June 23: If I lose thee, O Jerusalem

JOHN LALOR: If Jerusalem falls, there will be nothing left of any worth.

If I lose thee, O Jerusalem Sir, - Daniel Pipes's "What Jewish ties to Jerusalem?" (June 20) reminded me of why the present struggle for Jerusalem matters so much. I am not Israeli, nor am I a Jew. I am only temporarily living in Israel. I am not even a practicing Christian. Thus one might see my interest in the fate of Jerusalem and Israel as rather unfounded. That would be naive. For instance, though I do not pray, the effective loss of Bethlehem - another symbol of Christianity in the Middle East - and East Jerusalem matters, primarily because Islamic force should never, ever prevail over history and reason. How sad that so few people in post-Christian Europe seem to care. Pipes cited the Palestinian attempt to obliterate history by placing Arabs and Palestinians throughout history where Jews and Israelites genuinely stand. The revisionism history is presently suffering applies not only to the Jews in the Holy Land. It is endemic. Western liberal democracy, capitalism and our achievements are slowly being eroded, replaced by a vicious, regressive world view. Palestinian alteration of history vis-a-vis Jerusalem is but one example of this crisis, one stage in the devaluation of all I hold dear in the world. If Jerusalem falls, there will be nothing left of any worth. JOHN LALOR Tel Aviv What's a violation? Sir, - Justice Aharon Barak says that the "Lack of civil marriage [is] a major violation of human rights" (June 20). A real violation of human rights is when he takes the position that everything can be litigated by him and his cohorts. A real violation of rights is when he disqualifies a supremely qualified - pun intended - law professor from the Supreme Court because she has an "agenda," and it differs from his. MARCHAL KAPLAN Jerusalem Offensive Sir, - As a Jew of Spanish origin, I found it offensive that in "The Lost Jews" (UpFront, June 9) you referred to forcibly-converted Jews as Marranos. This term, the definition of which is "pig," was designated by the Inquisition to describe our brother and sisters. We, the Jewish people, use the terms Anusim, Conversos or Crypto-Jews. MOSHE BONDAR Miami Beach We don't need no education Sir, - Re: "Another mark on the wall" (Photo, June 22): Congratulations to publicity-seeker Roger Waters, British rocker and Pink Floyd co-founder, for pulling off a great stunt by dramatically spray-painting graffiti on the security fence near Bethlehem. His "No Thought Control!" was a PR man's dream, garnering front-page press photos in Israel and probably in many locations hostile to Israel. Let us, two former Los Angeles guys who now live in Israel, enclosed by "The Wall" - and who remember his controversial L.A. concert in 1980 - repeat the immortal words of his hit "Another brick in the wall, Part 2": "We don't need no education. We don't need no mind control!" So shalom, Roger, from those who will stay behind with the ugly mark you leave in yet another tinderbox situation, while you go on to the next gig. RICH MACALES Jerusalem JEFF MACALES Modi'in Sir, - I hope Roger Waters will spare a thought for why Israel had to build the security fence, namely, to keep out terrorists and suicide bombers. Y. Silver Jerusalem