Many thanks for your thoughts, ideas and insights! If you have something to say about Vienna or a story you read here, tell us all about it. Send an email to office@metropole.at.

Re: “The Dangers of Denial,” MET 24, February 2018

To the Editor,

As someone who is probably at the opposite end of the political spectrum, I hope you will not be too dismayed if I praise Dardis McNamee’s editorial in the February edition of Metropole. It must have taken considerable moral courage for a liberal or left-liberal to write that and I commend her for having had the guts to do so.

The basic problem, about which liberal governments and media were so long in denial, is that we are dealing not simply with a human rights issue (though with that, too) but with a modern Völkerwanderung. We are also dealing with a “clash of civilisations” which you indirectly allude to – such things as the refusal of 40% of Turkish immigrants to offer the hand to a woman and so forth.

I think it goes deeper than that, and we are in denial about it. Germany is finding this out and even Angela Merkel has realised that she cannot go on pretending that “multiculturalism” as cover for parallel societies is a good idea. The German media has in the past been even more ruthless than the Austrian in covering up the clashes, not only between the host culture and the migrants, but the equally dangerous sectarian clashes between the migrants themselves.

We have very serious problems in UK in regard to the police ignoring gangs of Asian (mostly Pakistani) men grooming and then raping teenage white girls, which occurred on a massive scale for years in Rotherham because the police were afraid of being seen as racist if they intervened. Now the same problem has surfaced at Telford. Much of the media has been complicit with a liberal-leftist establishment (but also CDU in Deutschland) in double standards and cover-up. The result is the opposite of what was intended — 92 seats for the AfD in the Bundestag.

So, you may well be dismayed to get a fan letter from an avowed conservative (it’s like getting a love letter from Dracula). Nevertheless, I admired the honesty of the piece and hope it will persuade some of those whose knee-jerk reaction is to shout “racist” at those of us who voice concern about these matters to think a little more deeply about them.

NICHOLAS PARSONS, Vienna

Re: “Telltale Aviv,” MET 25, March 2018

To the Editor,

I speak on behalf of the Florentin 1090 team.

Well, first of all, thank you very much for your “two and a half” visits to our restaurant. About that… we are very sorry for the “half” part of the story and the issue with your reservation 🙁 Both humans and machines are to blame for that.

However, we are well grown-up to take the responsibility. Please accept our apologies. We are doing our very best to optimize our workflow. 😉

Regarding your comments about our food, we would like to highlight that our menu has been created by an Israeli team with more than three decades of experience in the gastronomy field and we are very proud to bring not only a bit of the *Israeli cuisine* but also a bit of our *own family heritage* to our plates. There-fore, our food does taste different!

It is, in fact, *NOT* our goal to taste like everywhere else. We are happy to taste different! :-)Having said that, just like the taste *OF* food varies, the taste *IN* food is also a very subjective thing, often influenced by the background and gastronomic experience of a person. And to that, we regret immensely that we could not satisfy your taste in food. We are glad, however, to be able to satisfy many other (constantly returning) clients.

It was not clear to me based on your text whether you have been to Israel and tried the great variety its cuisine has to offer. If not, we really hope you have a chance to do so. You will be surprised to see traditional Israeli restaurants serving tuna salad on your breakfast menu and even more surprised to see how many types of hummus there are in the market: from the thin creamy to the thick and grainy ones.

Well, we thank you for sharing your experience. We are sad that we could not please you the way we truly wish, but we take this “the Tel Aviv way”… we take it as a motivation for us to strive even harder to make as many customers satisfied as possible. And if one day you want to give it another shot, we will be happy to welcome you again and maybe walk you through not only the menu, but also the background story of each dish along with some “behind the scenes” insights on our cooking process.

As we say in Tel Aviv, Kol Tov and Lehit’raot (“All the best and see you soon”)!

THYAGO OHANA, Vienna

Re: “A Streetcar Named Desire,” MET 26, April 2018

To the Editor,

I do enjoy every issue, but reading the last one, a question came to my mind: Why does Metropole give a stage to former Professor Knoflacher? Knoflacher is a rather controversial figure. Critical discussions are OK and necessary, but Knoflacher states that people who don’t share his point of view, i.e. car drivers, are not human beings (”Der Autofahrer ist kein Mensch“ as quoted in the article ”Haben Stau erzeugt‘: Experte sorgt für Wirbel” in the Austrian daily Kurier). Such persons should not be given space in quality media like Metropole. Otherwise, once again a great issue.

ANDREAS HAIDENTHALER, Vienna

THE AUTHOR REPLIES
Dear Mr. Haidenthaler, Thank you very much for your letter. Unfortunately, the quote from Prof. Knoflacher was abridged by the media you referred to and thus is easily misunderstood. Here is his full quote [translated by the editors]:“Someone who is driving a car has actually less in common with a person who is on foot, than a human has in common with an insect. No insect would voluntarily destroy its own habitat or that of their descendants. But a driver does that. He no longer protects the environment where his children will grow up, instead handing it over to the noise and fumes of cars. So a driver is not human. He only becomes human again once he steps out of the car.” For Professor Knoflacher, it is inhuman to poison our habitat systematically, and studies documenting that thousands die each year from exhaust fumes support his position

BERND VASARI