Letters: Briefly

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The Independent Online
Your explanation for how the defenders of Masada died is incorrect ("Israel's enigmatic PM keeps them guessing", 22 December). Josephus records that each man slew his wife and children. Ten men drawn by lot killed the survivors. One was chosen to kill the others; he then killed himself. None died by jumping from a clifftop. For one obsessed by past persecutions the Prime Minister of Israel is oddly insensitive to injustices for which his government is responsible.

Robert Jones, London SE24

I would like to point out that Alison Hargreaves ("Media falls for women of a kind", 22 December) did not die "in an attempt to climb Everest alone". In fact, having successfully climbed the world's highest peak she was killed on K2 on her way down from the summit.

C West

Ambleside, Cumbria

Why did you let Kevin Jackson, someone who admits that he wanted to go to his grave "without suffering through a complete work by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber" review the new Evita movie ("Desperately seeking the exit", 22 December)? It's like having a sports hater writing about football, or getting someone who despises opera to report from Covent Garden.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Anna Burnside ("The bonnie kilt...", Real Life, 22 December) is insufficiently analytical in discussing the rehabilitation of the tartan. The postmodern sensibility naively believes that history can be transcended painlessly. The kilt is not simply a garment; it is a sign which has operated for over 200 years within tartanry; but it has corrupted and enfeebled many generations of Scots. Why, indeed, should a reclamation be necessary? I would as soon don an SS uniform as a kilt. In different ways history has tarnished them both.

Colin McArthur

London SE14