Letters to the Editor

Israel not interested in peace no matter how many propagate it

I have read many silly statements on the Middle East but Maerton Davis writing from Kfar Vradim in Galilee (August 23) really takes the biscuit. Mr Davis should listen to Palestinian spokesperson the next time he speaks in English or Arabic when he states that the two-state solution argued by the UN and every sensible person would bring peace to the region. Israel has broken every promise and resolution by the UN and holds the record for defiance of UN resolutions. What is the suggestion for peace he asks most cynically? It is simple. Israel should give back the occupied territories and the land it took from Palestinians and keep within its own borders. In Israeli law it is forbidden to sell land to a Palestinian, thus Israel is a racist apartheid state reinforced with recent legislation. Mr Davis can live in Kfar Vradim if he is, as the Mayor states, ‘Jewish, Zionist or secular’. This village which translates as ‘The Village of the Roses’ is built on land expropriated from the destruction of a Palestinian village Tarshiha and recently some of those same villagers attempted to buy property in that village but the sale was halted for reasons above. He states no Arab leader ever stated they wanted Muslims to live with Christians, Druze, Jewish in peace. He fails to accept that in Palestine many Christians, Muslims and Jews did live peacefully until the occupation and the advent of racist Jewish settlers. They have burned down the Christian Church of Loaves and Fishes, murdered Muslims at prayer in the Al Aqsa Mosque, barred Palestinian Christians from attending midnight Mass in Bethlehem and continue to shoot at non-Jewsih properties and burn mosques and properties in what they call ‘price tag’ ie for Palestinians staying on their own land.
Ten thousand Palestinians have been killed by Israel in the last decade thousands of acres of olive groves burned  and  all with impunity.
Druze and Palestinians, the real Semitic people, have been denied equal rights in Israel and its occupied territories. The use of the term exclusively by Jews is discriminatory and false and anyone converting to Judaism does not become Semitic as Mr Davis would have us believe. Israel is a theocracy and therefore not democratic or interested in peace, no matter how many friends of Israel propagate it. 

FRANCIS RICE
Belfast BT11

 

Could Christ have brought an end to military empire?

Could we see at this time of recurring change in the Catholic Vatican leadership, a relationship hitherto not discussed by academics or intellectuals.

The Roman Empire was 500 years old when Christ was born and 400 years after the Roman Empire collapsed.

Can we see a great spiritual leader like Christ having that effect on a brutal and callous empire of military night?

The Romans had an emperor to rule them and a forum of senators to keep them in check. The next emperor was usually selected by the senators or if a top military leader had successfully crushed the likes of Gaul he would come in triumph and get the thumbs up from the people.

The people were merchants and traders, shopkeepers and the like; there were slaves in those days and some freemen also, many of them former slaves.
The rest were farmers and they formed the highly equipped soldiers of the legions who by law had to serve until they were 60. After that they were granted land and a pension for the rest of their life. 
Is it possible that the vast change from a mighty military empire, the largest ever seen in that time, could have been brought to an end gradually by the coming of Christ. He came from the Old Testament of Moses because he was a Jew and therefore he had already been taught the Ten Commandments in his synagogue.  

Today all Christians of any denomination know of the Ten Commandments and of the Bible is a way of conducting your life by following the teaching therein.
Can you see the Emperor of Rome (military) becoming his Holiness (religious) the Pope. Can we see his cardinals doing away with the military senators and becoming the cardinals purveying the peace to the world instead and the bishops of lower rank being responsible as legates running a diocese locally? 

What about that idea? Can it be true that the son of God did all that?

DM DALZELL
Belfast BT6

 

Stormont could provide new out-of-town shopping experience

What a day Tuesday August 28 was, waking up to Northern Ireland’s 591st day of no government, a [shameful] record we’re told, with no foreseeable hope of one. 

I took myself into town for retail therapy treatment for vague gloominess only to witness the immolation of a building that was a premier tooth in the smile Belfast manages (somehow) to beam to the world. 

I think I was clinically depressed by teatime.
TV news programmes ran both stories as mains showing the old sandstone monolith of Bank Buildings disintegrate, followed by the polished interior of a laid-up Stormont. Hang on I thought. Every cloud etc. and two minuses make a plus. 

Primark will need premises for the next while, through Christmas and on. Stormont has good parking and is on red bus routes, including Glider. Food outlets are already there. It could be the new out-of-town shopping experience. All that acreage of floor space could be better used distracting us shopping, and not thinking about the state were are in. You know it makes sense. There’d even be gainful employment for MLAs as floor-walkers etc – if they want work.

NORMAN MEHARRY
Belfast BT4

 

Restore Bank Buildings for benefit of Belfast

It was a terrible blow to Belfast city centre and the staff of Primark that The Bank Buildings was badly damaged in the severe fire. The city owes a tremendous thank you to the firefighters who fought so well to contain the fire.

We do hope that the façade of the building can be saved for the benefit of the city.

The building was an iconic feature of the city centre and it is very important from both a tourism and retail point of view to the future of our city.

We trust the City Council and authorities will do all in their power to aid the restoration of the building for the benefit of all the citizens of Belfast.

PATRICK GREER
Secretary to The Belfast Civic Trust

 

Church is divorced from ordinary people

I read Tom Kelly’s article (August 20) slating Mary McAleese for her stance on the way the Church treats the issue of the role of women and the treatment of gay people.

Mary is voicing views of the way many of us in the Church are thinking.
I taught in Catholic education for 39 years both as a teacher and principal and I agree that the Church has become divorced from ordinary people and the lives they live.

Increasingly it has nothing in common with the next and future generations. I applaud many for opening a door that hopefully will blow the cobwebs from a decaying Church which sometimes puts the organisation ahead of the individual.

ANN KEARNEY
Belfast BT11 

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