Letters to the Editor: Teeth to die for

Wake up! We should not allow ourselves to be poisoned! We don’t want to die, even with good teeth.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Teeth to die for
I am amazed at the continued push to add fluoride to our drinking water (“Return of fluoridation ‘approved,’ but could be revoked next week,” March 17). I am amazed because there is irrefutable evidence that fluoride is not necessary in Israeli water, and about the medical problems it can cause.
According to numerous articles, fluoride has been reclassified, joining the ranks of lead and arsenic in becoming what is known specifically as a developmental neurotoxin. Such findings were published in the March 2014 issue of Lancet Neurology.
Wake up! We should not allow ourselves to be poisoned! We don’t want to die, even with good teeth
The writer is a professor emeritus of human physiology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
It is difficult to trust what Douglas Bloomfield writes. In his vicious attack on the haredi parties (“Time to end tyranny of the minority,” Washington Watch, March 17), in which he faults them for their attempt to keep Jewish tradition in the public domain, he makes three mistakes in one sentence alone.
Bloomfield writes: “Shas, UTJ and other haredi lawmakers are pushing legislation to void a 2013 High Court ruling allowing Women of the Wall organization to pray from the Torah at the main Wall Plaza.”
1. Who are the “other” haredi lawmakers aside from Shas and UTJ? 2. The 2013 ruling was not by the High Court; it was by Judge Moshe Sobel in the Jerusalem District Court.
3. You don’t “pray from the Torah.” You read from the Torah and pray from a siddur.
Israeli help
Reader David Bibayan’s suggestion that we Israelis assist refugees in Europe in order to turn world opinion in our favor (“Historic chance,” Letters, March 16) could be augmented by dispensing medicine, clothing, food, electronic devices and far more locally-made products that are now being boycotted.
He might even enlist residents of his community, as it would be a great chance for Diaspora Jewry to enjoy the emotional reward of having done the right thing at the right time in the right way.
Though there is no guarantee that doing this would change millennia of fundamental Islamic religious teachings against “infidels,” it is hoped that needy recipients won’t bite the hands that feed them.
I am not able to decide whether reader David Bibayan’s letter was meant to be sardonically humorous or totally serious. If the former, it certainly was laughable.
Given the risks run by European Jews who wear a kippa in public, Israeli Jews parading themselves as such in Muslim-dominated camps would be courting murder.
There seems to be an inability to understand implacability, still less to confront it.
No inducement offered to Hitler would have ended his implacable determination to exterminate the Jews. The Muslim geo-historical concept is single-minded: holy war leading to the conversion of “infidels” to the “true faith,” if necessary by the sword. Any territory once conquered by Islam, whether still under its sway or not, is forever Islamic.
America is arguably the most generous nation that ever existed.
Its largesse to foreigners has been prodigious. American supplies and volunteers are often the first to arrive at the scene of an overseas disaster (if Israel doesn’t beat them). None of this has generated lasting goodwill.
Neither will “infidel” Jews.
No solution at all
With regard to “Herzog: There must be immediate disengagement between Jews, Palestinians” (March 15), with all due respect to MK Isaac Herzog and his disengagement plan, I must object on the basis that like “two states for two people,” it is neither feasible nor doable.
Let’s suppose that we build fences around the settlement blocs, as Herzog proposes. Okay.
That might possibly reduce friction and attacks in those areas.
But what do we do about the increasingly hostile Palestinians who are living in Umm el-Fahm, or the relatively peaceful ones living in the Upper Galilee, east Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Nazareth, Acre, Ramle, Lod, Taibe and so on? Can we disengage from them? Do we transfer them? Impossible! They won’t agree.
The international community would be up in arms, and as it turns out, we in little Israel cannot do without them.
I teach in a college and volunteer in a hospital. Both venues reflect the mixed populations in Israel in that there are Arabic speakers in the upper and middle echelons, but many more in the lower ones. If the lofty principle of building the country through Jewish/Israeli labor is still intact somewhere in the land, I haven’t seen it.
We must face the fact that we have an increasing need for day laborers, factory workers, garbage collectors and street cleaners.
Importing Third World men and women to take the onus off Jewish Israelis might be an expedient way of having the elderly cared for and the menial tasks accomplished, but there is a high price to be paid in the long run.
Finally, from my observations and discussions, I have found that many Arab citizens identify as both Palestinians and Israelis.
They regard Israel as their homeland.
An Arab patient recently told me that Hebrew was his mother tongue.
This is a complicated situation.
I am deeply sorry to say that fences will not solve it. But I am more sorry to say that I can propose no workable solution.
LINDA WOLFF Sha’arei Tikva
With regard to “Sociological Society calls for boycott of Ariel University” (March 15), I expect that the 1,000 sociologists who are disassociating themselves from the school will be severing any association with foreign universities, since aren’t located in “Israeli territory” either.
Geniuses, no?
STEVE KRAMER Alfei Menashe
Rx for BDS
Thanks for “The Brandeis model: Countering BDS on campus with outreach” (February 22), about former Brandeis University president Fred Lawrence’s inclusive proposals on engaging about Israel and fighting BDS.
He has said that “embracing our community’s diversity and the wide range of views of Israel and methods to engage turned out to be the perfect medicine to cure BDS on our campus.”
At the same time, a respectful and honest opinion: If sensible people paid attention to and fought the occupation and settlement expansion instead of (or as hard as) they did BDS, there wouldn’t be any BDS, just as there wasn’t any Western anti-Israelism, including BDS, until decades of occupation and settlement caused it.
The underlying illness is the occupation and settlement expansion. BDS is the international headache they cause.
Instead of focusing on the superficial headache and mere symptomatic relief, why not fight the underlying unhealthiness? That would end it.
JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts
Stiffer security
Nothing would please the terrorists and their inciters more than the knowledge that their violence has caused Israelis and visitors to limit their visits to the Western Wall. Therefore, it behooves our security services to reduce the vulnerability of Jews near the Kotel and other important sites.
Of course, they cannot be everywhere all the time. Nevertheless, the advertisement of a free shuttle ride to the Dung Gate still requires the passengers, on their return, to walk back to the shuttle bus stop on the street, making them more vulnerable than if the shuttle were allowed to enter the gate.