Esor Ben-Sorek

Going Down the Drain

Thinking Israelis do not have to read our newspapers, nor listen to the radio, nor watch television to understand a sad but true fact of life… our country is going down the drain.

Our political system has become an international circus and our politicians are the clowns. On one day the about-to-be indicted prime minister makes statement “aleph”. On the next day he retracts because he really meant statement “bet”.

Fortunately the Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters so he has plenty of room to keep changing his statements.

Who cares if Ehud Barak was visiting Epstein at a time when young girls and women were “visiting”?

Who cares if a sick Rafi Peretz favors conversion therapy for gay men and women in their youth?

Who cares if Ben-Gvir wants Otzma to leave its plans for coalition with Likud?

Do our politicians care about the mistreatment of the Ethiopian Jews who we brought to Israel for the ingathering of the Jewish exiles?

Do they care about the many hundreds of sick patients who have to lie in hospital corridors because there are insufficient beds for them?

Do they care about the difficult and painful lives of Jewish citizens living in danger in south Tel-Aviv?

Does kingmaker Lieberman want to overthrow Netanyahu with a replacement of his choice?

Will Netanyahu be indicted in case 4000 together with other criminal charges?

Can Sara live without catered meals when she leaves Balfour street to return to Caesarea?

Do any decent Knesset members seek to shut the mouth of the vile Yair of the House of Netanyahu?

Friends, neighbors, readers… face facts. Until September elections make necessary and positive changes to improve our society, our democratic way of life, our concern, care and compassion for our citizens, Israel is going down the drain and we are sinking with it.

Consider, for example, the sick and sorry conditions of two of our oldest and most respected institutions.

The first is the Hadassah Medical Center, founded in 1934 on Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem and shortly thereafter a second medical center In Ein Kerem. It was the centerpiece of Israeli hospitals and was considered to be the finest hospital and medical center in the entire Middle East.

On April 13, 1948 an armoured convoy of medical doctors, nurses and medical staff members was en route to the Mt. Scopus center (under Jordanian military conquest) and was ambushed and attacked by Arabs . 78 of the medical personnel en route to save lives were killed in what became nationally known as the Mt. Scopus massacre.

Before, during and after our independence Hadassah Hospital, the best in our country to this day, continues to serve every citizen of Israel.. Jew, Muslim, Christian, even visiting tourists struck with illness.

Under the leadership of its CEO, Dr. Zev Rotstein and collaboration with our Deputy Health Minister, Yakov Litzman, the funding for the Hadassah Medical Center is disappearing. It is now at its most financial low-point. It has been very mismanaged under Dr. Rotstein’s supervision.

It has 850 physicians, 1,940 registered nurses and 1,020 paramedical staff. It has insufficient beds to care for the sick and hundreds of patients are forced to sleep in the hospital corridors awaiting the chance to get a bed in a room.

Medical staff complains about delays in their salary and threatens to strike. How will Rotstein and Litzman correct this grave problem?
Our # 1 medical institution, like our government, is going down the drain.

National institution number two… TEVA Pharmaceuticals, the world’s leading manufacturer of generic drugs began going down the drain a few years ago and has not yet returned to “health”.

It began in 1901 and in 1935 it became established as TEVA Middle East Pharmaceutical and Chemical Works Co., Ltd., Jerusalem, Palestine with headquarters in Petach Tikvah.

In 2018 there were 42,500 employees of TEVA and the company’s name was known world-wide for its great accomplishments in providing less costly generic drugs.
And somehow, the management and CEO of TEVA were unable to see the dark clouds hovering above them. The company was losing billions of dollars and small share-holders like me suffered great loss.

In May 2019 TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA was one of nineteen drug companies sued for price fixing in the USA and inflating prices of drugs to 1000 percent.
TEVA paid a fine of 85 million U.S. dollars to the American state of Oklahoma over a law-suit involving opiod prescriptions.

It is now struggling to stand up on its feet but its former good international reputation has been damaged.

Another Israeli institution going down the drain (or has already gone down).

September 17 offers us an opportunity to cast blame by refusing to vote for parties which were and are supportive of the failure of good medical care and practice in Israel.

Our democracy may be going down the drain. But that does not mean that we have to be swept away with the corruption.

Get rid of the current political “leadership” and restore democracy to the good people of Israel. Go out and vote to clear the drain.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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