August 11: One world, one dream

The point of the Olympics is about bringing people from around the world together.

letters 88 (photo credit:)
letters 88
(photo credit: )
One world, one dream Sir, - Re "Israel should boycott the Olympics opening ceremony" (August 8): Jeremy Last's argument for the boycott pointed at China's poor human rights record and its high pollution levels. Were Israel to not attend the opening ceremony, he wrote, questions would be asked and something might be done. But he missed the point of the Games, which is about bringing people from around the world together - maybe for the one time in their lives - and putting aside political and racial differences, hopefully resulting in "one world, one dream." Let us focus on all the positive things China has brought the world and, for the duration of the Olympics, not criticize it. There will be plenty of time for that afterwards. I would like to wish China all the best in the amazing job it is doing in producing one of the finest Olympics in history. If the opening ceremony was anything to go by, it will be the greatest Olympic Games for a long time. JEREMY WEISS Israel Sir, - I noted that "Palestine" is represented at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. But Palestine is not a recognized country and is not a member of the UN. I am curious, what other non-UN countries are represented at the Beijing 2008 Olympics? If Palestine is at the Beijing Games, what is to prevent Tibet being represented at the London Olympic Games in 2012? JACK COHEN Jerusalem Elephants in Monaco? Sir, - On page 1 of your August 10 issue, a Hamas official was quoted complaining that "people are dying every day in the Gaza Strip because they can't travel to Egypt and other Arab countries for medical treatment" ("Hamas plans to breach Sinai border crossing today amid tensions with Egypt). Then on page 5 we read "It's just a matter of time until they make a tunnel that an elephant can walk through" ("Lions, monkeys take underground route to Gaza zoo," August 10). The temptation to make an elephant joke is great, but the situation is not funny. Three years after the Palestinians were handed everything for nothing, there could be a thriving agriculture and tourist economy in Gaza; instead, tunnels are used to smuggle in tons of arms. When will Gaza's leaders stop blaming everyone else and take on the responsibility of helping their own people? By developing their beautiful beaches and stopping the killing, they could have another Monaco. Doctors would flock to it. SHARON ALTSHUL Jerusalem Bit too optimistic Sir, - Ruthie Blum's interview with Michael Medved reminded me of the wonderful Shabbat provided us by the members of the Pacific Jewish Center in Venice, California, in the 1980s. Under the tutelage of Rabbi Lappin, the community had developed the practice of welcoming Jewish travelers for full room and board, gratis, for the duration of Shabbat. With only two days' notice and no questions asked on their part, we were given home hospitality by two families, and among the many people we were introduced to was Medved, who personally came to invite us to the Shabbat afternoon "third meal" at the synagogue. We found the community warm, well-educated, sophisticated and anything but cultic. Then a few years ago, we spent Shabbat in Florence, Italy. Our meals were generously hosted by the Chabad rabbi and his wife. Dinner took place in a locked room, hidden behind what appeared, from the street, to be an unoccupied shop. Another Chabad rabbi, a visitor from Israel and a native speaker of Italian, related that the previous day he had been walking past a cinema in Florence where The Passion of the Christ was playing when a man and his son emerged from the theater. The son pointed to the rabbi and asked his father: "Is that man a Jew?" "Yes," replied the father. "Then if he's a Jew, why does God let him live?" the boy asked. The rabbi, amazed and distressed, retorted, "The people of Israel lives!" I would like to think that Medved was right in his belief that the film would not encourage anti-Semitism, but I doubt that the above incident was an isolated one, especially in places where Jews feel they have to congregate for a meal in a camouflaged room ("Right off the charts," August 7). IRENE BERMAN Shoham Strange forgiveness Sir, - If there is one country in the world that should not be coerced into any form of animosity or hatred toward Israel - i.e., the Jewish people - it is Spain ("Israel battles Spanish arrest warrants," August 8). If I recollect correctly, there was an appeal for forgiveness by the King of Spain for the horrors his country perpetrated against the Jews in 1492 by forcibly expelling them from the country and instituting the nightmare of the Inquisition - Spain's killing machine - in which thousands of helpless Jews were burnt alive at the stake. Memories of this terrible period in its history appear to linger on in the Spanish mind-set as anti-Semitism again rears its ugly head in the country. So much for forgiveness! M.U. MILUNSKY Netanya Fun for the affected Sir, - We were happy to read "Israelis to join in international project for terrorism-affected youth from all over the world" (August 6). We also wanted to note that One Heart Global (www.oneheartglobal.org), an organization working with victims of terrorism globally, worked directly with Tuesday's Children to bring the Israeli kids to the camp as well sponsoring them in New York City for five days for some fun and relaxation and meetings with politicians, first responders from 9/11, and various business people in the New York area before returning to Israel. Both organizations are proud to work together to be a part of this wonderful, first-time experience. JACOB KIMCHY AND SARRI SINGER Co-Founders, One Heart Global Foundation TODD SUKOL Executive Director Koby Mandell Foundation New York/Jerusalem The love is here Sir, - My wife and I are not Jewish, but the love is here for you and your beloved country and your people. We belong to the Zola Levitt ministry. We are supporters. We back you and your love for Israel. As Americans, we are carefully watching, through The Jerusalem Post every morning. GARY AND SUSAN FIKE Reno, Nevada Write to me Sir, - I am a native Somali student living in Kenya, who enjoys reading The Jerusalem Post. I'd love to hear from readers, and thank you in advance. Please write to P.O. Box 71154-00622, Nairobi, Kenya. ABDIKADIR ELMI Nairobi CORRECTIONS Our August 7 editorial, "Kadima, unvarnished," said that Kadima was founded as a political vehicle by former prime minister Ariel Sharon to implement the 2005 Gaza Disengagement plan. The party was, in fact, founded in the wake of disengagement. Our August 10 editorial "A day of responsibility" said the Wannsee Conference took place on Tisha Be'av. In fact, Herman Goering's letter charging Reinhard Heydrich to prepare "the complete solution of the Jewish question" was issued on the eve of the eighth of Av. The conference didn't take place until January 20, 1942.