Vengeance is... whose?

Sir, – Reuven Hammer (“Saving Ishmael and Isaac,” Comment & Features, July 8) would like those yeshivot preaching vengeance to be closed. He wants schools to teach that the Torah itself says all human beings are equal, all are created in the image of God and that killing any human being is a crime against God.

Not so! Was killing Hitler against Torah? Is the war we are fighting now in Gaza, where enemies will be killed, against Torah? Although it is true that we all are created in God’s image, it depends on what we do with that image. Hitler was also created in God’s image. Does that make him equal? Hamas kidnapped and killed three young Jews. Are the kidnappers equal? The Arab taxi driver who killed a young girl – is he equal? We may have been created in God’s image, but many destroy that image and desecrate His name. So, is... whis vengeance right? Depends on the person and situation.

Sometimes vengeance sanctifies God’s name. Sometimes the opposite.

BARBARA GINSBERG
Ma’aleh Adumim

Sir, – Thank you for the not-infrequent wisdom shared by Reuven Hammer.

Rabbi Hammer always offers the best from our Jewish sources that relate to timely and eternal issues. This time he quoted Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet along with the Book of Genesis and the Talmud.

We are privileged to have an Israeli with an American background who has devoted himself to teaching Torah and the values we need to live in the Land of Israel.

CHANA SOLOMON
Jerusalem

Had to look again

Sir, – Reading Yossi Melman’s “Nightmare scenario” (Comment, July 7), I had to blink and check the name of the author and the publication several times.

The premise of his piece is that the struggle in this land “started as, and has been rooted in, a territorial, political and military struggle” between the Jews and the “Palestinians,” and that only in more recent years it was the Jews who introduced a religious dimension. He then proceeds to define that religious dimension as Jewish terrorism, throwing in such scary images as theocracy, monarchy, destruction of mosques, rightwing thuggery, Jewish desecration of things Muslim, etc. etc.etc.

Those Jews are so bad and the source of all this trouble! It is true that religion is at the root of Jews returning to this holy land and has been since the return from the Babylonian exile. Even secular political Zionism finds its roots in Jewish religion and history. But that drive has not and does not interfere with the reality of Arabs living in the land. Even Melman knows there never was a Palestinian nation living here and that this “nation” is a recent political invention.

The underlying truth is that there is a powerful religious factor at play. It created and sustains this terrible conflict, a “religious dimension” that Melman does not even refer to even though it is the defining dimension of the entire struggle – and that is the unwillingness, perhaps psychological as well as religious, of our Muslim enemies to tolerate dhimmi Jewish hegemony in any corner of the world once dominated by Muslims.

YERUCHAM REICH
Jerusalem

Not an option

Sir, – In reference to “Netanyahu’s responsibility” (Reality Check, July 7), Jeff Barak concludes: “...the question is whether he [Netanyahu] truly wants to ‘pay the price’ of helping create a viable Palestinian state.” I must inform Mr. Barak that the price, namely Israel’s suicide, is not and will never be an option! Barak, like so many other twostaters, stunningly ignores the dismal 90-year failure of this approach due to Arab/Islamic genocidal intransigence. The two-state solution/land for peace formula has always been and always will be a fantasy, as well as insanity for one pivotal reason that has been inexorably proven over these 90 years: Genocidal enemies can never be appeased! They want the whole piece of land, not just a portion of it! By the way, make no mistake: The Palestinian Authority is equally genocidal as Hamas in its declared aim to establish a judenrein, terrorist militia state in the heart of Israel. How dare the leftists inside and outside Israel, including our greatest “ally,” the US, try to coerce miraculous Israel (the only democracy in the Middle East) into geographic and physical suicide! For the time-being, Israel can only secure its borders and civilians (Jewish and Arab alike) by eliminating the genocidal Hamas-PA militia from the equation, whatever that takes to accomplish.

ALAN CROOCK
Kfar Saba

Sir, – There are large numbers of problems we face in this country and your op-ed writers have a wonderful way of analyzing them and presenting their views. And the logic of what they write is interesting, whether I agree or disagree. But former Post editor-in-chief Jeff Barak, in his Reality Check columns, has a simplistic approach.

Perhaps the current editors don’t like to discipline former editors, but couldn’t one of them find a way to tell Barak that blaming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for every wrong in this country over the past hundred years is not a sign of maturity or intellectual acuity, but a near-psychotic obsession?

STEPHEN JEROME KOHN

Ra’anana

Delusional comments

Sir – Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On’s delusional comments, as quoted in “Netanyahu holds more security deliberations amid rockets, rioting” (July 6) are simply beyond the pale.

According to Gal-On, it is the “right of Arab citizens of Israel to demonstrate in their homeland....”

Lest this absurdity go unchallenged, she must be reminded that Israel is the patrimony of the Jewish people. Second, I wish to know if she regards the barbaric onslaught against police and citizens using pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, stones, etc., as legitimate means of demonstration. Does she give a free pass to the savages who destroyed three light rail stations in Jerusalem to the tune of tens of millions of shekels? Finally, if Jewish citizens of our country were to demonstrate in a similar fashion, would she nod her approval as well?

JOEL KUTNER
Jerusalem

Shimon’s gold

Sir, – At a recent ceremony in the rotunda of the United States Capitol, we had the privilege of presenting President Shimon Peres with the Congressional Gold Medal. The medal is Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.

We can think of no one more deserving of this recognition.

During times of war and peace, President Peres has been a selfless servant and leader to his country, as well as a friend to the United States. He has played a pivotal role in forging the unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States – which is more important than ever as our two nations confront grave threats to our mutual security. His extraordinary career and record of service, including his enduring and passionate commitment to justice, will be a guiding example for generations to come.

With the help of Rep. Joe Kennedy (D–Massachusetts) and Trent Franks (R–Arizona) in the House of Representatives, we were pleased to pass the legislation awarding the medal to President Peres. It was our way of expressing gratitude and recognizing an exceptional man who has made Israel and the world a better place.

MICHAEL BENNET KELLY AYOTTE
Washington, DC

The writers are, respectively, Democratic and Republican US senators from Colorado and New Hampshire

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