(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Impetus for violence
Sir, – Israel Kasnett (“Education begins at home,” A View
from Israel, August 24) writes that according to recent headlines, “it would be
easy to deduce that the country is in an uproar over an incident that took place
in Jerusalem last week when an Arab youth was beaten by Jewish
Do we know the circumstances? We also have to remember that
our children have been brought up surrounded by Arabs who make no secret of
their hatred and enmity for us. They know they can be murdered even in their
bed, just because they are Jews.
They see that the world is largely
silent over the atrocities committed by Arabs against Jews, and, even worse, how
their own government fails to protect them. Perhaps if there were the same
uproar when we are mercilessly and horrifically attacked these children might
not feel the need to take matters into their own hands.
certainly begins at home. But what if you are told that everything you have been
taught and brought up to believe is going to be taken from you because, for some
illogical reason, appeasement of an enemy that has vowed to throw you into the
sea and take over all your land is considered better than destroying it?
Sir, – The subject of Jewish vigilante violence against Arabs
raises a number of side issues.
After condemning such outrages and
reviewing many similar incidents throughout the world, Israel Kasnett beseeches
us to raise our children properly.
Reasonable people would fully agree.
But what are we to do with the more complex influences of historic realities of
an ongoing war and the necessity of defense and physical survival? Most Israelis
understand how to differentiate between murder and killing to survive.
Regrettably, though, some of us do not.
In the horror of imminent
bloodshed, when fear must be overcome to defeat an enemy, primal acts rush to
Governments very often instill in their soldiers a hatred of
the enemy. This was true during World War II. Here in Israel it is even more
complicated. The enemy is living among us, and among our enemies there are
We face the dual conflict of balancing our need to survive at
any cost yet maintaining our Jewish sense of values.
Sir, – Israel Kasnett should be highly acclaimed for his insight into
gang behavior and violence in Israel and all over the world. It is not a new
phenomenon but seems highly intensified in the year 2012, for many
Labeling Jewish gang behavior “anti-Arab,” which the media have
done, will never deal with the basic causes. It is a subject that has not been
discussed too much, but should be. The sooner the topic is made visible all over
the world and dealt with, the more parents, educators and sociologists will be
able to effectively understand the phenomenon of gangs and why young people join
Make mine raw
Sir, – The author of that very
interesting article about raw milk (“Raw and certified,” Features, August 24)
didn’t mention undulant fever, which, we were taught in grade school, is the
main culprit that infects milk, causing death in many cases.
is called undulant fever because the fever rises and falls like a
The bacteria that cause it are brucella and, indeed, undulant fever
is sometimes called brucellosis.
This disease is transmitted through
contaminated and untreated milk and milk products.
Sir, – The article concerning the consumption of unpasteurized milk is
disjointed, confusing and lacking in serious content. It is not clear if the
demand for raw milk is driven by considerations of kashrut or, more likely, by
the growing popularity of “natural” products.
The article should have
been more explicit in defining the dangers of infection from raw milk being
spread to the general population. It’s one thing to risk one’s own health; it’s
another to expose the general community.
The so-called benefits of raw
milk are even less well defined. A single sentence in the article says that
“heating milk kills the good with the bad.” However, no proof is advanced. What
“good” in milk is killed by pasteurization? STEPHEN S. COHEN