October 14: He’s behind it

The head of the PA has in recent weeks and months let no opportunity go by without accusing Israel of starting a religious war for “attacking” the Aksa Mosque and its environs.

October 13, 2015 21:40

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

He’s behind it

With regard to “Shin Bet: Abbas isn’t behind terror” (October 12), the head of the Palestinian Authority has in recent weeks and months let no opportunity go by without accusing Israel of starting a religious war for “attacking” the Aksa Mosque and its environs.

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His remarks are vindictive and false. He states clearly in every international forum available to him, including the UN, that Israeli forces have attacked, blockaded and desecrated the mosque. He denigrates Israelis and tourists who visit the Temple Mount, accusing them of desecrating the site with their “filthy feet.”

These false accusations have stirred up violent reactions and increased the anti-Israel invective throughout the Muslim world.


Parallel universe

In your editorial “Prosor’s departure” (October 11), you write that at the UN, Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor “felt he was living in a parallel universe.”

It seems the UN, by treating Israel as a pariah state, has created its own reality, for on the same page as your editorial, I read Jeff Barak’s “Stopping terrorism is not an end goal” (Reality Check).

I believe that by placing the onus of all Israel’s troubles squarely on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Barak espouses the reality found at the UN.

But you have to wonder: Has giving the Palestinians anything ever worked out for us? Would a Palestinian state allow us to safely travel on some of our key roads? Would we be welcome in Jerusalem? Perhaps ambassador-designate Danny Danon should step aside and let Barak go to the UN, where his reality is the order of the day.


Perfect example

“Palestinians want hope, not just cycles of revenge” (Comment & Features, October 11), by Hayat Al-Hakim of Hebron, is an example of why there is no peace.

There can be no solution to the Middle East’s problems as long as Arabs are encouraged to believe that they are the innocent victims of Israeli aggression instead of being made to realize that their suffering is due to their own aggressive behavior. The brutal massacres of the ancient Jewish community of Hebron in 1929 and 1936 took place long before the Israeli occupation or settlements.

The 1949 armistice agreement with the Arabs promised free access to holy sites for all. This happened in Israel, but not in the areas occupied by the Arabs.

Instead, all Jews living in Hebron and other places occupied by Arabs were imprisoned and then expelled. The areas occupied by Arabs were judenrein until 1967.

That was ethnic cleansing! By contrast, 20 percent of Israelis since 1948 are Arabs.

Al-Hakim is free to choose to live in any of the numerous Arab states. We Jews have no other country! CHARLES OREN Herzliya Blood libel We are all distressed by the way non-Israeli media distort current events and paint Israel as the bad guy. But how can we expect them to tell the truth when our own papers and writers publicize blood libels against their own nation? Managing editor David Brinn’s “Crossing the threshold” (Parting Shot, October 9) expresses fear of “revenge and retaliation [against Arabs] along the likes we witnessed this past summer in Duma.” It is bad enough that he ignores the fact that previous house fires in homes of the Dawabshe clan in Duma were not Jewish acts of “revenge and retaliation.”

Where are your editors? Do they not care that they are allowing Jews and Israelis to be accused of evil acts they did not do? Please try to remember: Truth, even in opinion pieces, is vital in the war against evil.

Beit Shemesh

David Brinn responds: The defense minister and the army issued statements saying that Jews were responsible for the fatal fire in Duma.

Stickers and t-shirts

My blood ran cold as I read “#JewishLivesMatter” (Fundamentally Freund, October 8) – not once, but twice before the reality of it kicked in.

Yes, of course, I knew about the chilling things happening to innocent people going about their daily lives, being savagely and cruelly attacked by those intent on causing death and fear among us. However, when I read for the second time the statement Michael Freund attributed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, I was stunned beyond belief.

Have we learned nothing from the deaths of six million, one and a half million being children? Why are Jews all over the world not raising their voices and shouting from the rooftops? Don’t they ever stop to think that because of Israel, they can live freely wherever they want and still have their homeland as a back up? Let all Jews everywhere have a sticker on their cars saying “#JewishLivesMatter.” Where are the t-shirts with this statement? We should all wear them proudly.

Have every Knesset member wear one, and then have MKs act strongly and quickly – we will not forget how they handle this crisis when we go to the polls next time, I assure you.


Be kind to animals

Regarding “It’s about much more than chicken slaughter rights: Animal rights activists view all meat as murder” (Comment & Features, October 8), not only does the kaparot ritual violate 15 New York City or NY State laws and statutes, it is in direct contradiction with Torah and Talmudic mandates and imperatives, not the least of which is the Torah mandate not to cause unnecessary harm to animals.

Even by the longest stretch of imagination, the ritual is not remotely necessary, as acknowledged by Rabbi Josef Karo, author of Shulhan Aruch, who called it a “foolish custom.” It has remained controversial through the centuries, with many great rabbis and sages speaking out against it. Great halachic scholars have referred to it as a pagan custom that has nothing to do with Judaism.

While the people who run these operations claim the birds are donated to the poor, in my 22 years of monitoring this, I have witnessed many, if not most, of these birds going directly into the trash and being picked up by sanitation trucks – violating the Torah mandate not to waste. Being covered with feces, blood and pus, these birds’ bodies would never pass any inspection – and if they were ever fed to anyone, it would violate the Torah mandate to care for one’s health.

This ritual is performed on public streets in front of (and over) children and pregnant women, exposing them to potentially dangerous zoonotic pathogens like avian flu, salmonella and E-coli. The stench in the streets is unbearable.

The kaparot ritual as practiced with chickens, is a stain on Judaism.

As a registered nurse, health advocate, humanitarian and Jew, I oppose it.

New York

Of course meat is murder. The animals we brutally slaughter for food want to live every bit as much as we do. What’s more, they deserve to live because we humans are not natural carnivores and thus have no requirement for flesh in our diet.

As for ritual slaughter and kaparot, do we really think that an all-loving God would want his innocent creatures needlessly subjected to terror and pain? And do we really believe our sins can be transferred to a chicken? It’s time to move into the 21st century and recognize that all cruelty to animals is wrong.

Victoria, Australia

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