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Misreporting can have serious consequences

The individual replies of MPs Michael Bagraim and Darren Bergman and Jack Bloom, Gauteng MPL, in answer to my letter of July 13 (about a purported remark critical of a two-state solution for the Mideast made by DA leader Mmusi Maimane at Bloom’s book launch) refer. My letter was not intended as an election issue, if that is how Bergman understood it.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Dr Bryna Lewis

My objection to Maimane’s remark, as printed in The Sowetan, was not to the DA as a proponent of a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine problem, as indicated by my “general consensus”. I mentioned the fact to put his second remark in context. My objection was to Maimane’s imputed (Mr Bagraim’s “absolutely incorrect”) statement that the Jewish community’s position is “narrow and fundamentalist”.  

Such a derogatory pronouncement can only worsen the perception of Jews in the eyes of The Sowetan’s readers. This is deeply regrettable, as we have enough enemies in the broader community, to say nothing of individual Jews, and is not merely “a storm in a teacup” as Jack Bloom thinks. The reporter should be told of the serious implication of his error, in the hopes that he will be more careful in future.

 

Port Elizabeth

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Abel

    Jul 30, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    ‘Dr Bryna Lewis is to be complimented for putting the record straight in The Sowetan. We need the Jewish/Zionist voice to be heard within the broader community – especially when our dignity and honour is impinged.’

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Disparaging image contributes to stigma about weight

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The article by Mirah Langer, “How COVID-19 lockdown turned eating upside down”, SA Jewish Report, 29 April, was well written, highlighting how people are struggling to maintain a healthy relationship with food and their bodies since the lockdown.

Unfortunately, the original online and print versions were accompanied by an awful image – one that perpetuates weight bias and weight stigma. I was relieved to see that the online image had already been changed by Friday, 30 April, however, the awful image made it to print.

I’m therefore writing this letter to educate those working in media and healthcare about the dangers of using images that depict people in larger bodies in a disparaging way as it contributes to weight bias and stigma. Weight bias is defined as negative, prejudiced attitudes about weight, with overt manifestations of weight stigma and discrimination.

Unfortunately, weight bias and stigma have a psychological and physical impact on health, contributing directly to anxiety, depression, disordered eating behaviours, high blood pressure, high cortisol levels, and systemic inflammation. To the person responsible for changing the image online so quickly, thank you for a job well done! – Gayle Landau, Registered non-diet dietician and certified intuitive eating counsellor, and member of Non-Diet South Africa for healthcare professionals

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Looking for descendants of Lithuanian great-grandfather

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I would be grateful for any information a reader may have as I search for descendants of my great-grandfather, Eliahu Zvi Bloch, a Kohen who lived in Anassisic/Anusshishok, Lithuania, near the Latvian border, from roughly 1820 to 1900.

My grandfather, Elchanon, the son of Eliahu Zvi and his third wife, Sarah Oralowich, who grew up in an orphanage, is the only one of the family who emigrated to the United States. I recall hearing that some of Elchanon’s siblings or half-siblings emigrated to South Africa in the first half of the last century.

I know very little else. I believe the family migrated to Lithuania from Germany around 1750 or 1800, that Eliahu Zvi’s father lived to be 100, and that Eliahu Zvi was 66 years old when my grandfather was born. It’s possible that some family members migrated to Israel, either prior to statehood or after living in South Africa. I would welcome any information, even if marginally related to my family, such as knowledge of life in Anassisic/Anusshishok. I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, and can be reached at farrellbloch@aol.com

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Only those on the frontline should be vaccinated

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I read in dismay of doctors, often in private practice who never see a COVID-19-positive patient, who are rushing off with their wives and administration clerks to get to the front of the queue to be vaccinated. I see psychologists and other allied professionals flaunting the fact that they have been vaccinated or elbowing their way to the vaccine table.

While this happens, nearly a million health workers in the public sector who are actually dealing with COVID-19-positive patients in surgery, anaesthetics, intensive-care units, and emergency departments, treating patients with hands-on care, haven’t yet received their vaccinations. These are the frontline workers who are at risk. These are the doctors, nurses, and allied professionals who are dying. They aren’t there for the glory or the large salary but because they are committed to making a difference, to healing, and to contributing to a better world. I urge all of you who aren’t dealing directly with patients who breathe, cough, or spit at you, who can treat patients while maintaining a social distance and wearing masks, not to rush to the front of the queue. Leave the limited supply of vaccines for the real frontline workers. Everyone will get a vaccine. You may have to wait a few more months, but in the meantime, you can take precautions and be safe.

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