letters to the editor.
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Height of absurdity
Sir, - Headline, page 1, November 6: "Dichter says Syria is ready for peace." Headline, page 7, same date: "Delegates from 14 Arab states meet in Syria to discuss boycott of Israel." The report cited the "head of the Syrian office for the boycott of Israel," who told reporters that "some Arab countries are committed to the meeting after they have discovered that peace with Israel is a mirage and a lie."
Ready for peace? Of course not. All Syria wants is the return of the Golan Heights so it can once again threaten Israeli boats on the lake below.
Sir, - Re "Professors decide not to intensify strike as Treasury softens stance" (November 6): I was flabbergasted by Finance Ministry wage director Eli Cohen saying, "And the teachers in the Teachers' Union got their first NIS 4,000 pay raise last week on the first of the month."
An elementary school English teacher I know, who has two degrees and over 20 years' experience, is now working 36 hours a week instead of the 28 hours which constituted a full load for a teacher over 50. For these eight additional weekly hours she was paid NIS 1,300 before taxes. So who's gettinga NIS 4,000 raise?
NANETTE R. SHEFTMAN
Sir, - Did either of the chief rabbis who met with the archbishop of Canterbury do their homework? Did they know that he is a relentless critic of Israel and fiercely distrusted and disliked by most of the UK Jewish community? ("Archbishop of Canterbury tells 'Post': The fence is causing a Christian exodus," November 1.)
Archbishops of Europe have not been known, in the last century, to protect or safeguard the interests of Jews, and this one is certainly no exception. But what about Christian interests? How cowardly to suggest that the security fence is the cause of mass emigration of Christian Arabs from Israel, when Muslim persecution of this community is well documented.
Christianity is virtually disappearing in Britain, and the interests of practicing Christians are basically ignored in the new European world order. I suggest the archbishop put his own house in order before he comes preaching to us.
Sir, - "Time to renew Anglican Zionism" (Editorial, November 2) missed the point. The reason Dr. Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, criticized Israel and not the Palestinians is not because of "misinformation or bias." The archbishop has surely met with Anglican priests who serve in the Arab world and is aware of Christian suffering at the hand of the Muslim majority in Arab countries.
The reason he did not criticize the Palestinians is a moral issue. He knows that his criticizing them would not effect any change in their anti-Christian behavior, but would bring more suffering to Christian Palestinians. He would be portrayed as pro-Israel and opposed to the Palestinian cause, and this would serve as an excuse for the Palestinian terrorists to increase the persecution and murder of their Christian citizens. He believes, as the pope and other Christian clergy who remain silent must surely believe, that it is morally acceptable to refuse to criticize the Palestinians in order to spare Christian lives and not increase Christian suffering.
I am not justifying his reasoning, merely presenting a reason for the archbishop's silence on the Palestinians' persecution of their Christian citizens.
RABBI LIPMAN Z. RABINOWITZ
'Worst case' is here
Sir, - If Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky wants to teach us about "honest versions" of the conflict over the Jewish homeland, he should start by describing the current situation honestly ("Orthodox rabbi backs division of capital," November 2). He is quoted as saying that "relinquishing the Western Wall and the Temple Mount to Arab control would be... a 'worst-case scenario.'" Unfortunately that "horrifying and unfathomable" scenario is reality, reaffirmed - by Israel - in 1967.
If Rabbi Kanefsky isn't sure of his facts, let him start by trying to pray on the religiously permitted areas of the Temple Mount, or even at the Western Wall when the Arabs threaten upset, and see who stops him.
Olmert: You owe us
Sir, - Ehud Olmert is willing to talk to Fatah, Rice, Bush or whoever, but unwilling to talk to us who live in the south of Israel near Gaza, who get hit daily by mortars or Kassams. In fact, he ignores us. PM Olmert, I ask you - no, I plead with you: Before you give everything away to the Palestinians, talk to us first, we deserve that from you. I voted for you, and now you owe me and everyone near the border with Gaza who voted for you ("Rice: We hope to strike a deal in a year," November 6).
Kibbutz Nahal Oz
Sir, - In 1995, our daughter Ruthie, then 12, started a petition addressed to then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. The objective was to try to ensure that Jerusalem would not be divided. She wanted as many Jewish children around the world as possible to sign the petition. Unfortunately, she had to stop with the assassination of the prime minister.
Ehud Olmert, then mayor of Jerusalem, found out about her efforts and wrote her a letter in which he congratulated her on her efforts and promised to do everything necessary to ensure that Jerusalem remained the "united capital of Israel."
Power to rationalize
Sir, - Re "Brit Mila behind bars: Yigal Amir's son to enter prison for ceremony" (November 2): Dalia Rabin-Pelosoff's "Amir should have been executed" appears ill-chosen, given the fact of her father's role in the cold-blooded killing of 16 Jews aboard the Altalena in June 1948.
The human being has the capacity to rationalize anything. This being the case, we had a huge rally in Tel Aviv extolling the virtues of Rabin, without an acknowledgement that more Jews have died in Israel at the hands of terrorists since the Oslo Accords than the total for the rest of the world. There is a consistency to Rabin's legacy in that the leaders who have followed him have also refused to interest themselves in history, pursuing the same vacuous "peace process."
Pray, let us ask the question: Is there another nation in the world that would tolerate daily bombardment by its enemy without effectively retaliating, as opposed to "giving peace a(nother) chance"?
Where there's smoke,
Sir, - It is great news that somewhere in the world, people are being compensated for being involuntarily exposed to tobacco smoke. I wish I had gotten NIS 3,000 for the times I was eating and breathing in smoke ("'At 23 percent, Israel's smoking rate is lowest ever,'" November 5).
D. GORDON DRAVES
East Point, Georgia
Sorry, lo maspik
Sir, - Re "Hurting Hebrew" (Editorial, November 4): I am sorry to say that the Academy of the Hebrew Language, by calling itself academia and not by a Hebrew name, has shown, contrary to what you claim, that Hebrew does not "suffice... as a language... in the modern era." You can't complain about a lack of regard for Hebrew when the intellectuals who wish to preserve it use words like inflatzia, coalitzia, and so on.