August 20, 2019

Letters to the editor: Cost of medication, Elie Wiesel, restroom laws and more

Medications’ High Cost to Society

A point that stands out in the story of Laurie Ritz is the high cost of the medications needed to treat his mental illness (“The Failure of L.A.’s Mental Health System,” July 8). The high prices of meds that can treat mental illness and alcoholism are surely a contributing factor to homelessness and to other weighty public and personal burdens (which are hardly confined to L.A.). It would be interesting to see a follow-up story about these important kinds of medications, including why they cost so much.

Kathryn Kirui via email

Recognize Terrorism in All Its Forms

Wow, Rob Eshman. “After the Istanbul airport terror attack that left at least 44 dead and hundreds wounded,” instead of imploring that all terrorism is wrong, you instead choose to engage in hypocrisy (“Istanbul and Hallel,” July 8).  

This works both ways. How often do you call out Israeli terrorism, including collective punishment against innocent Palestinians? Now in the 50th year, the military occupation is by definition terrorism.

Estee Chandler via email

California Needs Restroom Law 

Thank you, Michelle Wolf, for your enlightening column “The Politics of Pee,” detailing Illinois’ Ally’s Law, the Restroom Access Act (July 8). Too bad our California legislators, with their selective liberalism, cannot see how easy it would be to require retailers with three or more employees present to permit individuals suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC), to use “employees only” restrooms on the premises.  

Notwithstanding the complaints by small business protesters, the law could be easily limited — as it is in the 14 other states enacting this legislation — simply by mandating a licensing procedure, the bureaucratic cost of which could be covered by an annual fee (with appropriate exemptions for low-income sufferers) and the application for an ID card, which would require a physician’s written diagnosis. Unlike handicapped-parking placards, there would be little incentive for fraudulent abuse.  

IBD sufferers can have a sudden, immediate and uncontrollable need for a toilet, most often without the normal physical warning signals our bodies give. I guess none of our legislators has a child with Crohn’s or UC; otherwise, they would champion this very simple solution. Perhaps to our elected representatives, this failure, among many other things they do, should be retitled “The Politics of Poo.”

Reeve Chudd Pacific Palisades

Al-Noor on Target With “Hypocrisy”

I want to thank the Jewish Journal for including the words of Nadiya Al-Noor in this week’s opinion page (“Palestinian Terrorism and Muslim Hypocrisy: An Open Letter From a Muslim Woman,” July 8). Her words come as a refreshing reminder of the hypocrisy within the Muslim and Palestinian reactions to terror wherever it occurs. 

Terror and killing innocents wherever they are found is wrong by every standard known. Neither the Bible nor the Quran can support these actions. Hopefully, more Muslims will read and appreciate her words! I thank her for her courage!

Ron Spiegel via email 

Prager Loses His Way in Palestinian Argument

As a liberal Jew, I agree with Dennis Prager’s assertion that moral people cannot support the Palestinians (“Moral People Cannot Support the Palestinians,” July 8). I commiserate with his objecting to liberals who err in reflexively condemning Israel as the heartless oppressor of Palestinians they see as innocent victims of Israeli occupation.

However, as a psychotherapist who specializes in couples work, I have long since learned that Prager’s characteristic style of judging, blaming and setting one side as right and good against the other as wrong and bad is a losing strategy. It is no more effective coming from the right than from the left. Consequently, I doubt that many liberals are influenced by his polemics.

The Journal would do well to assign his column to other conservatives whose communication styles might more effectively stimulate liberals like me to think twice about our positions.

Roger Schwarz, Los Angeles

Elie Wiesel Worthy of the Cover

I am VERY disappointed. Elie Wiesel passed away a week ago Shabbat. I am shocked that he was not on the cover of this past week’s Jewish Journal. 

The cover story regarding mental health is important but could/should have been pushed back one week. 

What a shame and discredit to such a special and unique human being as Elie Wiesel, the voice of the victims. You missed a great opportunity to honor him properly! 

Elke Coblens Aftergut via email

Editor’s Note: Because of the July 4 holiday, the Journal’s cover went to press on the Friday before Elie Wiesel passed away. Our coverage was inside that issue, and inside this one, as well.