Out of the box
Sir, – With all the fuss and controversy regarding the upcoming presidential election (“Field still wide open for June 10 presidential race,” May 20), may I make an out-of-the-box recommendation.
He already is a much-loved personality. In terms of Israel, Jewishness and Zionism, his heart is in the right place. He is eloquent, cultured and modest.
His personality has the right mix of gravitas, humor, charm and wisdom required for the job. My wife and I, and neighbors we have polled, all agree that he will make a fine president. By the way, he sings a really good song.
Perhaps you will join me in suggesting Yehoram Gaon? HERBERT BISHKO, Tel Aviv Unwelcome breeze
Sir, – The editorial “One state, two states” (May 19) was a breath of fresh air! Unfortunately, though, it was because it was so full of holes.
First, it was stated that “...
annexation constitutes an Israeli rejection of the right of the Palestinian people to self determination.”
How so? They can have self-determination in areas A and B. By the way, who said everyone has the right to self-determination? What about the Kurds, the Basques and the Quebecois? Second, you mention a “blatant violation of international law,” which is argumentative at best and of course ignores the fact that even our best “friends” have never recognized even west Jerusalem as our capital.
Third, how would Israel be “forced to annex the entire West Bank” against its will – unless it perpetuates the shtetl mentality of bowing and scraping to our enemies, whatever their guise. Of course, living with the Arabs is indeed impossible, as their education system has succeeded in creating the most anti-Semitic enclave on the planet. Even half of all Israeli Arabs can’t stand us.
Separation is indeed called for, but not capitulation or suicide.
YISRAEL GUTTMAN, Jerusalem Holiday clamp-down
Sir, – In the UK, bonfires and fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day commemorate a failed plot to blow up the houses of parliament, but over the years the meaning has been forgotten in an orgy of arson.
I used to pray for rain and was accused by my neighbors of begrudging the children their fun. Then the government stepped in. Nowadays, November 5 is still celebrated, but only with licensed and properly supervised bonfires.
Lag Ba’omer is another celebration that has lost its original meaning, or at best has several somewhat dubious reasons. In fact, every year it is celebrated with an outbreak of wanton vandalism, when anything and everything is considered plunder to be burned.
I visited a local park with my dog on the morning after to find it littered with shattered bottles, fires still smoldering, and anything wooden if not removed then vandalized and damaged.
I do not begrudge the children their fun, but I do think it is time that regulations are put in place to safeguard health, safety and the environment on Lag Ba’omer. I am sure that the emergency services would be grateful.
Let us start now to try to avoid next year’s Lag Ba’omer tragedies and damage.YEHUDIT COLLINS, Jerusalem The real ‘nakba’
Sir, – With “Nakba Day” having been marked recently, one has to take a more objective view of history, as the first nakba (catastrophe) did not occur in 1948.
The first occurred as far back as 568 BCE, when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians. A second took place in 70 CE, when the Romans sent the Jews into a 2,000-year exile following the destruction of the Second Temple.
Nakba after nakba haunted the Jews over this period, including their expulsion from England, and the Spanish Inquisition, culminating in the most horrific nakba of all, the Holocaust, aided and abetted by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Fresh from the Nazi death camps, desperate survivors found themselves facing yet another nakba, with callous refusal by the British to allow them to enter their one safe haven, their historic and spiritual homeland.
In Palestine itself, the Jews suffered a nakba when in 1922 Britain illegally stripped away close to 80 percent of the territory designated to them for a Jewish homeland at the San Remo Conference and enshrined into law by the League of Nations. In 1948 the Jews of the area suffered a nakba when they had to fight for their very survival, subsequently burying 1% of their entire population. And of course there was the nakba of having 800,000 Jews thrown out of surrounding Arab/Muslim states with little more than the clothes on their backs All of this should put into stark perspective the nakba mourned annually by the Palestinians, who should instead mourn the lost opportunities for a state of their own and the possibility of extracting themselves from a misery of their own making.
VICTOR GORDON, Pretoria
Sir, – In his column “Borders” (Savir’s Corner, May 9), which, as usual, was critical of our government’s attitude to the faltering peace process, Uri Savir described in detail what we should offer to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
As what he suggests is no different than what then-prime minister Ehud Olmert offered – and was turned down – what makes Savir think it will be accepted now? MYRA ZION Tel Mond Magic postman Sir, – Givat Mordechai, a pretty big neighborhood of Jerusalem, is blessed with a “magic” postman. He single- handedly is giving the Postal Company a great image.
A short, spritely, cheerful guy comes with our letters and parcels almost every day. He says hi to all of us – he seems to know all our names and where we live, and always seems happy. And then a miracle! I had a knock at my door one morning and it was Posty saying he wanted to know where he could leave any registered letters that come while I’m out.
He wrote himself a short note and took down my mobile number, and was off with a cheery smile. I was surprised and quite delighted at the thought.
The very next day a registered parcel came for me when I was not home. That evening, Posty phoned to say that he had been unable to leave it with the person I suggested, so he found another neighbor home (four floors down). He gave me the name and number.
I was in shock to have someone in the services sector give me personal consideration and not make me take a bus and the light rail to our post office, where one waits in a long line.
I went down to the neighbor, who was delighted to give me a birthday present from my daughter in the US and praise the kindness and consideration of Posty. It also meant I had met a new neighbor.
We complain about the closure of vital post office branches and long lines to buy a stamp, yet there is an ambassador of service to the community who seems to love his job.
Thank you, Posty, for the joy you bring us.DEBRA MARKUS, Jerusalem
CORRECTION: The article “Canadian wins Bible Contest” (May 7) incorrectly stated that this was the first time a citizen of that country had won Israel’s annual Independence Day Youth Bible Quiz. The Canadian Leonard Warner took first prize in 1974.Priority is given to letters that are brief and topical, and which bear the writer’s name and place of residence, as well as the name and date of the Post item being referred to. They
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