Sir, – What does Israel fear that it must reject the
Palestinian bid for full membership in a body that promotes peace and
intercultural dialogue (“PA takes first step toward acceptance at UNESCO)? The
Palestinian territories are rich with ancient sites, the Church of the Nativity
(Bethlehem) and St. George Orthodox Monastery (Jericho) among them. Palestinians
have nurtured areas of significant natural beauty – many of them worthy of
designation as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Why deny them the pride in
such achievements? Why preclude the opportunity for possible joint
Israeli-Palestinian sites, such as the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of the Patriarchs in
Hebron, the burial ground of our common father Abraham/Ibrahim? I can think of
no better way to encourage a people to build peace and focus on intercultural
dialogue than by ensuring that the Palestinians make positive contributions to
Why is Israel such a bully and America such a buffoon
as to cease funding for UNESCO if Palestine is accepted as a full member? Both
nations would miss an opportunity enabling collaboration, cooperation,
communication – and peace! JUDY BAMBERGER
O'Connor, Australia Not very efficient
Sir, – In “Jerusalem light rail to force major bus changes” (October 5), it
states that travelers may have to take a bus, the light rail and another bus to
arrive at their destination. It further states that officials claim this will
make travel more efficient.
Will these officials please explain how three
transfers make travel more efficient? Do they have in mind the hardship all of
this will cause the elderly and handicapped? Have they taken into consideration
the waiting time for the light rail and another bus, which could add up to
another half hour in travel? Do these officials have in mind the people who go
to the Mahaneh Yehuda market and return with heavy shopping carts full of
produce? I, for one, don’t understand how this will make for quicker and more
efficient travel.HANNAH SONDHELM
Sir, – I only wish that I and
most of my fellow citizens of Jerusalem could share Stephen Rosenberg’s
enthusiasm for the city’s new light rail system (“What a great light rail!,”
Comment & Features, October 4).
I wish, too, that the years of
inconvenience in what we are now told is only the first stage of construction
could somehow be compensated for by the smooth, efficient transportation system
Jerusalem has suddenly acquired.
But anyone in the city who regularly
uses public transportation knows the story is otherwise.
The truth is,
travel in the city is now slower than ever, and inconvenience and delay are the
common result of the light rail’s construction and introduction. Moreover, we
are now told that with the rerouting of buses, most of us traveling to vital
areas like the Central Bus Station will have to make at least one and often two
So my feeling is that songs of celebration for the light rail
are not quite in order. What is in order is a call for more patience, tolerance
and consideration on the part of all of us toward each other as we slowly make
our way to our respective destinations.SHALOM FREEDMAN
Jerusalem We were
Sir, – In “Allegations about UNRWA” (Letters, October 5), Chris Gunness,
the group’s spokesman, writes in response to my piece “UNRWA is an impediment to
peace” (Comment & Features, October 3) that “none of the activities he
ascribes to us took place in our installations or have any association with the
agency. They took place in non- UNRWA facilities for which we are not
Our films of UNRWA summer camp programs took place at UNRWA
facilities in the Deheishe and Aida refugee camps, where the theme of the camps
was the right of return.DAVID BEDEIN
Jerusalem Sign from Above
Sir, – I
read with interest Julia Feuer’s well researched article “The fight is on for
religious freedom” (Comment & Features, October 5).
As someone who
has administered a kashrut authority and beit din (religious court) for over
three decades, I am acutely aware of the constant attacks on the practice of
ritual slaughter, which have intensified for us in England since the UK became
part of the EU. Your correspondent is so right when she calls for vigilance and
a determined response to protect our sacred traditions and right to practice our
However, I think we also need to wake up to what I see as a
direct message from Hashem – that life in the Diaspora is not the be-all and
end-all, and that our cozy existence is not in keeping with our Torah ideology.
We have forgotten that we are in exile and that our yearning for the end of our
dispersion has become dimmed.
We should view these threats as a spur to
intensify our prayer for the ingathering of the exiles, our return to our holy
land and the coming of messiah, the only real guarantee we have of our continued
ability to live as Jews.YEHUDA BRODIE
The writer is a
rabbi Lost in translation
Sir, – Judy Montagu’s relevant and thought-provoking
column (“Imperfect faith,” In My Own Write, October 5) is the kind of item I
wish The Jerusalem Post would publish more often.
However, I take issue
with Montagu’s translation of “repentance, prayer and charity” as “averting the
stern decree.” The text states that “repentance, prayer and charity avert the
evil of the decree.” The decree itself is not averted, as she herself
Jerusalem Hardly terrorism
Sir, – I am no less
offended than Gil Troy regarding the recent mosque arson in Tuba Zanghariya
(“Terrorists in every way,” Center Field, October 5).
committed a despicable, cowardly, antidemocratic and anti-Zionist act for which
the broader Israeli society is reassuringly outraged and contrite. They
committed a hate crime and deserve Troy’s condemnation.
in every way?” Let’s not get carried away.
While every act of terror may
be evil, not every act of evil is terror. Though it eludes a universally
accepted definition, terrorism goes well beyond “attacking civilian and symbolic
targets” – it involves attacking people’s physical safety.
mean-spirited attack on religious property is considered terrorism, what word is
left to describe blowing up a bus full of commuters? Such hyperbolic use of the
“terror” term promotes a dangerous moral equivalence between thuggish vandals
and murderous suicide bombers, and cheapens the horror suffered by the victims
of true terrorism.ABRAHAM KATSMAN
Sir, – While I agree with
most of the points Gil Troy raises, I am compelled to reply to his assertion
that the Jews have “historically resisted the temptation” to commit “mass
murder” against their enemies.
In the aftermath of the Holocaust, Jewish
death squads targeted and executed scores of Nazis, largely without the benefit
of a trial – and you would be hard-pressed to find many Israelis today who find
Just because we are a moral people does not mean we cannot
render evil unto evil.
This is why, for instance, the targeted killing of
terrorists is justifiable even while the so-called price tag attacks of settlers
are not.MENACHEM G. JERENBERG
Ramat Beit Shemesh