A video is worth 1,000 words
Sir, – In “Two Arab children hit by Elad leader’s
car in Silwan, incident taped” (October 10), Melanie Lidman reports that David
Be’eri “claims that youth were throwing rocks at his car.”
Has she seen
the video? If you look, you will see arms raised at point-blank range throwing
rocks at his oncoming vehicle. Did she notice his back window as the car drives
away, the window that was blown out by rocks? And finally, did anyone notice all
of the cameramen there? Indeed, why were they there? They knew in advance they
would be getting “juicy” pictures.ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV
Ma’aleh Adumim Waiting for an apology
Sir, – Wow! How thoughtful of the Gush Etzion rabbis to
apologize for the arson attack and replace the Korans in the Beit Fajar mosque
(“Rabbis deliver apologies, new Korans to vandalized Beit Fajar mosque,” October
The rest of us are still waiting for the Palestinians to apologize
for the brutal murder of four innocent Jews, and the subsequent attempted murder
several weeks ago near Kiryat Arba.
Ra’anana What is a Jewish
Sir, – Prof. Shlomo Avineri says that “it would be a mistake to force
newcomers to pledge allegiance to a Jewish state… because no one really knows
what a ‘Jewish state’... means” (“Academics see proposed loyalty pledge as
directed at Israeli Arabs,” October 8).
The Israeli Declaration of
Independence makes it very clear what a “Jewish State” is. It mentions the word
“Jewish” 17 times. The key passage is where it states Israel’s purpose in
relation to Jews: “The State of Israel will be open to the immigration of Jews
from all countries of their dispersion.”
It is this overriding principle
to which Israel’s citizens must swear allegiance. Israel is the only country
that will always provide shelter to Jews from all over the world.
there is absolutely no reason why other minorities can’t be citizens and still
pledge loyalty to a “Jewish State.”LYNETTE ORDMAN
Netanya Abrogation in
Sir, – In “Madman or prophet?” (October 8), Israel Kasnett cites the
view that “it is the extremists who selectively choose the Koran verses that fit
their worldview, while blatantly ignoring the nonviolent passages that call for
harmony and conciliation.”
He does not seem to know that in the Koran
there is a concept of abrogation, defined in the Koran itself by verse 2:106:
“When we cancel a message, or throw it into oblivion, we replace it with one
better or one similar. Do you not know that God has power over all things?” In
other words, later pronouncements of the Prophet declare null and void his
The extremists ignore the nonviolent passages
because later pronouncements of the Prophet from the Medina period cancel those
nonviolent passages from the Mecca period and also cancel some verses in Sura 2,
which is the first chapter of the Medina period.
I find it alarming that,
with all the information available at our fingertips, we still cannot get in our
media the basic facts about abrogation and how the Koran is read.
Beersheba The ossuary’s ‘yihus’
Sir, – As an amateur genealogist,
what mystifies me most about “Putting the case to rest” (October 7) is that,
based on three names and only two generations, archeologists would presume that
the ossuary in question relates to the Jesus of Nazareth.
traditional Jewish family of six to 10 children, at least one firstborn son is
named for a patrilineal grandfather, and subsequent sons for matrilineal
grandfathers and uncles on both sides.
Following down the line to
great-grandchildren, there would be at least as many brothers named Ya’akov and
Yeshua as there were children of their great-grandfather, and each one of them
could have been born to a grandson named Yosef. There could be even more if the
names in question were those of uncles on the matrilinial line. And this process
will geometrically multiply with each succeeding generation.
antecedents hail from the island of Rhodes, where, by any third or fourth
generation, familial names are repeated so often that even the addition of
matrilinial names in a descendancy chart doesn’t always clarify an
Even if the ossuary in question had been found in situ, in
Nazareth let’s say, and its inscription confirmed as authentically ancient, its
identity as the Jesus’s brother’s tomb would still not be a
Archeologists should certainly know that, without further
evidence, stating otherwise is merely a case of wishful thinking.JUDITH
Nahariya Dismissal deserves no praise
Sir, – Hebrew University
geneticist Ariel Darvasi’s praise for Dr.
Gaby Avital’s dismissal and his
ludicrous statement that in the Israeli academic world “there are no people who
share Avital’s beliefs” (“Education Ministry denies Avital let go due to
Darwinism remarks,” October 6) are indicative of his unwillingness to recognize
the legitimate existence of ideas other than his own.
All anyone needs to
do is to Google the terms “creationism” or “intelligent design” to find the
thousands of scientists who do not believe that evolution could possibly occur
as a result of random chance and without guidance.
(Compare the views of
Nobel laureate and biologist George Wald of Harvard University.) In fact,
Darwinism is merely a scientific theory based on incomplete fossil evidence,
before the discovery of DNA. Therefore, Dr.
Avital’s apparent dismissal
for questioning the validity of Darwinism deserves no praise.GIL GOLLER
Jerusalem Quick fixes
Sir, – Former US president Bill Clinton is quoted as
saying: “It [solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict] will take about half the
impetus in the whole world – not just the region, the whole world – for terror
to go away” (“Clinton: Peace would deflate terror,” October 6).
agenda of the supporters of terrorism (e.g., Iran) and of the terrorists
themselves is much broader than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The “quick
fixes” so loved by American administrations are extremely dangerous and probably
counterproductive. We have to be more patient and smarter.COLEMAN
Rehovot Geneva Convention blues and the Jews
Sir, – David Newman, while
coming out strongly against the boycotting of Israeli universities by foreign
universities and other organizations such as Church bodies and trade unions,
blithely ignores the part of some of his own colleagues at Ben-Gurion University
in advocating such boycotts (“The wrong litmus test,” October 5).
main thrust of these boycotts is the espousal of the canard that Israel is
occupying Palestinian land and that the building of socalled settlements are
against international law. Even President Obama, for reasons of his own, has
espoused this position.
However, the mouthers of this mantra have never
read or perhaps even do not know of the existence of the Geneva Convention,
which allegedly provides the basis for this allegation. Israel is in no way in
infringement of the Geneva Convention. The language is comparatively simple and
one does not have to be a lawyer to understand it.
Ironically, China –
which occupies Tibet – and Turkey, which occupies part of Cyprus are actually in
violation of the Geneva Convention, but no one would ever dream of condemning
them – because they are not Jewish.CYRIL ATKINS