October 2: He's not stupid

October 2 Hes not stup

He's not stupid Sir, - In "Jimmy Carter? Priceless!" (October 1) Shmuley Boteach writes that he doesn't think Jimmy Carter is an anti-Semite, rather a "useful idiot." I'm not sure I agree. As a student at Emory University in the 1980s shortly after Carter established his Carter Center there, more than one friend who heard Carter speak told me that he would occasionally let down his guard with an anti-Semitic quip. "Idiot," or not, Carter is definitely not stupid. He's smart, calculating and very deliberate. Maybe he's an anti-Semite, maybe not. I don't believe Boteach has enough information to know for sure. However, relating specifically to Israel, it is a safe bet that Carter does not like Jews who are strong, assertive and stand up for their rights. JONATHAN FELDSTEIN Efrat Sir, - Shmuley Boteach concludes that Jimmy Carter is not an anti-Semite, "simply a man with a price." What a disgrace! Could not the Nobel Peace Prize committee have checked his background more thoroughly? SIMCHA FRIEDMAN Betar Illit Don't neglect it Sir, - Thank you for the important article by Michael Freund on the high rate of breast cancer among women in Israel ("March for the living," October 1). Men can also get breast cancer, although it is much rarer (I believe the occurrence is one in 1,000). However, it is hardly ever mentioned, and most men and women are unaware of it. Any unusual lump should be checked immediately, particularly among men and women who have had occurrences of breast cancer in their families. SALLIE TANGIR Tel Mond Beduin's doc Sir, - Although always an admiring reader of Judy Siegel-Itzkovich's articles, I was disappointed that her interesting "BGU's 'country doctors,'" (September 27) about healthcare for the Beduin did not mention the work of my late husband, Dr. Benjamin Ben-Assa, a government doctor who in the late '50s built up a network of medical clinics for the Beduin population in the Negev (and for some time also in the Sinai). For many years, he visited one clinic daily as well as doing "tent-calls" in the surrounding area. He was aided by a Jewish nurse and a few Beduin helpers she trained. Occasionally, one or two Jewish doctors would contribute. Although several universities were interested in doing research on my husband's patients, it was hardly possible to attract doctors on a permanent basis. I was under the illusion that after his early death in 1978, his work was continued or taken over by the health funds, perhaps only in the recognized villages. Fortunately, the Beduin have very good memories, and whenever one of our grandchildren happens to meet one, he receives exalted stories about his grandfather, their "Abu Assa," his healing powers, his kindness, his sense of humor and his long collegial discussions with their "derwishes" in fluent, if Dutch-accented Arabic. MARTHA BEN ASSA, MD Jerusalem