No sympathy
Sir, – Regarding, inter alia, “What brit mila really means” (Comment & Features, September 12), I read that Berlin’s senator for justice, Thomas Heilmann, “would protect religious rights of circumcision – provided they weren’t done by mohelim [ritual circumcisers]....”

I tried to drum up some sympathy for the Jews of Berlin, Germany, Europe and so on, but couldn’t.

What the hell are they doing in the Diaspora anyway? Especially In Germany?

JULIAN ISRAEL
Haifa

Fine formula
Sir, – Kudos, kudos, kudos to Judy Montagu for her upbeat, positive, look-on-the-bright-side column (“The power of a smile,” In My Own Write, September 12).

What a wonderful formula for life!

DOROTHY FRIEDMAN
Modi’in

It’s all relative
Sir, – With regard to “Those who know horror” (September 11), in World War II there was no army more vicious and no regime more evil than the Japanese.

In stark contrast with Germany, the government and people in the Land of the Rising Sun have not even begun to deal with their cruel war past.

Instead, they abuse the two devastating atomic bomb attacks that brought them to their knees to whitewash their aggressor past and portray themselves as pure victims of war.

It is always unethical to equate the Holocaust with anything else. The admittedly horrific nuclear blow to civilians in Japan was to stop their wicked regime. It is the worst chutzpah to compare this with the Nazi attempt to eradicate systematically the whole of the Jewish people.

MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Jerusalem

Quite a dilemma
Sir, – Though Martin Sherman is very articulate regarding the unlikely viability of a two-state solution (“Preventing ‘Palestine’: Part II – The humanitarian paradigm,” Into the Fray, September 7), I find it difficult to see, despite his logical arguments and examples, the possibility of his alternative.

What has fundamentally changed today from 1947, when the original two-state solution was proposed and was violently opposed by the Palestinians? (Oops! I am sorry. There was no distinct Palestinian entity back then, was there? I meant to say, “...opposed by the Arabs.”) In what way do current “Palestinian” objectives differ from the 1947 “Arab” objectives? It’s a dilemma! EPHRAIM I. ZIMAND
Jerusalem

The list goes on
Sir, – I agree with Hirsh Goodman (“On responsibility,” PostScript, September 7) that someone has to take responsibility for the ills of our society.

But I’d like to know: Who is responsible for all the Israeli teenagers drunk on the roads? Who is responsible for hit-andrun drivers who leave victims to die? Who is responsible for the gang rapes, for the murders of women and children, the teenagers knifed or raped on school grounds? And who is responsible for over 1,000 Jews murdered and maimed after Oslo, blown to bits, shot or stabbed by Palestinian terrorists? The list can go on and on, a far longer list and a much more violent list than the one Goodman presents.

By the way, the youngsters living on hilltop settlements are mild by comparison to those in Tel Aviv and other big cities, and even those on kibbutzim. Their anger and retaliation is at those who are out to kill them; it’s not violence for fun or from sheer boredom.

Granted, the end doesn’t justify the means or the deeds, but before writing an article on who is responsible I would be much more careful than Goodman is, with his irresponsible accusations.

FAIGIE HEIMAN
Jerusalem

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