CCTV (China), SIN CHEW DAILY (Malaysia), CHINA TIMES (Taiwan)
BEIJING - A Chinese television reporter looking into accusations that private hospitals were scamming patients with false (and costly) diagnoses applied an unusual undercover trick: he submitted tea as his urine sample. And as it turns out, the CCTV reporter is suffering from quite a number of "diseases," according to three different hospitals, and is desperately in need of costly treatments, the China Times reported.
According to the Sin Chew Daily, last weekend in a report entitled "The secret of the male urology clinic," China's CCTV exposed a common disorder among China's private hospitals in their desperate efforts to accumulate wealth. The reporter used three cups of green tea as his urine for laboratory tests at three supposedly reputable private hospitals in Shijiazhuang, Shenyang City, and Changchun City.
After the analyses, the doctor at the first hospital in Shijiazhuang told the journalist that his urine contained bacteria and fungi among other elements and he recommended a week of treatment which would cost him 546 RMB ($86) per day.
The Shenyang doctor looked at the journalist-patient in a sympathetic way and told him that he suffered from prostate calcification, and that he also had a testicular cyst that needed to be removed. The doctor told him that weekly treatment would cost him 5000 RMB ($785), without counting the extra 3000 RMB ($471) for the surgical removal of the cyst, the Sin Chew Daily wrote quoting from the CCTV report.
At the Changchun hospital, a doctor found from the tea sample that the undercover journalist was so sick he would need a high-tech "Nuclear energy proton treatment" that would cost more than 7000 RMB ($1000) daily.
According to CCTV, the special report was initiated after a man from Jianxi Province had complained to a reporter that he has spent hundreds of thousands of RMB to try to cure his venereal disease without result.
A neo-Nazi has been buried in the former grave of a Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender – not an oversight, but a deliberate provocation. This is just one more example of antisemitism on the rise in Germany, and society's inability to respond.
BERLIN — If you want to check the state of your society, there's a simple test: as the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, John Jay McCloy, said in 1949, the touchstone for a democracy is the well-being of Jews. This litmus test is still relevant today. And it seems Germany would not pass.
Incidents are piling up. Most recently, groups of neo-Nazis from across the country traveled to a church near Berlin for the funeral of a well-known far-right figure. He was buried in the former grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender, a gravesite chosen deliberately by the right-wing extremists.
The incident at the cemetery
They intentionally chose a Jewish grave as an act of provocation, trying to gain maximum publicity for this act of desecration. And the cemetery authorities at the graveyard in Stahnsdorf fell for it. The church issued an immediate apology, calling it a "terrible mistake" and saying they "must immediately see whether and what we can undo."
There are so many incidents that get little to no media attention.
It's unfathomable that this burial was allowed to take place at all, but now the cemetery authorities need to make a decision quickly about how to put things right. Otherwise, the grave may well become a pilgrimage site for Holocaust deniers and antisemites.
The incident has garnered attention in the international press and it will live long in the memory. Like the case of singer-songwriter Gil Ofarim, who recently claimed he was subjected to antisemitic abuse at a hotel in Leipzig. Details of the crime are still being investigated. But there are so many other incidents that get little to no media attention.
The grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender
Crimes against Jews are rising
Across all parts of society, antisemitism is on the rise. Until a few years ago, Jewish life was seen as an accepted part of German society. Since the attack on the synagogue in Halle in 2019, the picture has changed: it was a bitter reminder that right-wing terror against Jewish people has a long, unbroken history in Germany.
Stories have abounded about the coronavirus crisis being a Jewish conspiracy; meanwhile, Muslim antisemitism is becoming louder and more forceful. The anti-Israel boycott movement BDS rears its head in every debate on antisemitism, just as left-wing or post-colonial thinking are part of every discussion.
Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.
Since 2015, the number of antisemitic crimes recorded has risen by about a third, to 2,350. But victims only report around 20% of cases. Some choose not to because they've had bad experiences with the police, others because they're afraid of the perpetrators, and still others because they just want to put it behind them. Victims clearly hold out little hope of useful reaction from the state – so crimes go unreported.
And the reality of Jewish life in Germany is a dark one. Sociologists say that Jewish children are living out their "identity under siege." What impact does it have on them when they can only go to nursery under police protection? Or when they hear Holocaust jokes at school?
Germany needs to take its antisemitism seriously
This shows that the country of commemorative services and "stumbling blocks" placed in sidewalks as a memorial to victims of the Nazis has lost its moral compass. To make it point true north again, antisemitism needs to be documented from the perspective of those affected, making it visible to the non-Jewish population. And Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.
That is the first thing. The second is that we need to talk about specifically German forms of antisemitism. For example, the fact that in no other EU country are Jewish people so often confronted about the Israeli government's policies (according to a survey, 41% of German Jews have experienced this, while the EU average is 28%). Projecting the old antisemitism onto the state of Israel offers people a more comfortable target for their arguments.
Our society needs to have more conversations about antisemitism. The test of German democracy, as McCloy called it, starts with taking these concerns seriously and talking about them. We need to have these conversations because it affects all of us. It's about saving our democracy. Before it's too late.
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