Is it in New York or Chicago? Thank you for the informative and insightful review of the production of Sunday in the Park with George at Signature Theater (“Portrait of a lonely artist,” WJW, Aug, 28). Please let your readers know that while New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has a world-class collection, Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of la Grand Jatte” does not, as stated in the article, “still hang (there) today.” For the pleasure of viewing the painting, visit the Art Institute of Chicago, where it is prominently and artfully displayed.
RICHARD MILLSTEIN Potomac
An 1884 study of French painter George Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” completed two years before the painting on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, to which the letter writer refers, is indeed hanging in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Our review should have identified the Met’s version as one of 50 studies Seurat completed of this pointillist masterpiece. Well-crafted article I want to thank Washington Jewish Week for Lisa Traiger’s well-crafted and sensitive article on my personal project documenting D.C.-area street memorials to victims of violence (“Photographer Lloyd Wolf documents shrines for region’s murder victims,” WJW, Sept. 4) I thought she conveyed a clear and thorough sense of this complex and troubling issue, and appropriately placed it within a Jewish context for your readers. It was a pleasure to work with Lisa and to see her very appropriate and moving piece. I am honored and appreciate the opportunity to have my decade-long work shared in your publication. Kol hakavod.
LLOYD WOLF Arlington
Dangerous, deceptive The article “Israel’s land seizure: political favor or West Bank game-changer?” (WJW, Sept. 4) is both dangerous and deceptive. It ignores history and misrepresents facts. It uses terminology that invokes a false narrative. At issue is the Israeli government’s declaration that 1,000 acres of land adjacent to the Gush Etzion, be designated “state land” rather than remain land under the control of the Israeli military. This designation prevents unauthorized construction by Palestinians on land not their own and solidifies an area expected to remain under Israeli control in any future peace agreement. The land was not “seized,” implying illegality. It is part of Area C, under Israel military and civilian control according to the Oslo Peace Accords signed in 1995. The writer ignores Oslo, adopting the incorrect narrative that Israel is “occupying” Arab land and illegally expanding “settlements.” In fact, Gush Etzion was established in the 1920s. There is no history of Arab ownership of any of this land. Sales finds Israel guilty for the collapse of the 2013-14 peace talks with the Palestinian Authority and chastises Israel for “reneging” on a scheduled release of Palestinian prisoners. This is deceptive. Israel had already released prisoners in three stages in anticipation of progress in peace talks. A fourth release was conditional on progress in these talks, which failed to materialize. Once again, Israel made a concession and got nothing in return. And once again, a journalist has failed to expose the true reason for lack of peace: Refusal by the Palestinians to acknowledge and accept the Jewish state of Israel.
WARREN MANISON Potomac
Why are we funding UNRWA? Finally this question is being raised in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Senator Ben Cardin and other senators. Since UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) was started 64 years ago in the aftermath of the Arab-Israeli War, we have funded at least three generations of Palestinians, most of whom were born long after 1948. In every other situation, refugees get over their displacement and work to build new lives in host countries. UNRWA is the only refugee relief agency that grants refugee status to endless generations, keeping its beneficiaries in dependency with no incentive to make new lives for themselves. Charged to provide emergency relief, health care, and social services to Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war, UNRWA is providing services normally provided by the local body. In Gaza, this is Hamas. UNRWA is essentially subsidizing Hamas, thereby freeing its funds for building tunnels and other forms of terrorism. UNRWA gets its money from voluntary contributions by many countries, with the U.S. being the largest donor. U.S. taxpayers gave UNRWA $294 million in 2013 and since 1950 we have given the agency $5 billion. Yes, U.S. taxpayers are funding an agency that subsidizes terrorists, employs terrorists in its facilities, allows its facilities to be used to store weapons and suppresses the local economy by giving able-bodied people handouts because their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were refugees. In the current conflict between Hamas and Israel, Hamas used at least three UNRWA schools to store rockets, and it placed missile launchers adjacent to UNRWA facilities to draw Israeli fire and endanger the people seeking shelter under the U.N. blanket. It’s time to stop funding an agency that has outlived its purpose and aids terrorists. Write to your senators and representatives and President Obama and demand that we stop funding an agency that provides support to terrorists and keeps people on the dole in perpetuity.
MARJORIE KRAVITZ Rockville