(photo credit: Courtesy)
Nobel War Prize?
Sir, - Well done, Javier Solana! Your idea that the "UN should adopt a two-state solution even without agreement" (July 13) is the perfect recipe for a major Middle East war.
I hope you receive the Nobel War Prize.
Like it or not...
Sir, - "Like it or not" David Horovitz warns us in "Give substance to the vision" (July 12), "the world's only superpower appears to have decided that Israel's best interests require it to freeze construction beyond the Green Line." Ergo, construction must be halted.
If that's the criterion that will be informing our actions, what will we do when the "world's only superpower" commands, as it inevitably will - in our "best interests," to be sure - that we deliver half of Jerusalem into the hands of Fatah? Hey, "like it or not," how can we say no to that irresistible force, even if it means turning the streets of our capital into a romper room for the Aksa Martyrs Brigades?
And since its desires must be served ("like it or not"), what do we do when the "world's only superpower" rejects the validity of all prior understandings regarding Israel's retention of Gush Etzion, Ma'aleh Adumim, Ariel, etc., and declares that we'd better be ready to put them on the block?
In other words, at what point would Mr. Horovitz draw the line at our acquiescence in that "superpower's" conception of our "best interests?" French Hill? Gilo? Jaffa, perhaps?
Unless we're prepared to declare our national sovereignty in Chapter 11 - i.e., bankrupt - our response to all those "others bent on making our minds up for us" should be that no power on earth, including the "world's only superpower" and its misperceived "interests" is going to persuade us to commit suicide; not even in measured, sugar-coated installments.
If it is the "Zionist enterprise" Mr. Horovitz is really concerned with, his message should be: The buck stops here - and now.
Sir, - Is it Purim already? Surely you were joking about the amenities convicted terrorists enjoy in Israel's prisons ("Limit visits to Hamas inmates," Editorial, July 9).
We love Shabbat, but
love other Jews more
Sir, - I'm a 19-year-old religious girl and I want all your readers to know that these destructive, violent people do not represent our opinions ("Haredi protesters block roads as Shabbat parking feud continues," July 12).
We love Shabbat, but we love other Jews even more, even those who do not keep Shabbat.
I was very upset to hear about the terrible things that have been going on. Your readers must think that we hate them, that we want to impose keeping Shabbat on them. The opposite is the case!
We are commanded to love God, and these misguided people think they can express their love of God by hurting those whom they see as not doing God's will.
What they are doing is a very big desecration of God's name; many of them have broken Shabbat themselves and also caused much damage to many religious homes.
Sir, - I am a haredi woman and I do not support violent protests, even in the name of Shabbos. The Torah demands civility and courtesy and love of one's fellow Jews, and this is what I aspire to and what my husband and I teach our children. We're praying for unity.
Worse and worser
Sir, - Which do you think is worse? A few people that we call haredi protesting on Shabbat, reported in the middle of page 1 of your Sunday paper; or the entire country being represented - as reported at the top of your front page - by those sportsmen who beat Russia in Israel on the Sabbath? ("Israel makes tennis history, smashing Russia to reach Davis Cup semis," July 12.)
Flight of DNA fancy
Sir, - In "The alphabet of life" (July 8), David Klinghoffer starts out by describing the origin of our understanding of DNA, the molecule of life, but soon reveals his intention: to find support for "creationism," namely, that God was responsible for choosing the sequence of bases in DNA that code for specific genes and biological functions.
In doing so, he reverts to the status quo ante, bringing up the "directed" evolution proposed by Cuvier before Darwin, now long since rejected, and selecting one gene (the Hox gene), the function of which is not entirely proven.
His most outrageous jump in subjectivity is to compare the base sequence of DNA to that of the Hebrew letters in the Kabbala - a totally unsupported fancy.
His main target, and that of all creationists, is that "imagining existence as a purely material affair, without purpose, as Darwinian evolution still portrays the matter," is wrong.
However, evolution as Darwin described it is a process, and long after Darwin we now know that DNA is the "engine" of that process, and that evolution is not purposeless; it adapts species to their environment by the survival of the fittest. Further, using DNA sequences, the path of evolution can be derived by molecular genetics.
What about getting a real scientist to describe how DNA really works instead of allowing free rein to imaginative creationists with an agenda?
The writer is author (with F. Portugal) of 'A Century of DNA" (1977)
Sir, - David Klinghoffer combines popular science with half-baked Judaism. The result is a supposedly divinely brewed, primordial alphabet soup I find hard to digest. At best, his position is wishful thinking, but I would call it an insult to one's intelligence, if not an outright besmirching of the reputation of Jews as thinkers and scientists.
His op-ed makes one wonder why, as a Jew, he throws in his lot with the Intelligent Design crowd if Rabbi Kook already accepted evolution theory.
A returnee to religion myself, I must say the writer makes skeptics come out right because he does not try to discover anything, but mystifies with a passion.
Science will eventually find out how DNA began. What I want to know is: Where does the Intelligent Design movement come from?
M.M. VAN ZUIDEN
Shoah art & alertness
Sir, - I am a retired physician, a father of seven. I read The Jerusalem Post and The Jerusalem Report a lot. My wife and I are very worried about the current US administration's attitude to Israel; I sincerely hope that we are wrong ("Obama to meet Jewish leaders amid concern over criticism directed at Israel," July 13).
As a Holocaust survivor, I have tried to keep that nightmare alive so that our people and our children will remain alert. I have therefore used my free time to create a series of paintings about what the Nazis did to us. Please view some of these works on www.holocaustart.net.
I would like to spread the word as much as possible and hope that the leaders of the State of Israel have the wisdom and courage to do everything possible to prevent anything like what we went through from ever happening again.
Fanatic dictators don't just make threats. As we recently saw in Iran, they have no scruples. Given the opportunity, they will carry out their threats.