Letters to the editor, February 2020

Published January 31, 2020

Talking about Israel and Palestine in a post-truth era

In “You weep before you get to Bethlehem” (Dec. 2019, p.1), the article references the “West Bank” as “occupied land,” the inference being the Israelis have no right to be there when in fact that territory had been designated for a Jewish state under the League of Nations Mandate—and Jews had lived there for millennia. Their numbers rose and fell depending upon their treatment by various invaders, including Arabs, due to massacres and deportations.

In 1948, Jordan annexed the “West Bank” illegally, according to international law. Israel, legally and under international law, retook it in the Six-Day War. Jordan gave up all claims to the “West Bank” in 1988.

Since coming under the control of the Palestinian Authority, the economy of Bethlehem has shrunk, and its Christian-Arab population diminished—due to Muslim encroachment, not Israeli policies. Christians, as Dhimmi, are being forced out of their towns by Muslims.

Finally, Mahmoud Abbas is not the president of Palestine—no such state exists (outside of wishful thinking). But then, he believed The Palestine Post was an Arab newspaper (it’s now The Jerusalem Post), and he holds a doctorate in Holocaust denial—all flags of the post-truth era we now inhabit, pretending things which are real are not, and things which aren’t, are.

Margaret Rouhani
Saskatoon, Sask.

Re: Re: The people and tyranny

I do not wish to abuse this public forum, but in response to Charles Demers (“Letters: Give voice to the people”, Dec. 2019, p.5), the so-called tyranny of the majority, in my October letter (“Letters: Our rules exist for a reason,” Oct. 2019, p.5), was in reference to the majority vote in the House of Bishops at General Synod. To Ken Wightman (“Letters: Tyranny of the majority?”, Dec. 2019, p.5) and others who support a simple majority (50% + 1) in votes of fundamental importance, I have one word:


The Rev. Derek Perry
Kitchener, Ont.

Father Christmas is coming to town

Why do you devote a whole page explaining the origins of the term “Santa Claus” (“St. Nicholas: A legendary figure with contemporary relevance,” Dec. 2019, p.3) and its derivatives, and add nothing at all about Father Christmas—which followed the British Empire, and the Anglican Church around one-fifth of the world?

Mark Sproule-Jones
Guelph, Ont.

Health and climate change?

The November issue of the Journal brought us several excellent statements on health and healing.

Nowhere—except in a valuable but oblique reference in the guest column by Albert Dumont (“Considering an Anglican apology,” Nov. 2019, p. 12)—was there recognition of the catastrophic effects of climate change on health: personally, nationally and globally. Why?

Frank Thompson
Parry Sound, Ont.


Dear Frank,

Last summer, Anglican Journal launched Epiphanies, a new digital magazine. Our first issue focused entirely on climate and ecology. If you don’t have a computer, a friend might be able to print any articles that interest you—printable files are linked from each article. And don’t forget to check out the latest issue of Epiphanies, published in fall 2019.

Matthew Townsend



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