Letters: Marathon woman

Rarely have I read such an emotional, beautifully descriptive and uplifting article as Melanie Lidman’s “unique spirit of city helped us over finish line.”

Jerusalem Marathon starting line 311 (photo credit: Jerusalem Municipality )
Jerusalem Marathon starting line 311
(photo credit: Jerusalem Municipality )
Marathon woman
Sir, – Rarely have I read such an emotional, beautifully descriptive and uplifting article as Melanie Lidman’s “The unique spirit of the city helped us over the finish line” (March 27) on the Jerusalem Marathon.
It actually brought tears to my eyes.
Sir, – Melanie Lidman’s frontpage reportage on the Jerusalem Marathon was a gem. She has truly raised the bar for other Post reporters.
Sir, – The Post’s reference to the Jerusalem Marathon as the “first-ever” in the city troubled me. The first-ever Jerusalem Marathon was run (pun intended) on October 27, 1992.
It was a glorious day. The start and finish were at Teddy Stadium.
Streets were closed. The winner was from China. Medals were distributed to all who finished.
The usual tee shirts and race posters were all around town.
To those of us who participated and finished (in a time of just over four hours, thank you very much), that day will live in our hearts, aching knees and sore feet as the date of the true firstever Jerusalem Marathon.
DOV SCHWARTZ Jerusalem Melanie Lidman responds: This was the first International Jerusalem Marathon, meaning it was approved by the international governing body of marathon races and thus the city’s first officially sanctioned marathon.
Sir, – Congratulations to Mayor Nir Barkat and the city for putting on a marvelous race.
The logistics of such an event are overwhelming and we should be very proud to finally attract runners from outside our country.
However, if we want to compete with other top cities we must be competitive. We can’t attract the top runners of the world by offering just $11,500 in total prize money. How in heaven’s name can we be so insulting? With all our hills, the Jerusalem Marathon can never compete against the record times posted elsewhere. We must take this negative and turn it into a positive.
I propose that the winner receive $1 million, $400,000 for second place, and $250,000 for third place, and that they be put up for a month at one of the top Eilat hotels to recuperate.
Hopefully, too, next we can host the very first one-mile Skippy Run (skipping and running at the same time), which itself would attract thousands of contestants and visitors.
The writer is a proponent of skipping rope as a way to fitness and health
Sir, – I want to commend you on the excellent information you published on the route, map and closure of streets due to the Jerusalem Marathon (“First Jerusalem Marathon hits City of Gold streets,” March 25). Next time, though, please publish it a day before the event, as not everyone reads the paper the first thing in the morning.
Sir, – “IDF commander warns of growing anarchy in Gaza” (March 27) says that, according to Hamas, “Gazan groups had agreed to halt their rocket fire at Israel if the latter stops launching strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip.”
Let no one allude to this by using the term hudna. Rather than “ceasefire,” hudna means “respite in war” between Islamic and non-Islamic forces.
The authoritative Islamic Encyclopedia (London, 1922) defines hudna as a “temporary treaty” that can be approved or abrogated by Islamic religious leaders, depending on whether or not it serves the interests of Islam, and which cannot last for more than 10 years.
As the ultimate hudna, it says, “The Hudaybia treaty, concluded by Muhammed with the unbelievers of Mecca in 628, provided a precedent for subsequent treaties which the prophet’s successors made with non-Muslims.
Muhammed made a hudna with a tribe of Jews back then to give him time to grow his forces, then broke the treaty and wiped them out. Although this treaty was violated within three years from the time that it was concluded, most jurists concur that the maximum period of peace with the enemy should not exceed 10 years since it was originally agreed that the Hudaybia treaty should last 10 years." Yasser Arafat consistently referred to the Oslo process as a hudna in the spirit of the Hudaybia treaty, as have the Hamas spokespeople in each of the previous three hudnas the group agreed to in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
More than tolerant
Sir, – Regarding your March 27 editorial (“What Israel tolerates”), some people have criticized the “Nakba law” as another chink in the armor of Israeli democracy. It would behoove those individuals to reread the law and rethink their position.
Since when is a country required to financially support organizations that actively call for its demise? This law in no way limits Arabs’ freedom to continue to incite against Israel. All it does is withdraw state money used for funding such activities.
Israel tolerates far more than can reasonably be expected from a democrat and civilized society. Thank God, democracy in Israel is alive and well!
HAIM M. LERNER Ganei Tikva
Sir, – “What Israel tolerates” is outstanding. It lucidly and persuasively explains the extremely important “Nakba law.”
It should be translated into Hebrew and Arabic and circulated to as wide a readership as possible.
HERTZEL KATZ Ramat Hasharon
Not just the victims Sir, – You recently published articles on anti-Zionism in Canada, and now the column “Is academic freedom still honored in British universities?” (Comment & Features, March 24) by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, which gives the impression that Jews are the victims.
But they’re not only the victims.
Britain has a disproportionate number of radical Jewish anti- Zionists, including the group Jews for Justice for Palestinians, which counts influential people.
In British newspapers such as the Guardian, The Independent and The Times, the letter-writers and signers of petitions denouncing Israel are dominated by Jews. In Toronto, the outrageous group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid at the large gay pride parade was organized by two Jewish lesbians, and the recent local Israeli Apartheid Week was highlighted by Jewish speakers.
And it is going to get far worse. The mirror image of mainstream Jews who worship the God of the Torah are Jews who idolize the god of anti- Zionism, bolstered by the everincreasing number of Jews who are products of assimilation and intermarriage. Even if Israel ends its occupation of all Palestinian territory, they will demonize Israel over its treatment of Israeli Arabs, even though other democracies have similar problems with their minorities.
Sir, – I would be interested to know how much of the sentiment expressed in Rabbi Sacks’s article he has felt free to express in the UK.
Egged’s good side
Sir, – On March 23, my wife and I, both pensioners, booked a bus journey to Eilat from Haifa. Due to a misunderstanding, we missed the bus by two minutes.
Standing in the bus station, forlorn with our suitcases, an Egged official asked us if he could help. As soon as he heard our predicament, he telephoned the bus driver and told him to wait for us at Atlit. He loaded us and our luggage into his private car and took us to the waiting bus, into which he loaded us and our suitcases.
Kol hakavod, Egged!