Hidden past

Sir, – The current fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza and the hatred evinced by Hamas and its supporters for Jews and Israel prompt me to refer to a little-known aspect of this drawn-out conflict, namely that a large number of Palestinians are genetically close to Jews and in fact may originally have been Jews who were in previous centuries forcibly converted to Islam.

This subject is being explored by Tzvi Misinai, whose eye-opening Youtube video on the subject has already been viewed by over a quarter of a million people and whose books on the subject reveal a wealth of amazing information.

There are whole villages in the West Bank, like Yatta, whose inhabitants freely admit to their Jewish origin, while there are homes with the Star of David over the entrance and those who possess tefillin and light candles on Friday night. It is even suggested that some secretly contemplate returning to Judaism but fear the social consequences.

All this leads me to ask whether widespread acknowledgement of this closeness could lead to a new chapter of understanding and cooperation between our long-conflicted peoples. We might not see thousands of Palestinians reverting to Judaism, but we might see benefits by realizing we have much more in common than meets the eye.

BEN REUVEN
Jerusalem

Here’s proof

Sir, – The law to do away with the Israel Broadcasting Authority (“Knesset approves law to dismantle IBA,” July 30) is a good example of the Knesset acting irresponsibly.

The current war in Gaza is proof of the need for more, not less, English news programming. What constitutes proof? 1. There has been no video of the Home Front Command’s instructions in English.

2. There has been no discussion in English of the horrific plans of Hamas to use the tunnels in a mega-attack on Israel during Rosh Hashana.

3. There has been no discussion of the question that undoubtedly has come up regarding why the tunnels were not used as bomb shelters by Hamas.

SIMCHA RUDMAN
Jerusalem

Up to us

Sir, – What an obnoxious fellow this Meir Margalit (“Amid war, right-wing organization calls for Third Temple initiative, angering pivotal J’lem councilman,” July 29).

To Margalit, many of us are just crazy people who are losing our minds, the Jewish version of the Muslim Brotherhood, extremists who must be stopped or we will all collapse! The problem is really people like him who are totally anti-religious and know nothing of Jewish history.

He states that if God really wants a third Jewish temple he will create it without our help. This is the kind of thinking that keeps us from securing the Temple Mount and beginning to build a Jewish place of worship there. When did God ever build a temple? Even the parting of the sea didn’t happen until the people moved forward and Nachshon plunged in.

It is always up to us, our choice, to prove our faith in and love of God that will bring Him to us. We so need Him now and at the very least Jews should control the Temple Mount just to bring peace to it and our prayers closer to Him.

GLADYS KARLIN
Modi’in

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