Sir, – With regard to “Danish ambassador: Europe should apply a double standard to Israel” (December 12), yes, Ambassador Jesper Vahr, how nice of you to consider us equals. But do you and your country face the same problems we do? Has Denmark been bombarded over the years by thousands of rockets aimed at your population centers? Have you had the experience of tunnels being dug under your terrain to enable hundreds of terrorists to pop up under your homes and murder your citizens? Have buses been blown up in your city centers? Are there cars mowing down your citizens at bus stops and on the roads, and suicide bombers slaughtering guests in your hotels and worshipers at prayer? Obviously, you don’t have these problems and your standards were set to match the European way of life. But Israel is not in Europe. Here the rules of the game are quite different.
Maybe instead of applying a double standard, why not use the same standard to compare the record of Israel’s respect for human life and dignity, and its achievements in democracy, science, medicine and agriculture to the dismal record of our neighbors? There, hundreds of innocents are murdered daily and the bulk of national resources are channeled solely to acquiring more and more destructive weapons.
Sir, – The Danish ambassador asks whether Israel should be held to the same standards as Syria, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. This, of course, means that those countries are loathed and looked upon with contempt.
What is apparent from the Danish ambassador’s statement is that his country and Europe in general are to be looked upon with contempt because of the actions of their governments.
Rather than demanding that Arab nations adhere to a certain amount of decency, Europe has decided that all it can do is appease them. What a statement! We should be aware of how immoral Europe is.
Sir, – The Danish ambassador expressed the opinion of the ruling classes in the EU, namely that double standards should be applied to the Palestinian- Israeli conflict. On top of that hypocrisy and moral relativism, he added that Israel should be proud to be treated like that.
As a Dane I must confess to feeling ashamed and angry.
Also, I must confess to taking great joy in listening to Caroline B. Glick’s reprimand of the ambassador. Her justified indignation really took him to task. Well done, and carry on the good work until my country stands plainly with Israel again! By the way, the boycott of Israel doesn’t work. Last week I bought 18 bottles of excellent Israeli wine for Christmas.
NIELS THYGE RIISGAARD Spøttrup,
Denmark Normal activity?
Sir, – With regard to “Abu Ein’s final protest” (December 11), as a retired cardiologist having witnessed many deaths due to heart attack, I can attest to the fact that the TV footage I saw of Palestinian Authority official Ziad Abu Ein’s dying moments revealed a clinical picture entirely characteristic of a man dying of a massive heart attack due to the acute occlusion of a major coronary artery.
Abu Ein appeared weak and was sitting on the ground clutching his chest, the color drained from his face. His pallor progressively increased as he lay on his back and became weaker and obtunded. Young men then carried him away and he apparently died quickly thereafter.
I do not know if Abu Ein had a history of known heart disease or smoked, but his male gender, age and the fact that he suffered from diabetes (as reported on TV) certainly were enough to strongly predispose him to such an event.
It is quite possible that his emotional/physical encounter with the soldiers could have precipitated the heart attack, but statistically most heart attacks occur during perfectly normal activity in individuals with long-established although unrecognized coronary artery atherosclerotic disease.
Sir, – I am surprised that no one asked the most important question, namely: What was Ziad Abu Ein doing there in the first place? He did not live there and obviously came to incite the crowd.
We all know that a sensible person with a serious heart problem must avoid stress. However, watching the video you see and hear Ein screaming at the soldiers before one touches his throat. In other words, he brought the stress on himself.
And according to the original report, he refused help from Israeli medics. That was his choice! We see all this, but Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority want us to see only the part where Ein is lying on the ground.
Sir, – Amid all the kerfuffle surrounding the death of Ziad Abu Ein, barely a word has been heard about his grisly past.
With all the cries, one would think Ein was a reincarnated folk hero. Well, he was an unrepentant terrorist who murdered two Israeli youths and wounded more than 30 others in a cold-blooded bombing attack, ran to the US and upon his extradition was sentenced to life imprisonment. Unfortunately, after serving just a few years he was included in a very lopsided deal to return three Israelis held in Lebanon.
Ein spent his life inciting Arabs to fight Israel on any pretext. No one should be sorry he is gone.
Petah TikvaLet them pay
Sir, – It is unfortunate that the writer of “Christmas lesson” (Editorial, December 9) failed to check the origins of the Christmas tree. It was a pagan custom at this time of year, prevalent in Scandinavia. It was also identified with the “tree of paradise” of medieval mystery plays performed on December 24.
Bringing trees into the home as part of the Christian rite was first recorded in Latvia in 1510 and Strasbourg in 1521, and in early modern Germany in the 16th century associated with the Protestant reformer Martin Luther. It only took off in the UK some 200 years ago when the prince consort, Albert, introduced the practice to the royal family.
Public displays originated only in the early 20th century. However, in 2006 the international airport in Seattle, Washington, removed its trees because of a demand by Jews to put up a Hanukka menorah.
Until Chabad introduced the menorah into public areas worldwide at its own expense, there was no such display. It was done only by Jews in Israel.
Thus, the demand to have Christian symbols displayed in prominent places in Israel, including the Knesset, at public expense is reprehensible.
Should minorities insist on such displays, let them pay, just as Chabad does in the Diaspora for its menorahs.
COLIN L. LECI
• In “Rising above personal attacks, the time has come to examine UNRWA policy” (Comment & Features, December 11), Nathan Brown was incorrectly described as working for pro-Arab organizations. Brown has since clarified that he works at George Washington University and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, neither of which is a pro-Arab organization.
The research that is referred to in David Bedein’s piece was funded by the United States Institute of Peace and the United States-Israel Educational Foundation (Fulbright); both are US-government funded.
• Jerusalem Post chief archivist Alexander Zvielli has been working at the newspaper for 69 years, and not as reported in “Coming together in the name of Israel” (Observations, December 12).