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Intolerance in Israel; a shortage of primary-care doctors; Jonah Goldberg and healthcare reform

January 28, 2011

Bring them home

Re " 'A danger you can feel,' " Jan. 23

One look at those young Marines who have lost lives and limbs in Afghanistan, and my anger has no bounds. What are we doing there that is worth their sacrifice?

If it is for the sake of the oil barons, our military's dangerous "we refuse to lose" pride or the need for yet more bases to surround a long- ago crippled Cold War adversary, none is worth the limbs or lives of our youngsters.

If the Iraqis and Afghans (Taliban or otherwise) choose to kill their own people, so be it. Let's remove our young soldiers from such madness.

If the children of all government officials had to rotate to the front lines in place of those who have already been there, I would predict a very quick withdrawal.

Arthur Gottlieb

Long Beach

Intolerance in Israel

Re "Israel is met with its own intolerance," Jan. 23

Israel, the only country in the Middle East that elects openly gay candidates and has had women in the highest positions in government (it also has Muslim members in its parliament) is the focus of an article on bigotry.

The Times ignores the all-too-common killing of gays, Christians, Jews and women trying to liberate themselves in Arab countries. Those atrocities are reflective of a much broader segment of Muslim ideology.

I look forward to the article about openly gay elected officials in the countries surrounding Israel. In Israel, the

Muslim population is growing. Guess what is happening to the Christian and Jewish populations in Islamic countries?

Jerry Freedman

Los Angeles

I thank The Times for reporting what is actually going on in Israel. Indeed, in the past two years, Israel has taken a hard turn away from egalitarian democracy with racist, homophobic and discriminatory laws and proposals directed against the Israeli peace bloc as well as Palestinians and foreign workers living in Israel.

This article shows the shallowness of American politicians who insist on putting our interests at risk because they say Israel and America share values. American values do not support discrimination, and America is striving to rid itself of racism.

Israel seems to be turning in exactly the direction America is fleeing.

Jeff Warner

La Habra Heights

The moderate center in Israel has some unique problems. Israel is a relatively new country struggling to turn a wonderfully multicultural mix of immigrants into a stable society. Most of those immigrants share only one commonality, their Jewishness, a characteristic that can be a religion or some kind of ethnic nationality.

Other things standing in the way of a cohesive definition of what it means to be an Israeli include the lack of a constitution to ensure separation of powers; the parliamentary system, which permits small factions to gain an inordinate amount of power; and the fact that about one of every five Israeli citizens is not a Jew by any definition.

I hope strident American voices will not use this article to bash Israel for what it is rather than what it does. We should all be thinking of ways to help the majority of Israelis who want peace.

Susan Hussein

Boonton Township, N.J.

It's not surprising that Israelis are wary of those who want to kill them or are anti-Israel. What is surprising is that The Times does not mention that the Israeli wariness is transient and event-related. What is even more surprising is that The Times does not say that Arab hostility is enduring and reinforced by religious and cultural teachings, and is triggered by the very fact that Jews exist.

Brad Scabbard

Woodland Hills

Seeking justice for their son

Re "Patt Morrison Asks: Fred and Kathy Santos," Opinion, Jan. 22

Kudos to The Times for giving the parents of Luis Santos an expansive forum for seeking justice for their slain son. Sadly, they're up against a rule of the jungle that greatly predates our modern justice system: Those in power, no matter what form of government, always have the means to reward their friends without having to meet any standard of decency.

This is not so much a case of unfairness, though evenhandedness is at issue. But it is most about Luis Santos having the doubly bad luck of being mortally stabbed and that the father of one of the attackers just happened to be a friend of a governor.

Steven Goodman

Encino

How depressing it is to read about the denial of justice to decent families. I wonder if Arnold Schwarzenegger and Fabian Nuñez would have found the sentence too harsh if their sons had been the victims?

David T. Legacki

San Pedro

Missing doctors

Re "The doctor can't see you now," Opinion, Jan. 24

There is no doubt that there is a severe shortage of primary-care physicians in the U. S. I recently retired after 47 years of family practice. I gave away much of my time caring for needy patients, but I still made a comfortable living.

The problem with our healthcare system, besides being severely short of all types of doctors, is that the ratio of specialists to primary-care physicians is out of balance. We need many more of the latter.

Many of the nearly

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