Sir, – You report that the Latin patriarch for Jerusalem and a
vicar of the patriarchate are concerned about Christians in Arab lands who are
“tempted to emigrate,” and about African migrants and asylum-seekers here
(“Christmas message from Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem: Israeli-Palestinian
conflict blocking regional stability,” December 19).
It is interesting
that in all this, these august Christian leaders ignore the plight of Christians
in Bethlehem, the home base of their belief. The fact that the Palestinian
Authority allows and maybe encourages the emigration of Christians from
Christianity’s birthplace is not mentioned, let alone condemned. At one time,
Bethlehem was mostly Christian. Now it is mostly Muslim.
It appears that
the plight of Christians in this area is less important then calling on Jews/
Israel to do something. It is the Jews/Israelis who are guilty and must do
something, not the Arab Muslim and Christian leaders.AHARON GOLDBERG
Sir, – We are all warmly indebted to the Latin patriarch for his
wise words. Perhaps he might, while in a communicative mood, advise us what to
do in case of heavy snowstorms and icy roads.STANLEY COHEN
Sir, – I refer to “Explaining Iran to a five-year old” (Comment
& Features, December 19) by Bob Feferman. Surely the most important thing is
to explain it all to EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton! It seems her grip
on reality is somewhat tenuous.JOHN DICKS
Kiryat Yam Wrong message
– The headline of your frontpage analysis “Israel chooses restraint” (December
17) is the wrong message by our government.
It should have read: “Israel
chooses weakness.”ISSY HASS
Ra’ananaNo trust there
Sir, – Regarding
“Can Netanyahu cross the Rubicon?” (Comment & Features, December 17), MK
Hilik Bar proudly presents us with the facts.
Bar writes that he “hosted
a group of Palestinian officials at the Knesset. For the first time, the
Palestinian and Israeli flags were raised in the Knesset chamber beside each
other. The spirit of peace was in the air.” He further writes: “A few weeks
later, [Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas invited our Knesset
caucus to visit the Mukata [presidential compound] in Ramallah, and we sat with
him and talked.”
By not presenting us with the full picture, in this case
that the Israeli flag was not raised in the Mukata, Bar shows us that he lives
in fantasy land. The logical conclusion of the absence of our flag, of the lack
of reciprocity, should have been that there was a spirit of the elimination of
Israel in the air.
If I had been in the Israeli delegation to the Mukata
I would have felt gravely offended. Bar and his delegation should have left
Clearly, trust was not built there.JOSEEF
Sir, – At 2 a.m. on Tuesday – in other
words, in the middle of the night – my husband and I heard loud noises that
sounded like a large engine revving up. When we got up the next day we realized
that the noise had come from workers who had been sawing away to remove the
large tree that had been blocking our driveway due to the snow and making access
by either foot or car very difficult.
I would just like to say kol
hakavod to all those hard workers who helped keep Jerusalem
Sir, – I was surprised at the helplessness
of our storekeepers and building residents who were unable to clear the snow in
front of their properties. I wish to add my suggestion.
As a former New
Yorker I have been accustomed to seeing the residents or proprietors of each
building cleaning the area around the property. I feel that people here would be
just as eager, given the proper tools.
Therefore, I recommend to Mayor
Nir Barkat that he purchase 10,000 snow shovels and distribute them at little or
no cost. It certainly would be a cheaper method of snow removal than massive
I know that we all will respond willingly when given the proper
Sir, – Did Israel really wait for the snow
to melt? People in the 21th century are still relying on nature to run its
course! With all our technology and being one of the few advanced countries in
the Middle East, we can’t seem to rise above a few centimeters of snow! And even
if we rise above the snow, we’re still slipping on the ice! HINDA FRIEDMAN
Sir, – When there is a problem, it is so comforting to place the blame
somewhere, on someone else, on the “other.” So whom can we blame for this storm?
The haredim? The national-religious? The settlers? The secular? The partnership
between Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi? Of course not! The weather is in the hands
On the one hand, a lot of help was extended during the
Let’s continue that quality! To the army, police and able
individuals, we all owe a debt of gratitude. On the other hand, may I humbly
suggest that God sent us a warning. I believe this was a wake up
Could He be angry at us? Always quick to blame the other person,
the other group, for our troubles, we avoid taking responsibility for ourselves.
Rather than being unified, baseless hatred is present in all groups.
external enemies don’t go away. We desperately need God’s protection. But could
He be waiting to see if we deserve it, whether we can transform our baseless
hatred into love for all the people of Israel? Let’s try and see if we can make
a difference.E.P. HARRIS
Sir, – Thanks for printing the most
moving letter by reader Stuart Pilichowski (“Readers comment on the nation’s
weather preparedness,” December 16).
I had tears in my eyes when I
realized that, thank God, we have people like the sexton and the rabbi, who
helped a family of Filipino converts on the eve of our snowy Shabbat. The
members of the family were offered “the very best guest accommodations by the
local Sephardi rabbi. They received the highest honors on Shabbat morning at
May these caring people, like the rabbi and the sexton,
increase in our midst! JENNY WEIL
Sir, – Your article
“Charity founded by Orthodox lobbyist under investigation in New York” (December
16) repeated unfounded claims against our organization.
Inc. provides critical mental health referral services to thousands of Orthodox
Jewish families in New York each month, and does so in consultation with leading
doctors and other healthcare professionals, who enthusiastically attest to the
professionalism and dedication of our staff.
I am confident that all who
independently review this matter will come to the same
New YorkThe writer is director of Relief
Resources Inc.Always remember
Sir, – We read of the death of Peter
O’Toole in “‘Lawrence of Arabia’ actor Peter O’Toole dies, aged 81” (December
16), yet one of his best parts, filmed here in Israel, was not
One of his most dramatic roles was filmed on location at
He played the Roman commander Lucius Flavius Silva. He was
nominated for an Emmy for his work on this made-for-television movie.
a licensed Israeli tour guide, I go to Masada and can still point out some of
the remnants that Hollywood left behind at the site. I always mention Peter
O’Toole and will always remember him.HELA CROWN-TAMIR