August 3: The Ethiopians

One wonders why an immigrant community that is living in far worse conditions is not being greeted at the airport with balloons and flowers and government ministers looking for photo opportunities.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Ethiopians
It is interesting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned about racism against the Ethiopian community in Israel (“Gov’t to fight racism against Ethiopians,” August 1). On his recent trip to Ethiopia, he meticulously avoided meeting Jewish leaders there, to the point of insult. He also leads a government that is delaying the aliya of Ethiopian Jews who have been waiting years to be reunited with their families in Israel.
While The Jerusalem Post prints weekly pictures and stories of the welcome given to new immigrants from France, Ukraine and the US, one wonders why a community that is living in far worse conditions is not also being greeted at the airport with balloons and flowers and government ministers looking for photo opportunities.
Where are the facts?
I take exception to articles that are presented as professional reporting and analysis, but which also include as “facts” statements that are undocumented opinions.
In “Does Nasrallah have a reason to fear strengthening Israeli- Saudi ties?” (Analysis, August 1), Yossi Melman asserts that “there is no chance that the Saudis will normalize relations with Israel and establish formal diplomatic ties with the Jewish state – not as long as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process fails to progress.”
I am sure, based on his past reports, that this is a message Melman would like to promote, but he presents not a shred of evidence that this is factually correct.
Ginned up headline
Jeff Barak’s abysmal ignorance of traditional Jewish religious practice and theology has now earned him a promotion to be a Certified Mind Reader, as shown in “Netanyahu for Hillary” (Reality Check, August 1).
In his defense, it should be pointed out that Barak does not claim to know for sure what is in Netanyahu’s “heart of hearts,” but merely that in it, he is “probably” hoping for a Clinton victory in the forthcoming US election.
This apparently is in line with the theory of extra-sensory perception, which often presents statistical success as its proof.
Your headline writers, however, would have no part of this modesty, and added the sub-headline: “The prime minister knows Israel needs a US president who is measured, consistent and credible, all qualities Trump lacks.”
Is this journalism?
All were culprits
With regard to “Historical justice” by Mordecai Paldiel (Comment & Features, August 1), Britain’s legal title to Palestine was predicated on it defeating the Ottoman Turks and emerging victorious from the First World War. The 1917 Balfour Declaration was merely a statement of intent, but became international law when its implementation was the basis on which the League of Nations granted Britain the Mandate for Palestine.
Therefore, from the perspective of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, every member state of the League of Nations was a culprit and would have to be joined as a defendant in his putative lawsuit.
Compulsory retirement
I am an internal medicine and pulmonary physician. I worked for many years at the Maccabi health fund as a pulmonary consultant, and at Clalit in primary care. Approaching 67, I was notified about my impending compulsive retirement in spite of my reluctance.
After my retirement, I was entirely forgotten by Maccabi (even in my field of smoking cessation).
Clalit hired me as a substitute physician on an hourly basis. After a few years, I started working for the IDF.
Through all this time, I enjoyed my work and I have proof that patients and referring physicians appreciated me and my work. I had no physical limitations. I know there are many other physicians with the same experience.
I agree with reader Uri Hirsch about the absurdity of these rules (“Absurd system,” Letters, August 1). They should be reevaluated, and the compulsory retirement age modified or canceled altogether.
Hod Hasharon
A Ride with Ray
Having read “Remembering Satyajit Ray” (Arts & Entertainment, July 28), I recall my meeting with him.
I think it was in 1960, in one of my treks across India, that I was hitching a lift from Poona to Bombay when a large car drew up to the curb and a door opened, offering me a lift. There was a driver, his wife and a beautiful young lady in the car, and I climbed into the back next to her.
It was a long drive, several hours, and the driver told me his name was Satyajit Ray, and that he was a filmmaker. I said, “The World of Apu?” “Yes,” he said. I felt deeply honored to be in the car of one of India’s greatest film makers, and of course had seen The World of Apu.
The area we were driving through was a “dry state,” which is to say no alcoholic beverages were sold. But every hour or so, Ray would turn off the main road into what looked like a little village, and there, in some shack or cellar, buy some alcoholic drinks.
This went on throughout the journey until we reached Bombay.
At his home, which was a lordly mansion, he invited me in. I took off my shoes, as is the custom in Indian homes, along with my rucksack, and lay them down in the entrance space. He said: “You are welcome to stay the night, and of course you will eat with us.”
Since I was – and still am – a strict vegetarian, this invitation was perfect.
He showed me to the guest room, where I showered and put on some clean clothes. We then went to a family meal. He asked me about my parents, my family, what they did and what were my intentions in life. I answered him freely and then he said: “Perhaps you would like to marry one of my daughters?” Somewhat flustered, I said: “But sir, I am not a Brahmin.” “No,” he replied, “you are certainly a Brahmin,” presumably referring to my family background.
I refused his offer, but thanked him effusively for his hospitality and generosity. The next morning, somewhat refreshed, I made my escape.
Standing up
With regard to “Palestinian hunger striker sparks widespread protest” (July 25), Bilal Kayyid, immediately after finishing a lengthy prison term, was in June given six months of administrative detention without jury or trial (which violates human rights), and placed in solitary confinement.
As did others before him, he went on a hunger strike. He is now in a very weak condition and was transferred to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. He has four security guards, wears an electronic alarm and is chained to the bed, according to a report by Physicians for Human Rights, a highly respected organization.
My late cousin, Dr. John Gluckman, was a prominent pathologist in South Africa. He was a staunch supporter of Israel and a staunch believer in human rights. It is in his memory that I stand up for human rights, no matter creed, race, religion or color.
In his office hung a faded piece of paper, which said: “The evil in this world isn’t done by bad people alone. It’s done by good people who say and do nothing.” How can I face my maker one day and say I knew but didn’t care?