Letters: Impetus for violence

Our children have been brought up surrounded by Arabs who make no secret of their hatred and enmity for us.

September 6, 2012 15:42
3 minute read.

Letters 521. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)


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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 teenagers.”

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.

Education 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 the fore.

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 innocents.

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 reasons.

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 them.


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.

The disease is called undulant fever because the fever rises and falls like a wave.

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
Ma’aleh Adumim

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