(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Bits and bites
Sir, – In “Snakes are not the only ones biting this summer –
watch out for spiders,” on June 25, the article incorrectly stated that a man
died from “the bite of a poisonous viper snake.” Snakes are venomous, not
poisonous. Poison is ingested or inhaled, while venom is directly injected into
the blood stream – such as via a snake bite.
Sir, – In the article about the tragic death of a man from a snake bite (“In
rare tragedy, fatal snakebite on Kinneret beach,” June 23), the article
continued by mentioning what to do in case of scorpion bites.
do not bite but sting, the venomous sac is in the tail.SALLY SHAW
Saba Fresh directions
Sir – Rami Hamadallah’s resignation from being a powerless
prime minister in a corrupt Palestinian Authority with a bogus “peace” process
is good news (“Abbas accepts Hamadallah’s resignation” June 24).
return to the presidency of An-Najah University offers him a creative
opportunity to become an honest peacemaker. Hamdallah has the power to initiate
a real peace process by driving 20 minutes to meet with Dan
Hamdallah used his creative energies to build a small college
into a major university in Nablus while Meyerstein built a major university a
mere 12 miles away in Ariel.
Today, 600 Arab students study in Ariel
Hamdallah can initiate a genuine peace process by inviting
600 Jewish students to study in An-Najah University.
neighboring universities, working together, can forge fresh directions for Arabs
and Jews to live in peace with each other between the Mediterranean Sea and
Jordan River.MEL ALEXENBERG
Ra’anana The writer is professor emeritus at
Sir, – Ramzy Mardini is mistaken in his
portrayal of the civil war in Syria (“Bad idea Mr. President,” Comment and
Feature, June 23).
Contrary to what he says, the US does have a stake in
the conflict, as the man the rebels are fighting is a close ally of Iran and a
long-time enabler of terrorism in the region. I also think that Martini and
others are far too optimistic, to the point of wishful thinking, in their hopes
for a political solution.JOSEPH MCCARTHY
Jerusalem Common origin
Uriel Halbreich’s excellent contribution “All are Right! A hassidic lesson for
American mediators” (Observations, June 21) is capable of further
In this context, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict allows a
most interesting question: How is it that two apparently very different peoples
are fighting for possession of every single square inch of precisely the same
piece of land? There are only three possible answers to this
Either one side is right and the other wrong, or both sides are
wrong, or – both sides are right. But how could both sides be right? Well, we
know our own side. We need no lessons on our connection to the Torah, our
history in the Diaspora and the glorious new dawn heralded by the Zionist
But how much do we know about the Palestinians? Knowledge comes
from surprising and illustrious sources. This knowledge has “gone to sleep” for
many years. Now the time has come to resuscitate it.
David Ben-Gurion and
Yitzhak Ben-Zvi collaborated as early as 1918 on a book The Land of Israel –
Past and Present and Ben- Zvi further developed his theme in a 1932 work The
Populations in our Land. The two great men were completely agreed in their
conclusion: the vast majority of the Palestinians were onetime Jews who a) had
never left the land and b) were transformed over time through pressure into
Muslim peasant agriculturalists.
This provides a basis for final
settlement. As the rabbis say: the greatest of all human achievements is to turn
an enemy into a friend. This common origin for both peoples gives plenty reason
to get started.G. BEN-NATHAN