December 8: Seeds of hope

We should resist trying to outdo nature and let it renew itself.

December 7, 2010 23:44
December 8: Seeds of hope

letters 88. (photo credit: )

Seeds of hope

Sir, – Judy Siegel’s article (“Haifa U. experts: Nature will restore wildlife, the forest its trees,” December 6) plants seeds of hope in our hearts amid all the anguish and frustration from our recent disaster.

Indeed, Aleppo pines open up their acorns in the heat of the flames and spread their seeds. Oaks have deep roots that will come to life in the spring.

We should resist trying to outdo nature and let it renew itself. After the winter rains, when spring flowers start to appear, we hope to see the renewal in many parts of these forests and woodlands.

Let us hope, believe and pray.

Neve Ilan

Readers blast Yishai

Sir, – Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s ungracious behavior (“Yishai’s refusal to accept gifts from Christian groups blocked donation of badly needed fire trucks,” December 6) makes him a contributor to the fact that the Carmel fire probably raged longer than need be.


Sir, – Christians are among our best friends. They love the Jews and Israel. Groups and individuals from all over the world want to help us in any way they can – by visiting, donating, volunteering, etc.

Eli Yishai should be sent packing immediately.

Ramat Efal

Sir, – I’m surprised that Eli Yishai allowed foreign pilots and firefighters to enter the country to help extinguish the forest fire. After all, most of them were Christians.


Sir, – It would be a wonderful way to bring glory to God and His works if Interior Minister Eli Yishai owns up to his failings and resigns his post.

His past evidences a tireless worker for the kollel student, since Torah study is of the greatest importance.

The irony of it all? The Torah holds human life as the supreme value.

Mevaseret Zion

Mislaid addresses?

Sir, – It was nice to read Danny Ayalon’s letter of appreciation to those countries that supported us in the recent and tragic fires on the Carmel (“Expressing gratitude,” Comment & Features, December 5). But I would suggest that he missed a few addresses: The Palestinian Authority, which sent fire fighters and equipment, and Jordan and Egypt, which responded rapidly and provided much needed help.

No less is the gratitude that all of Israel owes to those of its own who gave their lives out of a deep commitment to the Jewish people and its land.

Kfar Saba

It takes time

Sir, – Despite being a great artist and musician, Daniel Barenboim has yet to learn that the music of Richard Wagner will not be accepted in Israel in his lifetime (“Barenboim wants to ‘de- Nazify’ Wagner,” Arts & Entertainment, December 6). The pain of the Holocaust is still too fresh in the minds of many, including music lovers.

Just as the pogroms in 19th-century Russia and the Inquisition in 15th-century Spain have now receded to a respectable distance in time – close enough to appreciate but far enough to not cause pain – so Richard Wagner’s music needs the benefit of distance before the exquisite sounds of the Siegfried Idyll waft over Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium and the chilling tones of Hagen’s Hunt terrify audiences at the Opera House.


Sir, – I am in full disagreement with Daniel Barenboim’s peculiar rationale.

He maintains that we Jews are picking on Wagner because Hitler and the Nazis loved his music. Nonsense! I refer him to page 63 of Twilight of the Wagners by Gottfried Wagner, on which there are quotes of the composer’s intense hatred of Jews and his wish for their extinction. Not only on page 63, but on a multitude of pages.

I love Wagner’s music but despise his anti-Semitism. I might also add that I admire Barenboim’s talents as a conductor and pianist, but have contempt for his hatred of democratic Israel.


Label and be damned

Sir, – Britain’s new shadow foreign minister is basking in photo ops for calling for compulsory labeling of products from Israeli settlements to protect European consumers (“UK Labor Party calls for clearer – and compulsory – settlement product labeling,” December 6). This is similar to the Palestinian Authority making employment in a settlement a punishable offense.

I am always glad to be reminded of the behavior of these self-righteous nasties because it makes me resolve not to buy any “West Bank” products, and to buy products of “settlements” whenever I can.


Geology and politics

Sir, – Regarding “The bleak logic of Bennie Begin,” Editor’s Notes, December 3), for a man who claims that he is “barely a geologist, practicing politics,” Begin appears to have a lot more common sense than many. His remarks about the “PLO” make those who claim we must immediately give land for peace appear to be the ones with rocks in their heads.

Ma’aleh Adumim

Sir, – The essence of the long interview with Bennie Begin is this: Islam does not tolerate compromises and demands absolute submission. That, and only that, is the real reason there is no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Why don’t Bennie Begin and David Horovitz just say so?

Beer Sheba

No need to detain

Sir, – By deciding to build a detention center, this government is making an egregious and unforgivable error (“PM: Flood of illegal migrants must be stemmed to preserve Jewish nature of the state,” November 29).

Every nation controls its borders and prevents illegal immigrants from entering freely to protect the security, jobs and identity of the country. Mexicans without valid visas are prevented from crossing into the US even though most are simply looking for better jobs. Too many other examples exist – including in the post-modernist, anti-nationalist, universalist cultures of Europe – to enumerate here.

Those seeking economic opportunity in Israel should be turned back at the border. But regarding the very few who are legitimate asylum seekers – most analysts suggest less than one percent – we, with our particular history, must welcome, support and provide them with benefits.

Beit Shemesh

Partner from hell

Sir, – Israel recently facilitated the transfer of a large shipment of goods from Hamas-controlled territory as a first step toward increasing exports to Europe (“Gaza strawberries and flowers head to Europe,” November 29). This, while the Fatah Revolutionary Council concluded its fifth convention in Ramallah the previous weekend by declaring its refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

One question only do I have for Prime Minister Netanyahu: What more does your “partner for peace” have to do and say to make you stand up with what little pride you may have left and say loudly and clearly so the whole world can hear – this land is ours and as of now all agreements with our enemies are void.

Just be honest, Bibi, and admit the partner for peace is a partner from hell, which is where he intends to take us.


CORRECTION The December 6 photo of French ambassador Christophe Bigot attending the funeral of one of the victims of the Carmel forest fire was taken by Benjamin Huguet, and not as originally noted.

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