

 CONSTRUCTION WORK takes place on new housing in Kiryat Netafim, in Samaria, south of Nablus, last summer. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90) CONSTRUCTION WORK takes place on new housing in Kiryat Netafim, in Samaria, south of Nablus, last summer. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

However, Mr. Weinberg informs us in concise terms that not only do we have the right to continue to settle and build on our homeland, we should shout out to the world that this is the price the Arabs will pay for each act of terrorism. Build the land, says Weinberg, to exact “sweet revenge” on the murderous Arabs, and allow Israel to regain a loss of self-confidence.

This will show all governments that Israel will continue to move in a direction that is good for Israel, and relations shared between countries should not extend to interference in the workings of our government.

Understand, world, that we will always accept advice, but never when given as preconditions for us to bow to other’s wishes. Only Israel knows what’s best for Israel, and will act accordingly. That’s our answer to the nations who think they know what’s the right way for us.



Best for himself

Before the Gush Katif expulsion disaster in 2005, I spent many days and months protesting, so I respect the right of protest, and applaud anyone willing to take from their precious little spare time to demonstrate for something about which they feel strongly (“Tens of thousands rally for second straight week,” February 21).

On the other hand, I am getting increasingly disturbed about the current protests against judicial reform. How many of the protesters really understand our judicial system and why reforms are being called for? 

How many understand that, until Aharon Barak came on the scene, the judiciary was much more equal to our executive and legislative branches of government and was averse to activist involvement in government policy? How many know that limits on litigation, such as the requirements of standing and justiciability, are essential for ensuring a properly functioning, democratic judicial system? 

I feel like the vast majority of protesters, although I’m sure intelligent and sincere, have been incited to protest by Yair Lapid, who, sadly, has completely sidestepped what is best for the country in favor of what is best for himself and his power.

It is, quite frankly, sickening. Rothman and Levin actually did delay the first reading of the bill for a week after the committee approved it, a move toward reconciliation that was completely ignored. Now the bill has passed a first reading in the Knesset plenum, but there are yet two more readings to go before this would become law. There is plenty of time for discussion and debate and compromise.

There are very few knowledgeable people who will insist that the judicial system as it currently exists needs no reform at all. But discussion and debate and compromise are impossible if Lapid doesn’t stop inciting, and – more to the point – if the people being incited don’t wake up and see the damage that is being done.

Please reconsider your actions, and protest instead the refusal of your leaders to talk this out with the other side.


Tzur Hadassah

People to people

Regarding “Lies and antisemitism” (February 20): When I first read of Barcelona’s termination of its twinning agreement with Tel Aviv, I was brought back to the almost 20 years of twinning in which I participated between the towns of Beit Shemesh in Israel and Ramapo in New York State. What made our twinning remarkable, to the extent that the participants on both sides consider themselves if not twins certainly good friends even to this day, was our yearly student exchange programs.

Each year a small number of high school students visited each other’s city, living with families, attending school together and being welcomed by the local governments. There was no mention of any such activity regarding Barcelona. Perhaps had there been such personal contact this rift and mislabeling of Israelis could never have occurred.

Having visited Barcelona as a tourist some years ago, I was struck by the lack of knowledge of Israel or Jewishness by the otherwise charming local guides. I remember that we were forced to spend a full half-day out of our four-day tour, viewing from the outside and learning about the Familia Cathedral, being elaborately and almost continuously renovated for several hundred years, and given barely an hour to see the space devoted to the renovation of the tiny medieval synagogue that precursed the Inquisition. 

We were told by our guides that Barcelona is seeking to break free from Spain, and that its logo is “freedom of opinion and expression.” Certainly, the current administration, by breaking ties of friendship with Israel is doing exactly the opposite.

We hope that there will be a change of policy and, following the example of Beit Shemesh, they will create an interactive people-to-people twinning program.


Beit Shemesh

Two things can be true

I agreed whole-heartedly with most of what Yoaz Hendel wrote in “How does Israel move forward?” (February 20). However, his glaring mistake is his failure to admit that two things can be true at once. Of course, it is unjustifiable that a huge portion of the country is shirking National Service; likewise unjustifiable that our children are being miseducated in school (under the dictates of leftist former education minister Yifat Shasha-Biton); and it is certainly unjustifiable that a convicted criminal should be elevated to head a government ministry.

But, it is equally indefensible that a small, unelected, self-reappointing group of leftist justices can and do retain the power to veto every government decision based on their own view of what is reasonable. It is also indefensible that they have mandated the installation of a horde of unelected lawyers to second-guess and overrule any government policy. And, it is certainly indefensible that they have destroyed the very critical concepts of standing and justiciability in their efforts to cement control over the state.

So, yes, I fully subscribe to Hendel’s vision of moving Israel forward under a renewal of the Zionist dream. But, that notion cannot succeed without a balanced legal framework.

PS Why do leftists, who are constantly wailing over the potential loss of democracy, want to surrender their freedoms to an unelected cabal? Could it be that they just want a Knesset election do-over?



Two critical functions

Regarding “The path to sanity in the White House” (February 15): Srulik Einhorn misses an essential element in a functioning democracy with limited extreme political rhetoric – freedom of expression supported by a free, independent and objective press. An electorate cannot make reasoned decisions without being fully informed and being able to freely express its views. An independent press serves two critical functions: accurately informing the people of what the government is doing, and holding the government accountable for its actions.  

Unfortunately, the US media have eschewed independence and objectivity, and have failed to hold those on one end of the political spectrum accountable. For example, the media blithely accepted allegations of Trump/Russian collusion. Trump was declared guilty with no investigation of the charges’ validity.

News outlets such as The New York Times received prestigious awards for reporting which later turned out to have been grossly inaccurate. To this day they have neither apologized for their misleading reporting nor returned these awards.

In the run-up to the 2020 election, social media silenced Trump supporters and censored the New York Post’s completely accurate report on Hunter Biden’s laptop computer. The report would have brought into serious question Joe Biden’s veracity and willingness to confront China. Recent surveys indicate that a substantial number of Biden supporters would have changed their votes if they had known of the laptop’s contents.  

Then-candidate Biden was allowed to run his campaign from the basement, without being properly vetted by or having to face probing questions from the media. This obsequious defense of “Uncle Joe” despite his many failures and shortcomings is only now beginning to recede.

Recently revealed documents provide clear evidence of unwarranted censoring of any views that did not comport with Twitter’s favored political ideology. (No doubt the larger social media platforms act in a similar manner.) Many of these actions appear to have been taken at the behest of the FBI – a clearly unconstitutional suppression of free speech.

Censorship and use of the “big lie” tactic can sway the votes of large segments of the electorate. Canceled and misinformed citizens cannot participate meaningfully in the marketplace of ideas that is the hallmark of a healthy democracy. Elections are neither free nor fair when the media become cheerleaders rather than unbiased watchdogs.  


Zichron Ya’acov