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The will is the way
Sir, - Everyone knows that the 1967 victory for Israel was a total triumph. Israelis at that time had only two choices: wait to be totally destroyed, or destroy their enemies. The problem now is that Israel does not have the same will or leadership as engineered that victory, and for that it will have to pay a price.
Kudos to Michael Freund, who is doing his best to wake the Israelis up ("Hogwash history," June 13).
Coconut Creek, Florida
Alpine Crossing, '47: Call for survivors
Sir, - In the summer of 1947, 5,000 Jews left Austria. They marched across the 2,634-meter-high Krimml Tauern mountain range to South Tyrol and from there on to Genoa, their final destination being Palestine. This exodus of Austrian Jews, more specifically from the city of Salzburg, was one of the numerous exoduses of Jewish populations from Central and Eastern Europe after the end of World War II.
The foot-slog of up to 10 hours across the Hohe Tauern mountains was the most strenuous and spectacular flight route for these men, women and children. Nevertheless, it has become an almost forgotten chapter of Austrian postwar history. To honor these 5,000 people, Ernst Loeschner has started a private initiative, backed by the BNP Paribas Austria bank, to organize the Alpine Peace Crossing 2007. The basic idea is to retrace, step by step, the route taken 60 years ago. On June 28, the eve of that memorial crossing, a festive ceremony will take place in Krimml with an international peace forum.
The climax of the project - the commemorative crossing over the Krimml Tauern mountains, accompanied by mountain guides - will be on June 29. The closing ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. in San Giovanni, in the Aurina Valley. BNP Paribas SA is sponsoring this project both in memory of the Jewish population during World War II, and as a 2007 message of peace.
In Israel, Mr. Charles G. Reisman, head of territory and general manager, and the BNP Paribas Israel team, together with the Austrian Embassy, are seeking to contact - and eventually interview - survivors of this piece of history living in Israel.
The long days of suffering endured by those people should no longer be kept in silence; we should today honor their courage.
For further information, see www.alpinepeacecrossing.org or contact: Elise Donat, tel. (03) 697-05 91 or Austrian Cultural Forum of Tel Aviv director Arad Benkoe, tel. (03) 612-0924.
CHARLES G. REISMAN
Head of Territory &
BNP Paribas, Israel
What Leibowitz really said
Sir, - Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz was misquoted in "Jerusalem rejects naming street for professor who compared soldiers to Nazis" (June 13). I was present when Leibowitz said: "If Jews behave like Judeo-Nazis, one will arise and murder our prime minister!" The second half of what he said came true six month later.
Yet half a sentence is only half true, as the saying goes: "Half true is a whole lie."
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