letters to the editor 88.
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Sir, - Over the centuries Europeans have painted Jews as "money-grubbers." But now it is the EU that is placing financial interest before principle in dealing with Iran! ("Divest from Iran," Editorial, June 7.)
Odd, or not?
Sir, - Norman Podhoretz echoes and answers the conclusion to the article entitled "Concerning the Jews" that that quintessential American liberal, Mark Twain, published in Harper's in 1899. He had written: "The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and now is what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?"
Podhoretz implies the answer: God (or Allah, if you will) very evidently and particularly chose the Jews ("The scandal of particularity," Upfront, June 2).
The writer is the author of Mark Twain's Jews.
Utopia in the ward
Sir, - "Island of equality" (UpFront, May 25) really touched my heart. My 22-year-old daughter, Kinneret, was hospitalized this past month in Poriya Hospital. Besides the excellent medical treatment and care she received there from Jews, Christian and Muslim Arabs, Druse and Russian immigrant doctors and nurses, we found ourselves in a real utopia of patient and family relations within room and ward.
During the week of her hospitalization her "roommates" included a young Muslim Arab woman from a village near Nazareth, a Druse woman from Upper Galilee, a religious woman from Lower Galilee and a Russian immigrant from Tiberias. Kinneret, having grown up in a secular kibbutz on the Golan Heights, was enthralled by her "mini-United Nations" environment where everyone shared stories, food, magazines and good wishes. We even organized a Hebrew Scrabble game between the patients and their visitors. Without regret I can admit that the 21-year-old Arab Muslim woman beat me, a veteran of this country for 24 years!
There is no doubt that this hospital atmosphere created a "neutrality" and an empathy for one another that was truly heartwarming. As patients and their entourages of families came and went, Kinneret and myself included, there were hugs and kisses, and often phone numbers exchanged. But the truth is that we will probably never see one another again.
Yet I also believe that for that one moment in our lives, we realized the possibilities for dialogue, common interests and building a country in which we are at peace with one another.
MARLA VAN METER