Sir, – With regard to “Talk about talking” by Larry Snider (Comment
& Features, September 17), “from Haifa to Eilat, Jenin to Hebron...” we’re
not isolated from, but are in contact with, Christian and Muslim Israelis in
hospitals, clinics, shopping malls, parks, pools, universities, public
transportation, the Knesset and shared housing. We do not need international
financing for coexistence.
And what qualifies Peter Beinart to claim that
some American leaders don’t interact with Palestinians in the US? If sharing
felafel and Turkish coffee with peace-seeking “others” in suburban Philadelphia
and elsewhere will promote peace between us and our neighbors, we hope to be so
Jerusalem Let’s not obfuscate
Sir, – In commenting
on the birth date of “Yeshua,” reader Colin Nevin (“Real DOB,” Letters,
September 17) ends his discourse by repeating the traditional Christian
denigration of the Jewish leadership of the time. He states: “Jesus Himself
[sic] said of the religious people of His [sic] day that they ‘prefer to keep
the traditions of men, which make the word of God of non-effect.’” Please, let’s
not obfuscate. The writer needs reminding that it was the later Christian
leaders who assigned December 25, the winter solstice, as Jesus’s birthday. They
didn’t do that because of religious reasons. It was a political decision to
attract more pagans who worshipped their gods on that day.
It is their
Bible that states that shepherds were still in the field, regardless that they
historically brought their flocks down from the hills at least a month earlier
because of the inclement weather.
It was their religious leaders who
condoned Christmas trees and the balls hanging from them – pagan symbols that,
according to the Hebrew scriptures, God despises.
It was their religious
leaders who condoned purely pagan Easter egg hunts when Ishtar was a pagan
goddess of fertility who laid eggs.
Regardless of who Jesus really was in
his lifetime, Christianity is under very increased stress by the findings of the
so-called Jesus family tomb in Tel Piot. Dr. James Tabor is prominent in that
Kiryat Ye’arim Solomonic wisdom
Sir, – For 35
years Jews have tried to hold on to Homesh. Did we not learn that giving up land
means “weakness” to the Arabs, and that therefore they will reward us with more
violent attacks in all parts of Israel (“A-G: Palestinian farmers can return to
Homesh,” September 16)? Where would Israel be now if we gave up the Golan
Heights to Syria? Arabs always speak about all the land belonging to them and
that they intend on conquering it all.
Now, with the so-called peace
talks, US Secretary of State John Kerry, President Barack Obama and Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas understand that our prime minister can be
pressured to give Abbas what he feels is rightfully his.
Solomon’s definition of the true mother is the one who would not cut her baby in
Ma’aleh Adumim Rights on the Mount
Sir, – It
appears that there is at least one person (and one would hope that more will
have the courage to support him) who is prepared to challenge the disgraceful
lack of Israeli control over Judaism’s holiest site (“Feiglin to challenge
Wakf’s legal authority over Temple Mount,” September 16).
never backtracked or given up on his ideology or his faith in what is
Sir, – Until 2000, Jews went up freely
to the Temple Mount with prayer books and prayed at will.
There was even
a distinguished group of rabbis who prayed there every Rosh Hodesh. Then, Ariel
Sharon visited with a large retinue of police and rioting broke out.
Israeli government capitulated to this bully-like behavior and changed all the
Is that what we do with schoolyard bullies – react to their
behavior by agreeing to their demands? In an interfaith group I once belonged
to, an Arab student from Al Kuds University asked me why Jews care about the
Temple Mount. He said he knew that the Jewish people are interested only in
graves, like Rachel’s Tomb, Joseph’s Tomb and the Tomb of Patriarchs in Hebron,
which has been shared with Muslims since 1967. He asked me what connection we
have to the Temple Mount – which has only Muslim graves! And so I say to our
government: Take a stand and make it clear that we do care about the Temple
Mount even more than grave sites. Return the norms there to those that existed
for more than 30 years after 1967. Stop allowing the Wakf to monitor Jewish
activity there, and stop Israeli police from collaborating and checking whether
Jews have prayer books.
In a politically sensitive but very clear manner,
send a powerful message. But do it now. It is almost too late for the current
generation of Arab youths, although the sooner, the better.FRIEDA
Jerusalem Matter of presentation
Sir, – I had the privilege recently to
hold an extensive conversation about the upcoming intergovernmental conference
between Greece and Israel, as well as crucial regional issues, with the
distinguished foreign affairs columnist of your newspaper. To my surprise, what
ultimately appeared on the front page of your esteemed newspaper the day after
in “Greek ambassador: Despite apology, Ankara nixes Israel-NATO cooperation”
(September 12) was only a brief exchange of views on Turkish- Israeli relations
that we had at some point in the interview, presented in a way that did not do
justice to the overall balance and content of our discussion.
To put the
record straight, I would like to reiterate that the Greek position, but also my
personal view, is that Turkey is and should remain part of those few elements of
stability existing in our troubled region, like Greece and Israel or
As for the hypothetical question whether Turkish Prime Minister
Erdogan could be branded as “anti-Semitic” because of his comments on Egypt’s
bloody events and the upheaval at Taksim Square in Istanbul, I could not
possibly know what an important foreign politician believes in private.
Certainly, he has repeatedly denied such allegations.
Also, I would like
to point out that Turkey as a matter of fact, especially at the time of the
Ottoman Empire, was a haven for numbers of Jews who were persecuted elsewhere in
It is clear that under no circumstances has it been my intention
to verbally attack the prime minister of a friendly, neighborly country, our
ally in NATO, Turkey.SPIROS LAMBRIDIS
Tel Aviv The writer is ambassador
of Greece to Israel
Sir, – We were glad to read that the pope met
the president of the World Jewish Congress and discussed with him the ban on
ritual slaughter in Poland (“Pope Francis meets with Ronald Lauder at Vatican,”
September 3). You also wrote that the pontiff appointed someone from the Vatican
to investigate the issue.
Good news it was – so you might imagine our
surprise and disappointment when we received information that the Vatican has
The ban on ritual slaughter in Poland is a delicate and
complicated matter. Misleading information is the last thing needed.MEIR
Warsaw APOLOGY The Jerusalem Post apologizes to readers over the errors
and misquotations in “Boutique living in Baka,” which appeared in the Real
Estate supplement published on September 18. We will run a corrected version of
the article in an upcoming issue of the paper.