letters good 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Justice seen, justice done
Sir, - Kol hakavod to a justice system of a level that could come out with a guilty verdict on former justice minister Haim Ramon's totally inappropriate and unjustifiable behavior ("MKs hail, slam Ramon guilty verdict," On-Line Edition, January 31). Coverups, threats and intimidations have formed part of our current political system's corruption, immorality and loss of Jewish direction.
Par for the course was the prime minister's statement of "deep regret" regarding the the conviction, not his minister's action.
AVI BEN ZEV
Good advice'on the house'
Sir, - In view of the serious charges of sexual misconduct brought against him by four women, I agree with Attorney-General Mazuz's advice to the Knesset that President Moshe Katsav be removed from his residence until he is either found guilty or exonerated of all charges. It is an embarrassment to the nation as the whole world is focused on Israel during this crisis of confidence ("Mazuz: Kick Katsav out of Beit Hanassi," January 31).
HERBERT W. STARK
Massapequa, New York
Woman of worth
Sir, - Few Israeli women in public or political life have made a greater personal contribution to Israeli society than Ruth Bar-On. Ruth Eglash's superb "Against all odds" (January 30) highlighted the case of Galina Ashurov and the involvement of SELAH, the organization Ruth set up to help and support the immigrant community from the former Soviet Union in dealing with the trauma of terrorism, broken homes and severe illness.
From the '70s on, Ruth was a foremost activist in the struggle for the release of Soviet Jewry. When the floodgates opened and thousands poured into Israel at last, she and her organization helped their absorption in the most practical ways.
A woman of her caliber and humanity, who has always put the cause first, would be an ideal president of Israel - but failing that, she deserves the Israel Prize.
Soviet Jewry activist 1969-80
Sir, - In "The straightforward arithmetic of jihad" (January 31), Michael Freund asserts: "The figures above, taken from a variety of nations, continents and contexts, all point in one very ominous direction. They demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the global jihadist movement enjoys a wide and broad base of support that extends far beyond just a minuscule number of supporters... The arithmetic of jihad is quite straightforward, and it is time we stopped... pretending otherwise."
While I tend to agree that the vast majority of Muslims support global jihad, I wonder if surveys can prove anything "beyond a shadow of a doubt." I would have liked more information about the identity of the data collectors and the reliability of the surveys. I would assume, for example, that a certain number of peaceful Muslims would be afraid to voice their true inclinations.
I agree that Muslims are hot for jihad, but survey results cannot be compared to the undeniable truth of arithmetic.
Onward Christian supporters...
Sir, - As a grassroots not-for-profit media watch group seeking to promote responsibility in Middle East reporting, we are accustomed to taking exception to biased, one-dimensional, inaccurate and incomplete information regarding Israel and the Jewish community.
It was refreshing, therefore, to read Michael Freund's provocative column regarding the positive role that Christian Zionists can play in support of Israel. This column is must reading for those who support Israel ("In Praise of Christian Zionists," January 11).
As a Jew familiar with the concerns of fellow Jews regarding the agenda of Christian fundamentalists and others who support Israel, I support his contention that we Jews have gone as far as we can go in our support. We are in need of the support of the much larger Christian community if we are to survive.
Recently we had a Christian rally to support Israel. It was heartwarming, to say the least.
We say: Onward Christian supporters of Israel.
NORMAN N. GROSS
Palm Harbor, Florida
...fight the good fight
Sir, - Ever since the dawn of human history mankind has known untold agony, suffering and persecution caused by religious bigotry. Religious authorities would claim that only theirs was the true religion, and whoever refused to acknowledge this truth would find himself exposed to great suffering.
Unfortunately, religious bigotry is embedded in the holy scriptures of the various religions, thus ever perpetuating it to coming generations.
Religious leaders must assume responsibility, proclaiming that statements denigrating other religions reflect a sad past over which we had no control - and yet we are not free to desist from healing the wounds unduly afflicted by our forebears on others.
Religious leaders of all denominations must act courageously to rectify the mistakes of the past so that humankind may enjoy a life of freedom from fear, bigotry and persecution.
RABBI DOV EDELSTEIN
Watchmen on the wall
Sir, - The word of God says that "in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." These are the most important words about the Jewish people to this world. Our God has chosen you to bless the nations - yet these same nations, in their blindness, have attempted to blot out your name.
So much has been passed down to us from the Jewish people: Even in the midst of great persecution your gifts to mankind keep coming.
We Christian Zionists are your watchmen on the wall. We will not rest or keep silent until "He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth" (Isaiah 62: 6-7). God has great plans that have yet to unfold for you: "I will make of you a great nation."
God has so entwined you with the Land of Israel. For you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah, for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. As a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you, Israel. I thank God for each and every one of you.
For the record
Sir, - I always read with pleasure Greer Fay Cashman's Grapevine column, and I know the author's special interest in Polish issues, based on a deep knowledge of Polish-Israeli and Polish-Jewish relations.
But I was astonished when, in her column of January 31, I found: "Lublin has only one hotel."
This, of course, is not true. The city of Lublin, the biggest town in Eastern Poland, has several hotels, including some very good ones such as the Grand Hotel Lublinianka, the Europa, the Unia and the Campanile. More information can be found on www.polhotels.com; www.visit.pl; www.travelpoland.com; www.poland4you.com; www.hotelewpolsce.com.pl; www.hotele.onet.pl; www.orbisonline.pl
The quality of tourist services has increased significantly since the fall of the communist regime in 1989 and now tourists can enjoy really comfortable accommodation in every place in Poland. We encourage you to visit and experience our beautiful country.
First Secretary, Press attache