January 4: Letters to the editor

Readers submit their thoughts on The Jerusalem Post's latest content.

Envelope (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Rooting out the rot
How shocking that our so-called education system is trying to blinker our young people the same way the South African government did during the apartheid years (“Education Ministry under fire for ousting novel about ‘emotionally stormy’ Jewish-Arab love story,” January 1).
Fortunately, the author, Dorit Rabinyan, has a sense of humor and stated to other media outlets: “It seems like someone in the Education Ministry still believes in the power of literature to generate change in the malleable souls of youth, and for some reason, that sounds optimistic to me.” Unfortunately, the ministry probably doesn’t understand this profound statement.
Rabinyan has reached the heart of what is rotten in Israeli society. Hopefully, now that she is in the spotlight, she will be in a position to lead in eradicating the rot.
We are building walls and fences, and succumbing to fear.
We are losing our sense of proportion and our sense of humor. We are losing our chutzpah and courage. We are becoming unrecognizable as the proud nation we were. Our only hope is to allow people like Rabinyan to enlighten us and breathe sense into our national discourse.
Law is an ass
With regard to “Olmert’s fate” (Editorial, December 31), former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s reduced prison sentence for criminal conduct in the prolonged Holyland conspiracy trial is disproportionate.
He inflicted incalculable damage in faith and confidence.
His sheer arrogance to elude remorse for his crooked, characterless and immoral actions is beyond belief.
For his contemptible behavior, there should be a penalty that is at least similar to the conviction for rape of former president Moshe Katsav. What is the difference between illegal financial gratification and illegal sexual gratification through the use of power and influence? This smug serial criminal has made our justice system a laughing stock. In my opinion, the law is an ass.
Missing the train?
Isi Leibler has joined the government in the caboose (“Jewish terrorism must be cauterized like a cancer,” Candidly Speaking, December 31). It is cause and effect – the government should have been up front with the engineer, clearing the tracks of Palestinian terrorism. If it had done so, Jewish terrorism would never have climbed aboard.
In light of what has now happened, the only pertinent question is, have we missed the train?
No to temptation
The Post has reported on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to appoint Arye Deri interior minister (“Netanyahu to promote Deri in cabinet reshuffle,” December 30), the job he held when he committed the various felonies that led to his conviction and prison sentence.
Such action would cause the prime minister to violate a biblical law against placing a stumbling block before the blind, as per Leviticus 19:14. He will be returning Deri to the scene of the crime.
To paraphrase singer Taylor Swift, haters gotta hate, and stealers gotta steal. Netanyahu should find a position for Deri that involves no monetary dealings.
Misses the mark
Seth J. Frantzman’s piece demeaning Israel’s cultural and educational achievements (“Beware Israeli parochialism: From the first Knesset to today,” Terra Incognita, December 28) misses the mark.
Comparing Knesset members from our first years of independence and those of today is like comparing chalk and cheese. It’s actually quite remarkable how similar they are, not how different they might be.
Regarding our educational achievements, I recently had the pleasure to hear professor of education Dan Gibton address the English Speaking Friends of Tel Aviv University about how much better Israeli education is than most Israelis think. Among other facts, Gibton pointed out that Israel has the highest percentage of college graduates of any country; that it trails only the United States for students having the chance to obtain a college degree; and that its universities are the highest ranking per capita in the world.
Compared to the US and most other nations, parochial we’re not. I’d call Israel cosmopolitan, a salute to our incredible nation-building.
Alfei Menashe
The writer is chairman of English Speaking Friends of Tel Aviv University.
We come first
Your December 27 editorial “No kindness” disturbed me greatly, and I took umbrage.
According to Rabbi Akiva, your own life comes first, even if the other person will die. This opinion is the halachic consensus.
Saving the terrorist, the one who strove to take a life, therefore is against Halacha.
Our lives come first.
I admire and thank ZAKA for refusing to abide by the Israel Medical Association’s utterly unconscionable, politically correct senselessness. No comparisons intended here, but to make a strong point, would the IMA have a Nazi saved before a Jew because his injuries were more severe?
Birds of a feather
Regarding Martin Sherman’s “Entente with Turkey – like lipstick on a pig?” (Into the Fray, December 25), I love Sherman’s writing and agree with all of his very accurate and convincing arguments. I just feel that for this topic, instead of summarizing with “...little more than putting lipstick on the proverbial pig,” it would have been more accurate to state that when dealing with Turkey, you must expect fowl play!
Karnei Shomron
Dental health in kids
Regarding “Cabinet expands free basic dental care to children aged 13 and 14” (December 21), as a pediatric dentist – officially unrecognized as such in Israel – with over 30 years of experience and currently practicing in the private sector and with one of the health funds, there are several points of importance regarding the “free” basic dental care.
Reporter Judy Siegel states that Dr. Shlomo Zusman, head of the dental health department of the Health Ministry, could not explain why parents were not taking advantage of this service. The obvious answer is lack of education among parents as to the importance of good oral health.
The government should be emphasizing this for new parents, starting in Tipat Halav well-baby clinics and continuing in preschools.
This also explains Siegel’s point that the condition of children’s teeth in Israel has not improved since the launching of the program in 2010. Most parents are not bringing their children for regular check-ups and often bring them only when the children are in pain. This type of care is not conducive to dental health.
As for the dentist’s role, in my own experience, health funds do not make reimbursements for preventive dental exams. Therefore, there is no incentive for regular check-ups. If I want to be reasonably reimbursed for my time, it needs to be spent doing fillings, extractions, etc.
Early interventive dental education would have a snowball effect that ultimately leads to improved dental health and thus decreases dental expenses for all ages – a more economically sound situation for the population, as well as for the government.