Letters to the editor, January 1

Clarification Sir, - The expression of our identity, as used in the eye-catching excerpt for the article "Abused for our beliefs in Beersheba" (December 29), was edited and its meaning changed. I did not write we are "converts to Christianity" but "we are Jews who believe that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah." This change in what I wrote perpetuates the impression that we are no longer Jewish and have departed from faith in the God of Israel. My article makes it very clear that our faith is based upon what is written by Moses and the Prophets of Israel. In addition, the photo accompanying the article was quite misleading. I am not associated with Jews for Jesus and neither is the congregation in Beersheba. HOWARD BASS Beersheba An 'F' for E1 Sir, - President Bush, as the Post noted in its editorial "Jerusalem's dilemma" (December 28), raised the possibility in his famous later to Prime Minister Sharon that final-status negotiations may not end with a complete Israeli return to the pre-Six Day War borders in recognition of the "facts" which Israel has created since then. However, the US also made clear this was not a blanket license to create still more "facts," such as called for by the E1 plan, ahead of such negotiations. Development of E1 would drive a wedge between the northern and southern West Bank and effectively prevent a territorially contiguous Palestinian state. A viable Palestinian state is an important Israeli interest, not just a Palestinian cause. It is Israel's only chance to win acceptance and security in the region, and the preferences of the settlers of Ma'aleh Adumim must not take precedence over that. MORDECHAI VENEZIA Jerusalem Revisiting a revisionist Sir, - Do you really imagine that Ze'ev Jabotinsky would have opposed civil marriage, as your feature on Avigdor Lieberman infers ("A mandate for Jewish Zionism," December 29)? "If his 'revisionist' Jewish platform seems at odds with his support of civil marriage," the article said, "...Lieberman, secular with an observant wife, sees no contradiction." Why should he? The father of the Zionist Revisionist movement was Jabotinsky, a classical liberal. Yet it is impossible to attribute to Jabotinsky views that he didn't write about and didn't tackle in his lifetime, so why conclude that Zionist Revisionists should or would oppose - or favor for that matter - civil marriage? One could argue that Jabotinsky himself would have opposed civil marriage only insofar as he would not want to split the Jewish people. One might also argue that on a personal level, though Jewish through-and-through, he would not have cared. The Post should be careful, in this contentious age, of attributing to the greats of yesteryear positions on today's issues. JOSEPH WEISSMAN Paramus, New Jersey Powder-puff Sir, - I'm still trying to decide which inane part of Uri Dan's piece ("Give Spielberg a prize," December 29) is most laughable. Perhaps it's the fact that he bases his entire column - and the suggestion that Spielberg is worthy of some award for the film Munich - on the remarks of dinner companions, without actually having seen the film himself. Or maybe it's the fact that he deems it necessary to tell us that two of those companions were "tall and beautiful Amanda... and the no less lovely Hilary," while later we are edified by the fact that Amanda is "involved in fashion planning;" yes, those are the qualities I look for in giving credibility to a critique about a film which potentially has controversial geo-political ramifications. Or maybe it's the plug he gives to the restaurant where he had this confab, complete with it's name and address, up in the second paragraph. Please don't give us powder-puff columns. LEN WEINSTEIN Ra'anana In his place Sir, - Thank you to Evelyn Gordon for putting Binyamin Netanyahu in his place ("Netanyahu's war on Feiglin," December 29). Netanyahu's behavior is not going to take votes from Kadima but is likely to reduce Likud's support instead. He should be the first one to acknowledge that Feiglin's actions against Oslo were anything but seditious and that charges were only brought because of the government's dictatorial methods back then, methods used again by Sharon this summer. EMANUEL FISCHER Jerusalem Israeli art Sir, - The first Israeli art gallery in New York City was, in fact, on 39th Street and Fifth Ave and not as stated in "Israeli art gets a Manhattan address" (December 27). It was opened as a branch of the Murray S. Greenfield Art Gallery of the Sheraton hotel. Not only did the gallery feature a plethora of arts created solely by Israeli artists, but the Greenfield Gallery also initiated traveling Israel Art Shows throughout the US. MURRAY GREENFIELD Tel Aviv War on drugs Sir, - The sad story of the arrest of kibbutzniks for smuggling drugs ("Police bust drug-smuggling ring run by kibbutzniks," December 27) underscores how pervasive illegal drugs are throughout Israeli society, and how all Israelis are harmed. The Israel Anti Drug Abuse Foundation was established in 1986 as a US-based non-profit to help lead the war on drugs in Israel. We have worked together with the Israel Anti-Drug Authority and are proud of our achievements together, but much more remains to be done. Drugs are an equal opportunity destroyer and we appeal to all who share our love of Israel to join us in this battle for the health and safety of all Israelis. JONATHAN FELDSTEIN Executive Director Israel Anti Drug Abuse Foundation New York jonathanf@antidrugs.gov.il Poetic end to year Across the land, as waters rage And candles mark a bygone age (When Jews defended precious light Against a dark and fearsome might) Reports are grave, "Hamas may win," Ahmadinejad's portentous grin, Kassams down south, Katyushas north Hizbullah's hatred shooting forth A sick PM, our wretched poor, Corruption, smuggling, drugs and more. Wherefore art thou brave Maccabee?Arik? Amir? perchance Bibi? Which star will grab next year's front page? Past Ides of March who'll rule the stage? Dispatching trust with candid talks - An olive branch for doves and hawks. YONATAN SCHNEIDER Jerusalem