November 22: A new solution

Put yeshiva students who refuse to serve in the army under house arrest. They get to spend the whole day helping their wives look after the kids and helping with the cleaning.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
A new solution
Sir, – The debate of imposing fines or prison sentences for yeshiva students who refuse to serve in the army is solvable (“Knesset panel: Imposing fines preferable to prison for yeshiva students who refuse to serve,” November 20).
Just put them under house arrest. They get to spend the whole day helping their wives look after the kids and helping with the cleaning.
We don’t have to supply them with special glatt kosher food. And they are able to sit at home and study. All his friends can come over for a minyan, until his wife kicks them all out and she brings him to enlist.
Ethics of treatment
Sir, – Seth Frantzman (“The Haniyeh family health plan in Israel,” Terra Incognita, Comment and Features, November 20) misses the point about the recently reported treatment of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s granddaughter at an Israeli hospital. He correctly questions, for many reasons, the rush to congratulate ourselves for our altruism. That Israel should help a seriously ill infant regardless of her nationality goes without saying.
More fundamentally, though, this story demonstrates the limitless hypocrisy of the Palestinian leadership.
The same organization that demonizes Jews and repeatedly attempts to murder innocent Israeli children by means of rockets and suicide bombs is not above relying on the Zionist entity to save its own precious children when the need arises.
The case of would-be terrorist Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss presents a macabre mirror image. Having been treated previously for severe burns at Soroka Medical Center, al-Biss was given permission to re-enter Israel for further treatment in June 2005. She was arrested at the Erez crossing while attempting to smuggle explosives for a suicide attack at the hospital. Note also the parallel with those who support boycotts of Israeli products. When their deeply held “moral” position threatens to inconvenience them, they are all too willing to utilize the many Israeli medical and technological inventions that make their lives safer and easier every day. Actions have consequences. You should not expect to take advantage of the services and creativity of the Jewish homeland you seek to destroy.
EFRAIM A. COHEN Zichron Ya’acov
Sir, – In his comments on the ethics of Israel providing medical treatment for Haniyeh’s grandchild, Seth Frantzman seems to imply that physicians are compliant in providing treatment for the country’s enemies.
He needs to be reminded that a decision to accept this patient for treatment in an Israeli hospital was made by the relevant military authorities, and not by the medical professional.
Physicians’ codes of ethics are related to various oaths that may be taken on graduating, of which the most modern version was presented in the Declaration of Geneva in 1948 (with several editorial revisions up to and including in 2005), which states, among other clauses, “I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient. I will maintain the utmost respect for human life.”
Thus, while political and patriotic feelings may cause the treating physician severe anguish, his/her ethical duty is clear, and is observed by all the physicians I have been associated with since my aliya in 1978.MONTY M. ZION Tel Mond
Sir, – The recent news reports of Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister’s Ismail Haniyeh’s granddaughter being treated in Israel raises some interesting points.
Seth J. Frantzman deals with the medical ethics side of the issue. Another issue is the political one. Here we have the story of a sworn enemy’s baby relative being sent to be treated by those he is actively trying to kill.
Not only that, but the child is reported to have an incurable disease. The story is thus reported.
Then we read that the child is sent back to Gaza without being cured, as this Israeli children’s hospital cannot cure her of this incurable disease. Looking at this story from a different angle, one can see the international political/medical implications if, and when, the Hamas ruler of Gaza blames Israel for his granddaughter’s death.
This story, coupled with the accusations of Israel being responsible for the murder of Yasser Arafat, can led to an embarrassing public relations media event.
A. GOLDBERG Hatzor Haglilit