Church and territory
Sir, – With regard to “Jewish- Presbyterian relations strain as Church sheds Israel investments” (June 22), US Presbyterians have voted to boycott certain firms that “strengthen” the occupation – the same non-existent occupation quoted by Iain Cunningham, convenor of the World Mission Council of the Church of Scotland (“Scots at church,” Letters, June 20).
I presume that the Presbyterians are not stupid and therefore know that there cannot be an illegal occupation of areas whose legal ownership has been denied by its supposed owners. This is precisely the situation in Judea and Samaria, the Arab ownership of which was denied by the Arabs through their continued rejection of the UN partition resolution of 1947. Israel administers these areas after taking them following a failed genocidal war against it that was launched by the Arabs.
That was the illegal act.
The “marginalized people” of whom Mr. Cunningham writes are the Jews who alone are denied the rights granted to all others and whose murderous, kidnapping enemies are consistently supported, understood and legitimized by his likes.
The only conclusion that can be drawn unfortunately is that they have learned nothing from the miserable history of organized Christianity and without shame continue their hatred, bigotry and hypocrisy against the Jews.
They will fail, as they always have over 2,000 years.
ANTHONY LUDER Rosh Pina
Sir, – The Church of Scotland repudiated “claims that scripture offers any peoples a privileged claim for possession of a particular territory” (“Cleric critical of Israel slated to take over Jerusalem church,” June 18). Neither do Jews believe they have a free entitlement to Israel.
The Hebrew Bible declares very explicitly that ownership of Israel is conditional on Jews being a holy and virtuous nation (Leviticus 26:3-45, Deuteronomy 28:1-68) in contrast to the wicked nations previously residing there (Deuteronomy 9:5). Moreover, Jews were limited in possession of land. They were warned not to annex the territory of certain other nations (Deuteronomy 2:5, 9, 19).
Many countries, including today’s advanced democracies, were created by the ruthless decimation of their previous inhabitants.
The biblical claim of Jews to Israel is based on a covenant with God that they would lead a moral life.
JACOB MENDLOVIC Toronto
Sir, – We keep hearing about the “illegal settlements” and a “just solution” to the Palestine-Israel conflict. In light of this I decided to check my memory and look up the history of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The PLO was established in 1964. (I remember it having a pavilion at the era’s New York World’s Fair.) How did its founding fathers know that in June 1967 Israel would conquer the area known as the “West Bank” and build “illegal” settlements there? BARRY RYDER Hatzor Haglilit Sad day Sir, – It is a sad day for Israeli justice when Judge David Rozen can hand down a harsh prison sentence on a person of the stature of former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski (“Ex-J’lem mayor Lupolianski gets 6 years,” June 20).
Lupolianski is one of the tzadikim (righteous people) of Israeli society. His conviction was based on flimsy arguments, fanciful conjectures and a malevolent judicial assertiveness. Who can compare to this person whose life has been totally devoted to the welfare of others and whose name is mentioned with gratitude by millions who have benefited from the services Yad Sarah, which he founded? NAFTALI WAGSCHAL New York Sir, – Uri Lupolianski’s sentencing is similar to that of Ehud Olmert.
That’s where the similarity stops.
The judge admitted that Lupolianski did not take any bribes for himself and that it all went to Yad Sarah, an institution famous for its help with the sick and needy. So why did he get a similar sentence? I am convinced that this is another result of the anti-haredi atmosphere (read: incitement) by the anti-haredi government and its policies. I have no doubt that if Lupolianski were irreligious, he would have gotten off with a slap on the wrist and community service.
The smiling face of a haredi mayor who was popular throughout his term was too much for this judge.
YOSEF TUCKER Jerusalem
How it is
Sir, – Regarding “With Iran, my enemy’s enemy is still my enemy” (As I See It, June 20), there are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and that the P5+1 will reach a “historic agreement” that will allow Iran to become a full-blown nuclear power. Whether it will be in large print or small print, it is a given. The West is incapable of helping itself.
How nice it is to have another straight-talking, excellent journalist in Melanie Phillips, who tells it how it is and with of bags of common sense.
I. KEMP Nahariya Ghost apartments Sir, – Allow me to expose another side to reader Marcella Wachtel’s viewpoint on “ghost apartments” (“Not their problem,” Letters, June 20).
I live in an area of Jerusalem with over 90 percent ghost apartments. She omits mention of the handsome capital gains made, as well as rental income, at times untaxed.
It is preferable for Jerusalem to have residents in their bed every night to drive the economy. Luxury developments divert resources otherwise available to cater to both regular and affordable accommodations.
SOLOMON BALAS Jerusalem
Advice for Zoabi
Sir, – With regard to “Knesset gives Zoabi bodyguard after threats” (June 19), here is some advice for MK Haneen Zoabi that will relieve her pains and anxiety about her “people”: You are living among your “enemies” and obviously hating every minute of living in Israel with its Knesset members. Why be so unhappy? Leave the “terrible” Israel and move to “Palestine,” where you will be among your kin. You will feel at home and will surely get a seat in their parliament, maybe even become a cabinet minister! Ms. Zoabi, criticize Israel from there instead of from our Knesset.
They will love you and we will be spared from hearing you.
LEON CHARNEY Yehud
Sir, Regarding “Knesset tour guide gets fired after writing ‘occupation’ causes terror” (June 20), some little tour guide gets fired and Zoabi no? What is the matter with us? PERRI VARON Ra’anana Hurry up, sit down Sir, – With regard to “Panel approves regulations for light rail to provide handicap accessibility” (June 19), I fully welcome all the new regulations to make the light rail more accessible to the handicapped.
When the light rail started operating in Jerusalem I praised this new and fast way of transport.
One could enter easily, there being no obstacles like steps. However, there has been no consideration for the elderly.
One is supposed to swipe the magnetic City Pass card and then find a seat in the few seconds the train stands still. I use a walker and dread the first moments.
Many times I have lost my balance and almost fallen.
When kind people offer their seat, I prefer to keep one hand on my walker and the other on the small handlebar in the middle of the open space near the exit because I am afraid to take the few steps to the seat. When the train is not so full, I go straight to the nearest seat without swiping the card first.
The rail cars are poorly designed for the older population.
RITA JACOBS Jerusalem