– The murder in cold blood of worshipers in the Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday has nothing whatsoever to do with settlements, occupation, the Aksa Mosque, the suicide of the Egged bus driver or so on. Unfortunately, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, other Arab spokespeople and even some Jewish leaders continue to make this linkage.
This shocking, reprehensible act of violence was perpetrated by young Palestinian men who were nurtured and educated to hate and kill Jews, and emboldened by the acts of Islamic State, which they saw murdering innocents every day. It is no coincidence that the attack took place the day after a video of the most recent beheadings by ISIS was shown worldwide on television. The use of an ax and knives further confirms this connection.
Additionally, the celebration of this contemptible deed by Hamas in Gaza serves to show that the group is the same as ISIS and should be treated as a pariah in the same way.
Evil is evil, murder is murder, and to link such abhorrent acts of inhumanity with other problems that might vex Israel is to give them credence and justification, however slight, for which there is unequivocally none.
ARNOLD EPSTEIN Herzliya Pituah
– I totally disagree with Yaakov Lappin when he states: “The latest horrific terrorist atrocity in Jerusalem appears to be the most recent in a series of unorganized Palestinian attacks, with no visible guiding hand of a larger organization directly behind it” (“Each attack inspires the next,” Analysis, November 19).
Yes, one morning the perpetrators got up and took guns, knives and an ax and found an undefended synagogue, and then went in and slaughtered Jews.
How naive can one get? Doesn’t Lappin think the site was reconnoitered? Doesn’t he think the perpetrators were prepared in advance? Doesn’t he think that they were given the go-ahead? Doesn’t he think they said their prayers before committing murder? Doesn’t he think they made sure their families were taken care of? All of the terrorist attacks have been coordinated in secret (maybe only by word of mouth because of Israeli security). They were planned at the highest levels during the second intifada.
You can’t combat an evil enemy unless you know what you are dealing with.
JACK S. COHEN Netanya
Sir, – With regard to “Israel should not talk to those who slaughter innocents in their holy places, Knesset speaker says” (November 19), may I point out that Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, one of the victims of Tuesday’s pogrom, was a gentle soul, both a Torah scholar and a chemical engineer who took a keen interest in the history of our native Liverpool Jewish community.
As chairman of the Jewish Historical Society of England’s Israel branch, I was in regular contact with the deceased.
As far as the suppression of Palestinian terrorism is concerned, the British devised severe and effective methods during the 1936-39 Arab Revolt. One was burying the killers in pigskin shrouds, thus denying them the status of shahids (martyrs) and the joys of a Muslim paradise.
This is not a measure that Israel’s government is likely to adopt, but Likud MK Danny Danon’s proposal that the bodies of terrorists be withheld from their families makes very good sense. Not knowing where they are buried, family members will be deprived of the opportunity to arrange mass funeral celebrations, and other potential shahids will think twice about following these inhuman butchers’ example.
GABRIEL A. SIVAN Jerusalem
– We should do what US general John J. Pershing was said to have done in the Philippines.
In 1911 he threatened to bury Muslim terrorists smeared with pig fat, thus defiling their bodies and denying them entry into paradise.
It stopped the attacks for decades! DAVID ROSE Haifa Sir, – Arab jihadist incitement continues. Our prime minister orders the demolition of homes – as if that has ever stopped jihadist Jew-haters in the past.
May I suggest arresting the political leadership, including our own MKs, who incite and are seditious. Let them face justice for “crimes against humanity” and “crimes against peace.”
HARRY ORENSTEIN Elazar Sir, – The only solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict within our borders is to go into the villages and work with and protect those Arabs who want to live here in peace. We must train moderate Arabs to stand up against Arab thugs.
People who don’t want to live here in peace should transferred out, for they pose a threat to the rest of the Arabs and Jews who want to live in peace.
MORDECAI SCHARF Efrat
The writer is a rabbi
– The government must exact a cost from the families of rioters and perpetrators of terror.
Long-term sentences for rioters wearing masks should be implemented immediately, and minors should be removed from their family environment and placed in a facility qualified to handle violent children. Monies given to the Palestinian Authority should be used to fix the light rail and areas affected by the rioting.
We should also demand that Arab MKs take on a leading role in changing the climate. If not, they should be removed from the Knesset. Other Israeli-Arab leaders should also take on a positive role; otherwise, whatever perks they might be getting should be stopped immediately.
This is no time to pussyfoot around.
VEL WERBLOWSKY Jerusalem
– Israel faces a cruel and relentless religious war waged by fanatic Islamic elements.
The massacre at the Jerusalem synagogue has raised once again a justified outcry for the urgent protection of all kindergartens, schools, yeshivot, synagogues and other public institutions. I will add as well the guarding against desecration of our cemeteries, especially on the Mount of Olives.
The Israel Police is undermanned and underbudgeted. Elderly and ill-trained guards are unable and unsuitable to face such determined killers. There are thousands of able-bodied, suitable religious youths from the ultra-Orthodox population who, if encouraged by their rabbis and teachers, could leave their studies for a period of 12-18 months and serve as security guards in the framework of national service, thus entitling them to state benefits granted to soldiers and national service participants.
A short and intensive training course in the use of small firearms and the Krav Maga personal defense technique will provide authorities with urgently needed manpower and serve to protect both secular and religious populations.
SAMMY BERGER Kiryat Ono
– Regarding your report on the “eyebrow-raising manner” in which foreign media covered the attack in Har Nof (“BBC to Bennett: We don’t want to see victims of terrorism,” November 19), those of us who are passionately in love with the State of Israel know full well how biased and unreliable the media are. These are prime examples of not only bias, but something close to hatred.
CNN has apologized for its terrible headline stating “Two Palestinians killed by police.” But the headline went all over the world.
The headline in The New York Times, “Israel on edge,” was also very revealing.
It is high time that Israelis learn – and this means the government as well – that one should never pay attention to anything but what is good for Israel and the Jewish people. This means never because the considerations of the world are lacking in morality.
The considerations of Israel are to survive in a world of hatred, random slaughter and values that want Israel to cease to exist.
BATYA KOENIGSBERG Jerusalem