April 14: Hitting home

The only time doctor strikes become a concern is when they affect your own family.

Hitting home
Sir, – Regarding “Major strike by public hospital doctors considered likely after Pessah as talks with Treasury fail” (April 11), the only time doctor strikes become a concern is when they affect your own family.
My wife, who is a cancer patient, had the misfortune of becoming ill and had to be rushed to the emergency room at Beilinson Hospital last week during the strike. She had to remain in the emergency room for a period of time exceeding 13 hours before being admitted to a ward. They actually gave her a simple meal, which is usually unheard of in the ER.
To be fair, the ER staff was under immense pressure due to the number of patients who had arrived for treatment, yet it worked in a very professional manner.
The way I would handle the strike is to lock the prime minister, the head of the treasury and the head of the doctors’ union in a room with out food or water and not open the doors until a fair agreement is reached.
The writer’s name has been withheld to protect the privacy of his wife
Misplaced priorities
Sir, – Regarding “Cabinet approves NIS 4m. to mark 50th anniversary of ‘turning point’ Eichmann trial” (April 11), I am amazed! Where did the money come from? We don’t have money to give to social workers, doctors, nurses and the many poor people who are living in Israel. We can’t find money for those expelled from Gush Katif.
We can’t find money to save Jerusalem’s Bikur Cholim Hospital when we already have a shortage of hospital beds.
But we can find money to pay for “three central events,” two of which are outside Israel.
Somehow, I think the prime minister and his cabinet have their priorities greatly misplaced.
Museum pieces
Sir, – The fake museum of Jewish fakes in Girona (“The Ramban’s fake signet ring exemplifies a controversy surrounding Spain’s monuments to its Jewish past,” April 11) is one of a long list of museums and rebuilt synagogues springing up in what are now Jewish-denuded places. They are monuments to a Jewish Europe that is gone.
One of the ideas behind the Nazis’ final solution was to carefully keep Jewish artifacts so that the general population would be able to see the remnants of a civilization no longer in existence. In Germany and elsewhere in Europe today, world Jewry is happy to go along with the second part of the plan and build museums and reconstruct synagogues at enormous expense. But when there are no longer any worshippers, what is the point? The local populations, whose forebears were only too happy to do Hitler’s bidding, are reaping the benefits of mostly Jewish tourists visiting long-dead communities.
Why Jews flock to Spain to visit sites that were once vibrant Jewish communities but fell victim to Christian anti-Semitism is beyond me. When Jewish schools in America are prohibitively expensive, cannot the same benefactors funnel their charity into something that would benefit Jewry in the future, and not look for a past that is gone?
Profit or charity
Sir, – In “Why does Israel Bonds still exist?” (Reality Check, April 11), Jeff Barak expresses thoughts I have had for years.
Why should we lionize rich people for lending Israel money at interest? Donors, yes, but lenders? Why do we need the expensive and elaborate establishment of executive vice-presidents, treasurers, public relations personnel, etc., whose salaries come off the top of the funds that are borrowed?
Barak hits the nail on the head.
Not quite equal
Sir, – Letter writer Judy Bamberger (“Perfect world, April 11) writes that Jews and Muslims “are equally, deeply rooted in ‘our land.’” Equally? It was the “Jewish Abraham” and his descendants to whom the land was promised (Gen. 18:17-22; 26:3,4), not the “Muslim Ibrahim.”
We acknowledge the so-called love of the land by Muslims, but they made their claim two millennia too late. If they now want to stake a claim, let them sit down with us at the bargaining table.
Had their chance
Sir, – Regarding “Security heavyweights unveil peace initiative” (April 7), it seems the initiators of peace plans begin with two common elements. One is that they sincerely wish we can all live in peace without being subjected to terror; the other is that the way to achieve this goal is to give the Arabs what they demand to one degree or another in return for their promise not to disturb our peace.
No one disagrees with the objective or even perhaps the proposal to take a chance on peace, but I disagree with the insistence of these peace plan initiators to try out their ideas over and over again. So I have a new idea.
By all that is fair and reasonable, others, having the same peaceful objectives, should be given a chance to test their solutions – such as standing firm, as least as firm as the Arabs, by refusing to yield any assets or make any compromises not agreed to through serious negotiations and agreement by all parties.
Step aside and give others a turn. If they fail it will return to you anyway for another chance. Your insistence of exclusivity to solutions is an insult to the rest who happen not to agree.
Vocabulary lesson
Sir, – Your April 6 editorial “Zionist diplomacy” rightfully condemns the demonizing of Israel and offers some helpful suggestions as to where the final borders with Palestine could be drawn.
The demonization stems in large measure from misuse of the terms “borders” and “occupiers,” terms the Palestinians use and which, unfortunately, have been adopted by much of the world. They are misnomers!
There were no pre-June 1967 “borders.” There were only armistice lines. These lines were erased in 1967 when the Israeli army drove out the Jordanian occupiers. And it is a paradox that the Arabs describe Israelis as “occupiers.” Most of the land taken over by Israel in 1948 and 1967 was ownerless. Also, under international law, a country that has been attacked has a greater legal claim to territory than a repulsed attacker.
Let us stop using these fictitious terms. The 22 members of the Arab League possess five million square miles. Israel has just 10,000. Why should Israel be told it has to make territorial concessions?
And while we are talking about the misuse of words, let us expunge “fascist” from our vocabulary. All one has to do to counteract an argument is label his opponent a fascist, after which there is no need to answer his arguments. It’s a cheap device, and the canard should be struck out of our lexicon.
Wasteful widening
Sir, – Regarding “Ministers advance plan to widen Jerusalem- TA highway” (April 4), I wish to point out that this enormously expensive scheme will achieve nothing positive because the bottle neck at the entrance to Jerusalem will remain unchanged. Net gain: zero!
The plan also includes canceling access to a number of places, such as Beit Zayit, whose residents will have to travel longer distances, burning up additional fuel and adding further air pollution.
Alternatives that would have a better impact on the now-limited road access to the capital are underpasses at the city entrance, alternative access routes and a ring road. Having traffic enter and exit Jerusalem from more directions would also ease the horrendous road congestion now existing within the city.
Beit Zayit