October 18: Wishful thinking?

It's magnanimous of Ray Hanania to inform us of his vision, were he only a Jew, of forgiving everything everyone has done to the Jews.

Wishful thinking? Sir, – It is very magnanimous of Ray Hanania to inform us of his vision, were he only a Jew, of forgiving virtually everything everyone has done to the Jews over the centuries (“If I were a Jew,” Yalla Peace, October 16).
Besides asking atonement for his own sins, he tells us “I would also ask my enemies to atone for their own.” How lofty, just like his hero Nelson Mandela.
Yet for the most part, he seems to imply that only Jews and, by extension, Israel are the guilty parties in the ongoing Arab-Palestinian conflict and the often outright rejection of Israel. While informing us of the fact that he has “never heard any [Arab Christian clergy] preach that Arabs should accept Israel as a state to bring about peace,” he still implores his “fellow” Jews not to “use the Arab rejection of partition in 1948 as a means of putting the blame for the conflict on Arabs, or of rejecting the two-state solution.”
This is superseded only by his apparent ignorance (or perhaps denial) of history, where it has only been in very recent times that certain Christian denominations have come to terms with the legitimacy of Judaism and asked for any kind of forgiveness for thousands of years of indescribable persecution, discrimination, denial of human rights and even mass-murder against Jews.
Hatzor Haglilit
Sir, – I am not sure which Christians Ray Hanania has been talking to. Perhaps it is those individuals who say they are Christians but have no knowledge of what Jesus taught his Jewish disciples.
Bible-believing Christians know they have been forgiven by what Jesus did for all mankind on the cross – the once and forever atonement.
But to say that Christians never have to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness is what a true believer would call very “cheap grace.”
As believers we are exhorted to bring our sins before God in a place of repentance whenever we are aware that a sin has been committed. To ask forgiveness is only part of the message; as true believers we must also love those who have done us wrong.
A yefeh nefesh
Sir, – Gershon Baskin’s involvement in the successful negotiation process over the release of Gilad Schalit (“Post columnist held secret talks with Hamas,” October 14) demonstrates in a most remarkable manner what one yefeh nefesh [bleeding heart, but literally gentle soul – ed.] can do.
By challenging a political precept, he opened up the way toward a moral encounter with the enemy. Schalit’s redemption in return for the release of a thousand Palestinian prisoners is an act of which we should all be proud.
Sir, – Congratulations to Gershon Baskin for searching his soul on Yom Kippur to develop a list of Israeli actions he cannot abide (“Confessions of a ‘yefeh nefesh,’” Encountering Peace, October 11) . Interestingly, he fails to specify anything that the Palestinians have done to forestall peace, though he glibly admits that resolving the conflict “is not solely dependent on Israel.”
Let us be clear: Baskin’s peace camp does not have a monopoly on morality. It is entirely possible to oppose the actions to which he objects (e.g., “price tag” attacks) and still not support his vision of peace. Many truly moral people have concluded through their own soul searching that the peace agreement he claims to know “to the minutest detail” is a recipe for the destruction of the Jewish state – itself an immoral act.
To them, Baskin is not a self-hating Jew, just dangerously naïve.

Zichron Ya’acov
Medical morass
Sir, – What part of “I quit” does Judge Nili Arad, president of the National Labor Court, not get (“National Labor Court orders doctors to return to work immediately,” October 14)? My advice to the medical residents who resigned: Stand fast and ignore the court order. It’s not up to your employer to decide whether he accepts your resignation. It’s your own decision.
You quit, period. That means you’re no longer employed. If your employer wants you back badly enough, he or she will make it worthwhile.
No one can force you to work against your will.

Sir, – Let us hope that some common sense prevails in the Health Ministry (“470 residents stay away from work, but hospitals cope,” October 12) and the idea of charging Israeli doctors who study here and then emigrate is put firmly in the wastebasket.
If there is one sure way to ensure that no emigrating doctor will ever return, that would be the way.
It is high time the Israeli government learned that less-senior doctors (and, indeed, other hospital employees) are not slaves.
Sir, – Unrelated to my views on the medical residents’ (and some specialists’) resignations, I express my disgust at a comment made by Dr. Charles Migrom (“‘The hospitals are an asset that the Finance Ministry has bled dry,’” October 12).
After commenting that it would hurt his daughter to move back to the US, he states that he did not see that “these bastards” are leaving any room open. This language is distasteful in the extreme.
Tel Mond
The writer is a retired physician
Sir, – Though I might agree with Dr. Charles Migrom and his feeling for Hadassah Hospital, has he ever been on the other side, that of the patients? As someone with a sick, disabled husband, I spend two or three visits a week to the hospitals and medical services in Jerusalem. If I call in August for a specialist’s appointment and am told that the first one available is in January or April, how should I feel? Mention the magic word sharap (medical treatment provided outside the framework of the public health system), though, and you have the appointment in a week. Why should this be? Why are we always on time yet have to wait an hour or more to see the doctor? I certainly feel doctors should have better working conditions and better pay. But what about the patient?
Siege conditions
Sir, – We have just returned from our first visit to Israel. It was a marvelous trip in the main, and we hope to return in the future.
Beyond the organized part we decided to stay on for a few days of relaxation, as we had been told that Tel Aviv was a nice resort. Our travel agent in the UK booked us into a hotel.
However, when we arrived on October 6 we were told that, although we had booked and paid for three nights of accommodation, Yom Kippur meant that the restaurant was already closing and, apart from a snack and a breakfast, nothing more would be available for the duration of our stay. Other facilities such as room service, bar and swimming pool were also unavailable.
We managed to buy some supplies from the local supermarket to eat (without plates or cutlery!) but spending our holiday in siege conditions was not what we had expected.
We are very mindful of other peoples’ beliefs and practices, but it should be incumbent on an international hotel to advise foreign travel agents of such circumstances and to give non- Jewish customers a choice. To take money and not provide a service is hardly a good business practice.
Worcestershire, UK