Sir, – Those who follow European soccer know that racism is an
ongoing problem. National teams therefore are reminding themselves and their
fans where racism can lead (“Jewish leaders slam French and German soccer teams
for not visiting Auschwitz,” June 17). The English national team has joined the
Holocaust Educational Trust in reaching out to young people to look at their own
attitude toward others.
Racism affects all minorities, not just Jews. It
is therefore a shame that the German and French teams lost this
London It was the religion
Sir, – The headline
“The Man in Black’s Zionist roots” (Arts & Entertainment, June 17) takes a
leap that the accompanying article doesn’t support.
Johnny Cash did
reverently visit Israel but he tended to refer to it as the “holy land” rather
than using the name of the country.
While he never complained about the
fact of Jewish sovereignty, he never lauded it either, not to my knowledge,
anyway, from reading reports of his visits.
So it is not so much that his
roots go back to Zionism but that, as the article itself explains, the roots of
Christian Zionism touch on him.
MARK L. LEVINSON
Herzliya Reads them all
Sir, – On June 17 you headlined a group of letters “Letters about
I wish to state that for what it’s worth I never never, ever
fail to read all the letters you print.
They seem (not that I always
agree with them) to have a quality of common sense that is sometimes lacking in
articles written by journalists.
Haifa Intelligent life?
Sir, – With regard to “Solving the world’s environmental problems”
(Environmental Affairs, June 15), over the past 300 years we have built a false
and unsustainable world order for humanity.
In fact, we now live in a
false world that can never survive; eventually, humankind will cease to live as
an intelligent species.
I give no more than five years for the EC to
break up and for nations in the West to go their own way. But as Europe and the
West disintegrate, the East and nations like Russia will come closer together.
This will create a formidable economic bloc where a weakened Western
civilization will be more prone to prompt conflict.
This is not based
upon unsound expectations, rather on the sheer fact that the world’s economic
power is transferring eastward and that we shall have 10 billion humans by 2050,
all struggling for natural resources to preserve their way of life. The
decisions at the Rio+20 Conference – which will predominantly be made by the
richest nations – will simply be another nail in the coffin of human
sustainability and existence as countries dilute what was already agreed to in
No longer can we sustain ourselves with the prophesy of wealth for
all through globalization and capitalist economics.
This has been shown
to be a sham for over 90 percent of the seven billion human inhabitants now
living on planet Earth.
Therefore, considering where we are heading and
the dire consequences for humanity, we simply have to start working as one
It is becoming very clear that the price of our present economic
systems will eventually be the extinction of the human experience.
therefore really as intelligent as we think?
writer is chief executive of the World Innovation Foundation Cognitive
Sir, – Tal Harris’s rehash of dissproven and timeworn left-wing
arguments (“Make a choice: Settlements or democracy,” Comment & Features,
June 14) leaves me unimpressed.
He passionately argues for a renewed
settlement freeze, as if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ten-month freeze or
the ongoing de facto ban on settlement construction have produced any positive
results. His call for a two-state solution completely ignores that such past
attempts have repeatedly failed, that there is nary a shred of goodwill being
shown to us by the other side, and that a retreat from the strategic high ground
to indefensible borders would pose a security threat to our very
Harris’s forced logic, that there can only be settlements or
democracy, but not both, betrays shallow thinking and a lack of creativity. Did
he consider, for example, that we annex Area C? The vast and immediate economic
and social gain resulting from annexation would easily offset its negligible
demographic cost while allowing us to remain true to our democratic
Harris is right about one thing, though: “There is a profound
cognitive dissonance at work here.”
Tal Harris contends that “there is no such thing as a legal settlement according
to 100% of the international community.”
The “international community” is
actually a collection of governments, not peoples, most of them squalid
dictatorships. And the liberal democracies among them act largely from political
considerations, not a tender fidelity to the rules of international
The law to which Harris and others refer in making their false claim
is Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits “Individual or
mass forcible transfers... to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of
any other country, occupied or not.... The Occupying Power shall not deport or
transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it
A little consideration should make it clear that Article 49
has no bearing on the legality of Jewish communities in the West Bank.
Palestinians are not being deported or forcibly transferred from there to
another territory, and Jews are not being deported or forcibly transferred there
from Israel. They are moving there freely of their own will.
Add to that
the commonsensical consideration that there can be no valid law that prohibits
Jews and only Jews, because they are Jews, from living somewhere, least of all
in the Jewish biblical and historical heartland.
York The writer is chairman of the board of directors of the Zionist
Organization of America Nothing in return
Sir, – “Why Israel should help Syrians
during this crisis” (Comment & Features, June 12) made for interesting
reading, but that’s all.
Being very skeptical when it comes to
Israeli-Arab relationships I found it to be very naïve.
medical supplies, food packages and clothing on besieged population centres
would be a humanitarian act but would never win the hearts and minds of the Arab
world, whose sole aim is to destroy Israel.
A bitter example is Turkey,
which received tremendous aid from Israel after the huge earthquake there
several years ago.
Collection centers for food and clothing were set up
throughout Israel. Israeli surgeons saved many lives, and thousands were treated
for major injuries in Israeli field hospitals set up in the ravaged
There were cries of “Thank you, Israel, we will never forget you”
when Israeli volunteers departed. And the net result today? Turkey is one of our
worst enemies, with the rest of the Muslim and Arab world not far
Humanitarian aid, yes, but seeking thanks and approval is all but
The photo of chef Michael
Solomonov that appeared in “A flavorful Israeli outpost in the City of Brotherly
Love” (June 10) was taken by Michael Persico.
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