Letters to the Travel editor

August 17, 2012

The state of Israel

I was enjoying the piece on Israeli breakfasts in the Travel section [“Morning glories: Israel’s breakfasts can’t be beat,” Aug. 12] until I got to the penultimate paragraph. After a whole article with wonderfully descriptive language and a great discussion of the best breakfasts Jerusalem has to offer, I was surprised to find such a politically motivated description of Jerusalem as “Israeli-occupied.”

As a former newspaper employee and avid Post reader for my entire life, I was shocked to see such a blatant bias in an otherwise lovely travel piece. “Israeli-occupied territory” generally refers to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It has never been used to describe Jerusalem (especially not West Jerusalem, where the author ventured for the reviews in her story). Moreover, the Mamilla mall is steps outside the gates of the Old City in an area that no one would consider “occupied.”

I cannot understand how a sentence like this gets published. It shows an irresponsible lack of oversight by the editorial staff. Most of the time you get it right. This time you did not.

Geoff Chesman

Potomac

Unfortunately, the writer of the Israeli breakfast article apparently is ignorant of history when she describes Jerusalem as Israeli-occupied. The status of Jerusalem, part of the original League of Nations mandate for a Jewish homeland, was not decided until the wars that the Arabs waged to destroy the Jewish state, with Israel, after the 1948 war, in possession of the major area of the city, but Jordan controlling the eastern section and rendering it Judenfrei despite its Jewish quarter, which had existed for centuries. After the wars of 1967 and 1973, all of Jerusalem became the capital of Israel, with the Jewish population of that city 70 percent. Jerusalem is not Israeli-occupied but is the capital of a sovereign nation.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

A vote for Southwest

Christopher Elliott’s column about the computer glitch at Southwest Airlines [“The Navigator: An airline deal goes awry, to the max,” Aug. 12] is a tempest in a teapot. Some companies won’t even attempt to correct mistakes, but it sounds as if Southwest did everything it could. It also paid any expenses incurred by customers and gave everyone affected $150 vouchers. To suggest that anyone should not fly with Southwest, even if it costs more, is bad advice.

Brent Spence

Arlington

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