July 25: Medical professionals

In view of the looming shortage of physicians in Israel, the proposal to license physician’s assistants should be welcomed by all, including the IMA.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Medical professionals
Sir, – In view of the looming shortage of physicians in Israel, especially in the field of anesthesia, the proposal to license physician’s assistants should be welcomed by all, including the Israel Medical Association (“Ministry to view physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners as medical professions,” July 23).
For more than 40 years I performed much of my surgery with the help of highly competent nurse anesthetists. Knowing that a board certified anesthesiologist was but seconds away from my operating room, I never had any cause to fear for the safety of my patients.
FRED GOTTLIEB Jerusalem The writer is a retired retina surgeon
Sir, – Recognition for physician’s assistants is welcome news in solving the country’s medical manpower issues. Yet roadblocks remain in the certification of experienced physicians who have passed US medical exams.
I made aliya in March 2011.
The Israel Medical Association reviewed my credentials (22 years as a physician, 15 of them as a specialist) and in June of that year recognized me as a pediatric pulmonary specialist.
I applied to the Health Ministry for a license. I was interviewed in February 2012. This was followed by six months under observation (histaklut) at Sheba Medical Center, lasting through December, after which three department heads recommended that the ministry grant me a license.
In July 2012 the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee voted to make US-licensed physicians exempt from the Israeli licensing process. The Health Ministry said it would wait for the Knesset to make this law.
This past June I attended an international pediatric pulmonary conference in Spain, where – representing Israel – I was awarded a prize for my research. But my Israeli license was not yet in the mail.
Meanwhile, I continue going to the hospital just to keep in touch. I have no official direction or salary. My husband, who left a lucrative position abroad, says we should go back to where “we all belong.”
So far I have resisted, but he keeps pressing.
Seeking justice...
Sir, – With reference to “US rejected Netanyahu’s request to free Pollard ahead of negotiations with Palestinians” (July 23), it seems that Jonathan Pollard, who has served 28 years of a life sentence and did not murder anybody, will not be released, although 82 Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israelis are likely to be let go. Is this justice?
Sir, – President Obama has asked (or should I say demanded) that Israel release Palestinian prisoners, many of them murderers.
Jonathan Pollard has killed no one. In fact, he may even have saved lives.
 ...as well as peace
Sir, – Regarding “PM: Government will pass referendum law” (July 23), I say let us have a referendum now: 1. Do we release prisoners before talks? 2. Do we talk if Jonathan Pollard is not released first? Let the people decide, since it is our country and our lives on the line every day.
Sir, – May I suggest to our prime minister that before he enters into negotiations with the Palestinians, he consult the Bible, especially the writings of the prophets. He will find on numerous occasions that they said, “Do not put your trust in the nations of the world because in time of need they will desert you.”
MOSHE FORD Petah Tikva
Parental responsibility
Sir, – On reading “Father drowns after rescuing his two teen sons off Ashdod beach” (July 23), one might be expected to comment how sad this is and how brave the father was.
The drowning is indeed a tragedy, but when are parents going to wake up to the fact that taking their families to beaches lacking lifeguards endangers their lives? So many lives are needlessly wasted because of irresponsible behavior and carelessness.
MINA STERN Beit Shemesh
Saddened by snub
Sir, – How sad that an esteemed New York-based director snubbed an invitation to an Israeli film festival when she could have personally tested her charges of “Apartheid,” “occupation,” “privilege” and “walls” (“Film director Mira Nair boycotting Haifa festival,” Arts & Entertainment, July 23).
Perhaps the theme of Nair’s film The Reluctant Fundamentalist applies to her as “embroiled in a conflict with [her] American dream [of fairness and openness],” plus her being held hostage to falsity by the trauma of historic Hindu, Sikh and Islamic confrontation in her native India.
Hopefully, the invitation is open and no one will boycott, divest from or sanction Nair’s interesting stories or swallow unfounded accusations.
A Sacks fan
Sir, – Shmuley Boteach’s criticism of Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks (“The chief rabbi who would not fight Israel’s enemies,” No Holds Barred, July 16) was mean-spirited.
Lord Sacks has inspired our community and country while remaining a steadfast Israel advocate. His tenure is a story of communal transformation. Historians will note the explosive growth of Jewish schools, which most British Jewish children now attend. They will talk about synagogues that exude vitality in leadership, programs and services.
They will talk about huge achievements involving women in communal life.
Lord Sacks was the first to identify and oppose “new anti- Semitism.” Student leaders applaud him for helping them combat anti-Israel sentiment.
In his column, Boteach ignored the chief rabbi’s centrality in changing the law to prevent the arrest warrant abuses he highlighted.
Lord Sacks has consistently raised the BBC’s Israel coverage with its senior leadership.
Historians will also discuss the chief rabbi who achieved nearly two million YouTube hits for his recording that celebrated Israel’s 60th Independence Day, and talk of the chief rabbi who led national street parades and mass London rallies celebrating Israel.
They will note the remarkable story of the chief rabbi who, when the world accused Israel of a “massacre” in Jenin, toured media studios and called it a libel well before the facts became public. People still quote his Trafalgar Square “Israel I am Proud of You” speech, which lifted an entire community from the gloomy depths of the intifada.
Vision, commitment and action define leaders. Through these qualities Lord Sacks will continue to have enduring impact upon the Jewish world.
MICK DAVIS London The writer is chairman of the board of trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council
Here for you
Sir, – Regarding “Fresh out of Foreign Ministry, Ayalon joins private ‘hasbara’ field” (July 12), many of us who already know quite a bit about Israel, who care and want to keep up with the latest events, are concerned. Perhaps the “something new” might instead involve branching out to improve hasbara for those who are uninformed or hardly interested.
I suggest harnessing our energy and social connectivity. Prepare and design tools for us to spread positive news in our communities.
Reach out to us, find us, and trust that we will move things along. To merely offer us another website or series of YouTube videos is not really hasbara at all.
It is more of the same, with little new outreach.
SANDY WASSERMAN Plainview, New York