More on Sudanese refugees in Israel

We write in response to the fact-challenged letter that Dr. Scott Lippe wrote in opposition to our December 15 column, “We Were Once Refugees” (Letters, December 22). According to published Israeli government statistics, there were 39,274 “infiltrators” in Israel as of the end of March 2017, with no new arrivals since the beginning of the year. The published Israeli government figures show the overwhelming majority of these people were from Sudan, where the government has been waging a vicious campaign of genocide in Darfur, and Eritrea, which currently is governed by a notoriously cruel dictatorship.

Only a handful of those people have been granted hearings. Yet these are not “economic refugees,” nor does the government of Israel contend that they are. This is evidenced by Israeli government plans, which do not involve deportation to their country of origin.

Our column spoke in opposition to an Israeli government decision to expel these refugees to third countries. Contrary to Lippe’s letter, this is not a criticism of Israel. It is a criticism of government policy. Many in Israel also are critical of this decision. We also publicized a letter presented by the leadership of HIAS, American leaders across all the leading Jewish religious streams, as well as by leaders from a number of American Zionist affiliates. The letter urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to reverse the decision, and offered to raise money to help defray costs.

The letter speaks of the Jewish people’s experience as refugees. Would that countries of Europe and North America had been more open to Jewish refugees during the 1930s. But it seems that for Dr. Lippe and others who share his views, when it comes to sheltering African refugees in Israel, none is too many.

Dr. Mark Gold,
Teaneck
Hiam Simon
Englewood

Thank you, Holy Name

Joanne Palmer’s article about Holy Name Medical Center’s simulation center beautifully expresses Holy Name’s mission to take the best, most advanced medical care to an even higher level, and to reintroduce humanity to medicine (“Compassion 101,” December 22). Michael Maron has established a true culture of caring and compassion for his entire staff, and we are continually inspired by the standard of kindness he sets for others.

We at Sinai Schools have seen this over and over in the many different ways Sinai Schools has partnered with Holy Name over the past several years. We are truly blessed to have Holy Name in our community.

Sam Fishman, Managing Director
Rabbi Yisrael Rothwachs, Dean
Sinai Schools
Paramus