Letters to the Editor: April 26, 2017

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Timely review
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich’s timely book review (“Doctors’ journey to 21st century,” Health, April 23) discusses an important issue to improve medical care and patient relations.
Rapport is an important part of the diagnosis process. The most revealing statements by the patient are often made at the end of the visit: “Oh, by the way....”
Physicians are typically dedicated and hard working. However, bedside manner and empathy are often inadequate. The 15-minute office limit does little to ameliorate this deficiency. Costs are kept down, but the time to achieve any rapport with the patient is limited.
In addition, physicians have become defensive because of the threat of malpractice cases. As a result, they may be hesitant to be completely open with their patients.
I knew a young man who was a student at a major US medical school. Midway through his training, he developed leukemia and became a patient for two years until his passing. Before his death, he wrote a book about his experiences in both situations. Only then did he realize that training toward understanding the feelings of patients had been deficient in his preparation to be a doctor.
GARY STEINMAN Jerusalem The writer is a retired physician.
Color of teachers
In “The real reason black kids benefit from black teachers” (Comment & Features, April 23), David Jackson tries to make the case that inner-city black kids benefit more by having black teachers as opposed to white teachers.
As someone who has taught inner-city kids for many years; I can say that Mr. Jackson is making the same mistake that liberals made back in the 1960s. That argument failed then as it fails today because there is no substitute for a mother and a father who teach their kids good values.
It’s much easier to blame the system than to look inward. Good teachers are important, but not as important as a good home.
Opposite sides
In the April 25 report that “Desmond Tutu and Roger Waters call on Radiohead to cancel their upcoming show in Israel,” their reasoning is that Israel is an “apartheid nation.”
Ironically, this popular lie appears directly adjacent to the article by Judy Siegel in which the health and science corespondent reports on the first ever surgery that used two robots communicating with each other and with the doctors. The doctors names: Josh Schroeder (our son), an Israeli Jew, and Amal Khoury, an Israeli Arab.
So where is the apartheid? Perhaps they stood on opposite sides of the operating table! GERALD SCHROEDER Jerusalem Some perspective So Norbert Roettgen, head of Germany’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee says, “All those who care deeply about Israel... are sad, even depressed, about how entrenched everything is, and how much Israel is relying on its military-police superiority and is not developing any perspectives for the situation” (“PM threatens to cancel German FM meeting over NGOs,” April 25) I care deeply about Israel. And I am very, very sad (perhaps even depressed) that the head of Germany’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee doesn’t realize that many of us in Israel do have a highly developed perspective of our situation.
It is this precisely this: Without our “military-police superiority,” we may be overrun and slaughtered.
(Read any history book on the Jews for some... perspective.) On our northern border stands Hezbollah with its army, financed by Iran and trained by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards. Estimates of Hezbollah’s total missile count range from 120,000 to 150,000, considerably more than most countries.
As we have no wish to live in an even more dangerously unstable environment than we have to, Israel does what it can to sustain life, peace and liberty.
So if you ask me for my perspective on our situation and whether Israel’s problem-cup is half full or half empty, I’ll reply, “Thank the Lord that we have a cup.”
Happy Independence Day!
Nargila dreams
Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian political figure convicted and imprisoned for murder, has turned out to be this time a failure.
His call for security prisoners to strike was a dud, “84 Hamas prisoners end hunger strike,” April 24.
Each one of them knows that to be in jail in Israel is something to be really appreciated in contrast to anywhere else in the world.
Now his call to Palestinians abroad to agitate for the murderers held in the Israeli jails is simply Barghouti’s way of saying that he is better than Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas before he meets with US President Donald Trump in the White House.
It is time for reality to replace the nargila and the pipe dreams.
As long as Israel remains strong and united in what has to be done to make peace, the Palestinians will have to accept reality. Even Meretz has accepted the idea of settlement blocs, “Gal-On hopes Trump can advance peace,” April 24.
I hope that Trump will explain in his strong way the reality of a new Middle East to Abbas and that some of this will enable Barghouti to understand that his concept of murder unlimited is over.
Says it all
The Jerusalem Post
dedicated several full pages to Holocaust Remembrance Day over the past few days, but the question is what happens today, now that we have stopped talking about the Holocaust and have moved to the stage of tekuma, national revival.
It is very important for the Jewish people to make the connection between the nation of Israel’s lowest point in its history to the beginning of the highest point in its history, namely the “beginning of the flowering of our redemption,” the establishment of the State of Israel.
One who fails to make this connection sees the Jewish people and its miraculous survival throughout the generations as nothing more than chance, completely void of God’s presence.
But while we are living in this momentous era, we also have a momentous task ahead of us – and that is to treat the Holocaust survivors with as much respect as we can and to take them out of the poor conditions so many of them are living in. The Dry Bones cartoon (April 24) says it all.
Sans Jérusalem
In the April 25 report “Most French Israelis voted for Fillon,” the paper stated that “a total of 8,370 French citizens voted in Israel Sunday.”
Unfortunately, those figures, provided by the French Embassy, do not include the 3,000 people who voted in Jerusalem, considering that the French do not recognize Jerusalem as being in Israel. The Post should know better.
According to the results as posted on the site of the consulate, there were 3,118 votes casted: 1,781 for François Fillon, 989 for Emmanuel Macron and 117 for Marine Le Pen.
In the story “Officers stress hope and optimism on solemn day” (April 24), the opening sentence should have read: “Shimon and Yair’s mother was born to a middle-class Belgian family in 1941.”
Also, Operation Defensive Shield was the largest military operation in the West Bank since 1967, and not as stated in “Fifteen years after Operation Defensive Shield, situation on the ground is completely different” (April 25).
We regret the errors.