Setting the Record Straight in Jerusalem

The author of the opinion-page article "Exploiting Religion in Jerusalem," Oct. 3, is wrong on several important points.

The fear that Jewish extremists may attempt to blow up Muslim holy sites which they deem as "interfering" with their expansionist plans is not unfounded. There have been several attempts to do just that. The tunnel is only a spark in the festering situation among many Palestinians.

When the author discusses the Mufti of Jerusalem, who supposedly incited riots against Jews, he forgets to mention the massacres the Jewish "freedom fighters" were perpetrating on the Christian and Muslim Arab population and continued to commit until Israel's formation.

The Palestinian Authority is far from perfect. However, the Israelis are certainly fanning the flames of unrest by impeding development in the areas controlled by the authority. In fact, Israel has on many occasions prevented donor organizations from entering the authority areas. One such example is the Arab Fund which has given up (for the moment) and has put its funds for the authority on hold. It is very difficult to make the case that Israel has done anything to build hopes among the Palestinians except with unkept agreements and deferred discussions.

Jafar H. Siddiqui

Lynnwood, Wash.

'Cozy' mysteries still ticking

A premature death knell has sounded for the category of mystery books known as the sweet old-lady "cozy" (as opposed to the tough-guy private-eye type) in the article "Mystery Book Trends," Sept. 30.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the news of the cozy's death is greatly exaggerated. What has occurred is this once-narrow genre is encompassing much more material.

Beth Foxwell

Bethesda, Md.

All letters are subject to editing. Send letters to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@CSPS.COM.

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