January 10, 2018: Awakening to futuristic insight

I noticed two news items of personal interest in your January 8 edition.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Awakening to futuristic insight
I noticed two news items of personal interest in your January 8 edition: “Cabinet discussing artificial islands again” and “Hugo Marom, one of IAF’s founders, dies at 89.” How tragically coincidental that they appeared on the same day.
In 1969, I, as the acoustic consultant to the Airports Authority, was shown a detailed land reclamation and airport reconstruction plan for the transfer of Ben-Gurion Airport to a new site off the coast.
The plan was prepared by Mr. Marom, a man of vision and great insight into the future needs of Israel.
Only now, our government of squabbling politicians is awakening to the futuristic insight of technical geniuses.
Petah Tikva
Medically-assisted suicide
I read with interest “Medically-assisted suicide sparks scandal at Canadian Jewish elderly home” (Website, January 7). While I was glad to see this important Canadian work being profiled globally, I was sorry to see an important point being missed.
Patient Barry Hyman requested an assisted death, which is now a constitutionally guaranteed right in Canada. He followed the entire process to ensure eligibility, including assessment by two independent clinicians, and then requested that death be at his home. His legal residence was the Louis Brier Nursing Home, not a hospital or healthcare facility requiring doctor’s privileges to attend.
It is, however, a publicly funded facility.
Dr. Ellen Wiebe was trying to respect her patient’s request for privacy. She was under no obligation to report her presence or have anyone’s permission other than that of Mr. Hyman to assist him. His family was in full support of his wishes.
It should be noted that in Canada, we fully respect the right of any clinician to conscientiously object to participating in this work. However, there are likely no grounds for publicly funded facilities such as the Brier Home to decide to opt out of allowing legal, government-funded medical services on their premises.
As president of the Canadian Association of MAiD [Medical Assistance in Dying] Assessors and Providers, I would like to point out that we have a number of professional and personal responsibilities, the first of which, according to the CMA Code of Ethics, is to “consider first the well-being of the patient.” This becomes much more difficult when facilities impose barriers for the most vulnerable individuals in our care.
Victoria, BC
The writer is on the clinical faculty at the University of British Columbia/University of Victoria.
Photo need not have appeared
Who was invasive enough to photograph MK Yehudah Glick speaking at his wife’s funeral (“When politics trumps humanity,” Parting Shot, January 5)? And who was insensitive enough to use it to accompany said column? The event was well documented and did not need to be illustrated. Jerusalem Post, you should be ashamed!
Yosef and the death penalty
With regard to “Bill to ease use of death penalty passes vote” (January 4), Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has come out in opposition to the death penalty.
I think we can all respect the obvious love that this rabbi has for people. It is also good thinking that it would cause a “great uproar in the world” if and when Israel does sentence someone to death.
In coming out in opposition to the death penalty, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef invoked the ancient Jewish courts, saying that “only the Sanhedrin can issue a death sentence.”
It is morally weak to espouse the idea that if the legally constituted government of Israel passes laws that the country’s mass-murdering enemies do not like, these enemies will do even worse. How could anything be worse than any of the sickos who butcher Jewish women and children with pride? We’ve run out of descriptions for the horror – thousands of pages after thousands of lives – yet rabbis create chimeras about a nonextant Sanhedrin! Get this: The good rabbi should get himself elected to the Knesset to legally contribute to the welfare of the people of Israel. Gratuitous rabbinic advice is much worse than meaningless because he would not take any responsibility for the next horror that could be eliminated.
The call for a Sanhedrin is either deliberately disingenuous in seeking to disavow the authority of the State of Israel or a lame call for the Messiah! Is “We want Messiah now” going to supplant the law?
Melbourne, Australia
An urgent necessity
Judaism views superstition and the invoking of miracles with grave suspicion, if not outright hostility.
Viewed in this light, the recent antics of Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and his Haredi allies in arranging a mass “pray-in” at the Western Wall to end the drought (“Four dry years,” December 29) seems like desecration.
For most of us, it was simply a joke, if not a sign of insanity. Yet sadly, each religious fanatic tries to outdo his neighbor with ever more extreme and ridiculous demonstrations of the bizarre. This would be amusing, but so much of the Israeli world is caught up in its weird fantasies and religious coercion, whether it’s inflicting on us the dislocation of vital civil engineering work on busy workdays, the “minimarket law,” avoidance of civil duty, self-inflicted poverty and ignorance or the ongoing trampling of human and religious rights that characterize modern Israel.
We have become the laughing stock of the world, as well as its target. None of this has anything to do with Jewish heritage or the sanctity of Shabbat – simply the political games played out by a cruel, cynical and corrupt religious establishment.
Separating religion from state used to be a desirable aim for a modern country. It has now become an urgent necessity.
Rosh Pina
Spain’s ‘youthquakers’
With regard to “Youthquake: A passing phrase” (My Word, December 29), Liat Collins mentions a great deal of presidents and prime minsters in the democratic world who are young, many below the age of 40. We in Spain are experiencing a similar trend.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is 62, but his number two, Soraya Saenz de Santamaría, is 46. The leaders of the main opposition parties are all under the age of 50; some are younger than 40.
The most important point is that these “youthquakers” were all born just before or during Spain’s transition period that welcomed democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.
Vigo, Spain