Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Suzanne Silverthorn

It’s not too late to take a drive into the neighborhoods to enjoy the holiday light displays. In Gypsum, there’s plenty to choose from, including the seven neighborhood winners from this year’s annual lighting contest, sponsored by Alpine Bank, Beveridge Real Estate, Castle Peak Automotive Center, Columbine Market, Holy Cross Energy and Stop ‘N Save. Start with the Michael Taylor residence at 521 Second St., then over a few blocks to view the Chris Warner display at 218 Eagle St. From there, head up Red Hill Road to view the town’s overall winner, a magical display by Rex and Rita Bossow at 310 Strohm Circle. While you’re up top, be sure to take a look at the town below. What a view! Next, head down the hill and over to Cotton Ranch and enjoy the lights hosted by Kevin and Janelle Kottenstette at 381 Black Bear. Then it’s off to Eagle River Estates to view the most-decorated street in town, Riverview Road. From there, head over to Meadow Court and see the fanciful lights by Ree Farrell at 708-A, then on to Frank and Bonnie Ward’s home at the entrance to town, accompanied by the new holiday lights at the roundabout. Then, off to Buckhorn Valley to see the Thomas Klein lights at 55 Aztec Ct. These seven displays are just the beginning of a delightful trip through Gypsum’s neighborhoods; all are intended to bring cheer to anyone who passes by. On behalf of the town of Gypsum and the organizing committee, we’d like to thank everyone for their participation and sharing during this 11th annual event. Happy holidays! Suzanne Silverthorn Event Organizer Gypsum Arab problemsSeveral weeks ago I wrote a letter and was criticized by a friend that I was not clear as to what is actually going on in the Middle East as far as Israel is concerned, so I thought some clarification was in order.In a speech given before the board of directors a of an international company in April 2004, Haim Harari, the former president of the Weitzman Institute of Science, stated clearly that Israel is not the central issue of Arab unrest: “Why do I put aside Israel and its own immediate neighborhood? Because Israel and any problems related to it, in spite of what you might read or hear in the world media, is not the central issue, and has never been the central issue in the upheaval in the region. Yes, there is a 100-year-old Israeli-Arab conflict, but it is not where the main show is. The millions who died in the Iran-Iraq war had nothing to do with Israel. The mass murder happening right now in Sudan, where the Arab Moslem regime is massacring its black Christian citizens, has nothing to do with Israel. The frequent reports from Algeria about the murders of hundreds of civilians in one village or another by other Algerians have nothing to do with Israel. Saddam Hussein did not invade Kuwait, endangered Saudi Arabia and butchered his own people because of Israel. Egypt did not use poison gas against Yemen in the ’60s because of Israel. Assad the father did not kill tens of thousands of his own citizens in one week in El Hamma in Syria because of Israel. The Taliban control of Afghanistan and the civil war there had nothing to do with Israel. The Libyan blowing up of the Pan-Am flight had nothing to do with Israel, and I could go on and on and on.”It is my opinion that Arab problems are just that, Arab problems. They blame Israel, the United States and just about anybody who isn’t Muslim for their 14th century behavior. The massacre of hundreds of Jews in the 1920s was not about Israel. There was no Israel. It’s about Islamic domination in the Middle East. The violence that is aimed at Israel is by groups who have no interest in democracy and no interest in making peace with Israel. The Palestinians are using the prospect of democratic elections as a cover for attacks against Israel. If the violence was aimed at fellow Palestinian Arabs, this might be an expected course of events. However, the violence is directed at Jews and Israelis who are not part of the “Arab” democratic process. The right of Jews to live in peace and security in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, even among Arabs, is a basic principle of democratic enterprise. To talk of the expulsion of Jews and Israelis from an Arab democratic state is hypocritical. In line with the philosophy of the late Israeli statesman, Menachem Begin, the Arabs of Gaza, Judea and Samaria are entitled to autonomy without violating the rights of their Jewish and Christian neighbors. Elections and democracy cannot begin until the rights of the Israelis to live in peace and security are recognized and respected by Palestinian Arabs.Arthur KittayEagle