Letters to the Editor: Olympic handshakes...

If Ori Sasson had not gained a medal, we here in Israel would have been disappointed both for him and for us.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Olympic handshakes...
With reference to “A handshake’s importance” (Editorial, August 15), I do not underestimate the importance of a handshake, but I feel for the Egyptian judoka, Islam El Shehaby, who has now gone home to face the criticism and censure of his country and family, as well as the personal disappointment of not having gained a medal at the Rio Olympics.
We do not know what, if any, measures will be taken against him and his family (see the case of the two Palestinians who came to the aid of Rabbi Michael Mark and his family – “Palestinian couple lose jobs after aiding Jewish victims of terrorist attack,” August 11), but we can be sure that shaking hands with his victorious Israeli opponent would not have been seen in a favorable light.
If Ori Sasson had not gained a medal, we here in Israel would have been disappointed both for him and for us. But there would have been no censure. As it is, we can only applaud his sportsman’s reflex gesture of a handshake, and his unruffled reaction to the snub.
Beit Zayit
...and TV coverage
We are fortunate to have two channels to watch the Rio Games, but they are filled with a lot of repetition and, to me, senseless talking in the studio. Channel 25 has so much on the screen at the same time that it is not easy to concentrate on the actual subject matter.
It seems that our broadcasters still have a lot to learn with regard to such an important event as the Olympic Games. Maybe, just maybe, by the next Games, there will be an improvement.
A Celtic welcome
In reference to “Not playing around” (Letters, August 15), Celtic FC, which will be hosting Hapoel Beersheba today, has a long history of friendship with the Glasgow Jewish Community.
In 1962, at the request of my late father’s friend, Glasgow businessman and Celtic supporter Max Benjamin, the club warmly agreed to play Real Madrid in Glasgow to raise money for the Jewish National Fund and rehabilitation of refugee woman and children from Europe and North Africa.
The game was sold out.
In addition, decent Celtic fans have supported a welcome message to Hapoel fans on the Scottish Friends of Israel Facebook pages.
Obsession with Trump
Unless I am wrong in my count, the editorial page cartoon of your August 15 issue is the fourth anti- Trump cartoon in a row – to say nothing of the many that have appeared before.
I have to ask why, in an Israeli paper, there is this obsessive, compulsive need to concentrate on an American presidential candidate.
Is there nothing topical in the Israeli political news spectrum that is worthy of attention by the cartoonist or the op-ed editor?
Relevant and practical
Thanks go to Judy Siegel-Itzkovich for her splendid, informative “Till 120: How to age gracefully in good health” (Health & Science, August 14). The advice she provides is relevant, practical and directly applicable to those of us who are already part of the “third age” of elderly Israelis.
My husband, 93, has suffered from dementia for the past three years. He has been a patient at two local facilities, each for several months.
Although many such facilities are aware of the problems and earnestly attempt to find suitable solutions for people such as my husband, there are not enough trained doctors, nurses, aides, social workers, physical therapists or other professionals to adequately serve this very needy population.
My daily visits provided vivid evidence of the depression, lethargy, isolation and anguish suffered by many of the patients.
I am a member of a support group for women like me, whose husbands have been diagnosed with various types of dementia.
We meet at Yad Sarah, and we are grateful for its initiative in sponsoring this valuable source of help.
During the past year, several husbands have died, but our group continues to meet, now with a different agenda.
We are determined to find ways to improve the care for frail elderly with dementia in Jerusalem. We welcome all advice and assistance.
Our efforts are vital and relevant, not only to ensure the well being of current patients, but also for ourselves and our families, and for yours.
On its head
Uri Regev’s “Jerusalem’s destruction – past events and current concerns” (Comment & Features, August 14), regarding Tisha Be’av, correctly describes the importance of soul-searching, meditating on your personal failings or the failings of those with whom you most closely identify. He brings multiple inspiring examples from the Talmud, as well as from later rabbinic literature.
Unfortunately, rather than proceeding with such an accounting, he sets out to go searching exclusively in the souls of others. He spends the remainder of his piece condemning the actions of other people and groups. The sources he quotes all recommend painful introspection, or, as he states in his conclusion, “the deepest soul searching and bold action....”
In failing to follow his own prescriptions, he turns the very meaning of Tisha Be’av on its head.
Beaches and bags
With regard to reporter Sharon Udasin’s “Israel, a beach destination? Watch out for plastic bags” (August 12), 18 months ago, UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh reported on his swim through seven seas, including the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
In the former, sharks and coral had entirely disappeared, save for one tiny protected area. To the northwest of Israel were tires, shoes, clothing, cans, bottles and... plastic bags, all on the sea bed and forming islands.
Tourists aside, turtles and fish die agonizing deaths after swallowing plastic bags they assume are jellyfish.
As Udasin reports, the Environmental Protection Ministry claims that “the responsibility for cleaning up beaches is in the hands of the local authorities.” No. It clearly is not. Results give evidence that it is primarily in the irresponsible control of thoughtless sun worshipers who leave their plastic instruments of mass torture to blow out to sea.
Half a century ago, food and merchandise was sold in biodegradable paper bags, so it is in the hands of a government that has not yet – unlike other governments – legislated against the free and daily handout by vendors of millions of plastic bags, which are actually weapons of mass destruction.
Abu Ghosh
I was quite surprised to see Netanya’s pristine, gorgeous beachfront omitted from the list of clean beaches in “Israel, a beach destination? Watch out for plastic bags.”
Our beaches are spotless and match any international standard for cleanliness, as you can see from the photo below, which I took just three weeks ago. Certainly worth a visit.