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December 21, 1990 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-12-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

EDITORIAL

Break-Even Patients

Many rumors are circulating about the
future of Sinai Hospital. Will it be sold?
Closed? Merged? Downsized? All ultimate-
ly focus on one issue . . . the hospital is not
filling enough beds. On a typical day, ap-
proximately half of the hospital's 620 beds
are empty. This has produced operating
deficits approaching $1 million a month.
Filling beds ultimately falls on the
shoulders of those physicians who have af-
filiations with Sinai. Unfortunately, many
have turned away from the hospital in re-
cent years. Some have done so out of pa-
tient convenience. Others because of better
equipment and facilities. And others out of
basic neglect or disinterest.
The coming weeks will be critical in de-

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termining Sinai's future. Will patient ad-
missions continue their costly slide? Will a
suitor offer to retain Sinai's identity and
strengths, or vow to dismember it? Is there
any more belt-tightening that can be done
without strangling the institution?
Physicians who value Sinai — for its role
as a quality health care provider to the
Jewish and non-Jewish communities and a
medical training ground — will cast the
deciding votes. They must go out of their
way to help fill the relatively modest
number of beds required — perhaps 20-25
more on average per day — that gives the
hospital the infusion of funds and time it
needs to pro-actively plan its future.

The Tragic Intifada

The Palestinian intifada has just entered
its fourth year and the toll has been tragic
for both sides: Twenty-one Israelis killed
and 4,000 wounded; 936 Palestinians
killed, 315 by compatriots who accused
them of "collaboration"; 10,000 arrested and
58 expelled.
Perhaps even more tragic is that the in-
tifada has accomplished little, despite the
original promise it held for Palestinians.
And it has recently taken what could be a
fatal turn for the worse.
Many Palestinians hoped that the in-
tifada would be similar to the American
civil rights movement of the 1960s: Its
shock troops would be a people trying to
assert their "rights" with "non-violence,"
a people who had long been passive finally
beginning to arouse themselves.
Surely, Palestinians' boycott of Israeli
goods and their efforts to be self-sufficient
paralleled blacks' non-violence of three
decades ago. But from the beginning, the
intifada significantly differed from what
had transpired in the United States. Rocks
and Molotov cocktails tossed by Palestin-
ians at Israeli soldiers and settlers do not
equal sit-ins at lunch counters or Freedom
Riders risking their lives on Greyhound
buses.
As Palestinians became more frustrated
this last year, the intifada appeared to spin
out of control.
Now, almost weekly, Palestinians fatally
stab Israelis. What passes as the "intifada"
is now driven by repressed fury, not by
whatever strategy and discipline might
have initially fueled the uprising.
Even worse is that these frustrations

6

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LETTERS 1-

have produced a new militancy among
Israelis and Palestinians. The latter's bid
for self-sufficiency and independence has
devolved into a new hero worship. Palesti-
nians hail Saddam Hussein as the "new
Saladin" who will obliterate Israel for
them. And as 42 percent of Israelis say
they are more hawkish than when the re-
bellion started, two-thirds want Palestin-
ians barred from Israel.
In the last three years, much of the world
has lost sympathy with the intifada — and
with Israel. Symptomatic of this is the
sympathy frequently evinced for linkage
between the Israeli-Palestinian and the
Persian Gulf crises.
The world community, quite rightly,
wants an end to both of these. But linkage
is not the way. Tacitly or explicitly, it
would reward Saddam Hussein for his ag-
gression against Kuwait.
What is needed between Israelis and Pa-
lestinians are solid and sincere gestures of
peace and good will. What both parties
desperately need is the courage to depart
from the suspicions and enmities that have
led them to this terrible impasse.
The longer the perilous status quo con-
tinues, the sharper will be the edge of the
sword on which Israelis and Palestinians
both live, side-by-side, in hate and fear.
Neither should let Persian Gulf events
delay some kind of rapprochement. If
anything, tensions in the Gulf should
signal to Israelis and Palestinians that
there is a desperate need for progress, if
only to help defuse the volatile powder keg
which has ensnared their entire region.

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City Menorah
Is Appreciated

Two years ago, as new
residents of Walled Lake, we
contacted the city regarding
their holiday decorations
which were displayed at this
time of the year on the lawns
of the city offices and library,
directly across the street from
our home.
Mr. Ralph Smith, superin-
tendent of the D.RW., told us
that in the future, he would
request additional funding for
a Chanukah menorah.
On Dec. 5, upon our arrival
home, we were greeted by the
sight of a beautifully lit large
menorah on the city's lawn.
This is certainly a welcome
addition to the other holiday
decor.
Thank you, Walled Lake.
Though Chanukah is a fairly
minor holiday, it is a celebra-
tion worth recognition,
especially as it comes at this
time of the calendar year.

Marcia and Donald Davis
Walled Lake

Synagogue Events
Helped Immigrants

On Nov. 28, a group of new
Americans visited Adat
Shalom Synagogue to meet
with Rabbi Efry Spectre. Rab-
bi Efry Spectre spoke about
ritual customs of the Jewish
people and displayed some ob-
jects from his own collection.
At the following meetings
on Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, Rabbi
Spectre told about Jewish
music, its history, trends and
features. He traced the
history of the rich heritage of
Jewish music — liturgical,
European folk, and Israeli .. .
I was once told by former
Russian Jews that when they
had come to the United
States about 10 years ago,

they did not experience so
much attention, assistance
and care as do the present
newcomers. And it is really
the fact.
It so happened that on
Wednesday nights, when we
were to go to Adat Shalom
Synagogue; there were in-
teresting and important pro-
grams organized for the new-
comers by various organiza-
tions, and we had to make
decisions, which sometimes
were not easy at all.
I would like to express my
gratitude to Rabbi Spectre for
the evenings spent at Adat
Shalom and the organizers of
these meetings.

Lev Paransky
Oak Park

Kahane Story
Was Improper

Your handling and treat-
ment in reporting the
assasination of Rabbi M.
Kahane was unbecoming and
improper from the editor of
The Detroit Jewish News.

Brachah Zachariash
Southfield

Response
To Asylees Is OK

I read with interest your
story titled "Political
Asylum: No Easy Out" (Dec.
14). I had been expecting to
hear about some Soviet Jews
seeking asylum and had even
been asked about it by some
people.
It seems to me that the
response (outlined in the
story) of the local Jewish ser-
vice agencies has been proper.
There are many people in this
community, including my
wife, who have relatives

Continued on Page 10

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