Sir-- I commend Salam Fayyad for his visionary initiative and Samir Ghattas for his supportive analysis in 'Let's try something else' (17-23 September, Al-Ahram Weekly ). Maybe it's too early -- and too daring at that -- to take the ideas thus expressed a bit further. But let's assume some imaginative and courageous Palestinian leader draws inspiration from the way the Soviet Union was deliberately felled in order to deprive its enemy of an enemy, thus causing its enemy to be destabilised and eventually disappear. Translation: said visionary Palestinian leader may find the necessary support among his brethren for a new message to their Israeli brethren, which is to deny them henceforth the indispensable function of being the Israelis' punching bag. Without giving up any of their rights, Palestinians who want to escape from the current gridlock -- take the high road of dignity and wellbeing, and assume the leadership towards a mutually beneficial and lasting solution to the Middle Eastern conflict. They might in the process build up the indispensable institutions, competence, economic basis and respectability for an internationally recognised Palestinian state-in-exile as a forerunner to the thus organically-grown future unified Palestine.
Sir-- I thank you for the informative article 'Butter, butter, everywhere' (10-16 September, Al-Ahram Weekly ) by Lubna Abdel-Aziz. As Germans I can only confirm that it is cooked/baked in a good kitchen only with butter and/or good olive oil.
What I do miss very much in Egypt is good bread. White bread is filling temporarily, however, includes no valuable trace elements. Why isn't there healthier rye bread (there should have been at the Pharaohs' times until the people thought that white bread was more distinguished)? It supports the intestinal activity and is even more filling. It is time that Egyptians change their eating habits in relation to bread, otherwise they will grow fatter, especially their children.
Sir-- Re 'Exercising Entebbe' (10-16 September, Al-Ahram Weekly ) Israel's foreign policy interests are, of course, served by helping Ethiopia and other African nations, but why does Mr Nkrumah perceive this as a slap in Egypt's face? After all, the Arab-Muslim coalition in the UN has dominated the agenda of the world with their anti-Israel rhetoric at the expense of the African continent which has suffered famine and wholesale slaughter at the hands of warlords and dictatorships. If Egypt and the rest of the Arab world really cared about Africa, it would be reflected in their actions to help Sudan, Somalia and other countries suffering from Arab domination and neglect.
No 9/11 proof
Sir-- In 'American Muslims eight years after 9/11' (17-23 September, Al-Ahram Weekly ), it is sadly true that Muslims in the US are, as you write, "the prime targets of the post-9/11 reconfiguration of US laws, policies, and priorities that have not been changed under the Obama administration." And that they are suffering from distrust.
Yet, one of the main reasons of this unfortunate situation is the failure of the Muslim community and Muslim intellectuals to expose the blood-libel affixed to Muslims regarding the events of 9/11 and more generally regarding the existence of so-called Islamic terrorism. There exists no shred of evidence that Muslims (fanatics or otherwise) committed the mass murder of 9/11. The FBI posted the Arabic names and photographs of 19 individuals "suspected" of having hijacked aircraft on 9/11. But there exists no evidence that any of these individuals actually boarded any of the four aircraft that allegedly crashed on 9/11. There were no certified passenger lists. No boarding cards. No certified video recordings. No eyewitnesses of their boarding. And no positive identification of their bodies. Without evidence regarding their boarding of the aircraft, these 19 individuals must be considered innocent. To accuse any of them constitutes shameful and racist defamation and an attack upon the dignity of their families. By extension, these accusations are an attack on all Muslims. No Muslim organisation should remain silent towards such gross defamation that affects the wellbeing of all Muslims in the United States and Europe. The time has come to speak up for justice and human dignity.
Although I am Jewish by birth and secular in outlook, I am aware how false accusations against Jews led to pogroms and the killings of Jews. This may not repeat itself today against Muslims.
The correct link to the full report referred to in 'Dividing war spoils' (17-23 September, Al-Ahram Weekly ) is: http://www.hic- mena.org/documents/SellingRefugeesLand2009.pdf
In 'Obama's Vietnam' (17-23 September, Al-Ahram Weekly) the correct acronym is ICOS, the International Council on Security and Development.