Letters to the editor

Martin Sherman is, to put it mildly, being disingenuous

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jewish terrorists
The theme of Yossi Melman’s “Bringing Jewish terrorists to justice” (Intelligence File, August 7) seems to be to “get the Jewish terrorists.” The hysteria is evident throughout too many of your articles.
Arab terrorists kill Jews almost on a daily basis. The real news is Jewish terrorists who allegedly set two Palestinian homes on fire, resulting in the death of a baby and his father. But does anyone really have proof? Do the 3,000 breast-beating leftists in Rabin Square have any proof? Still, Jews will have to pay for this crime. We must find someone the public will believe fits the bill. The best person is the grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, Meir Ettinger. Without any proof of his whereabouts at the time of the attack or one bit of evidence, he will be put under administrative detention.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), as reported in Melman’s piece, says there are 200 “misfits” roaming the hilltops.
Again, no proof of misfits or where they roam. What I read into this is that these youths are smarter then the Shin Bet, knowing how to keep out of its reach. Doesn’t say too much for the Shin Bet.
What the security services and news media are actually doing is making villains out of Jewish youths without a shred of evidence.
Maligning their names and those of their family. Locking them away without evidence of guilt. No trial by judge or jury, but by the media. And this is called “democracy.”
Let us not be so fast to condemn Jewish youths unless we really have proof. There are other avenues to look into and explore.
Martin Sherman is, to put it mildly, being disingenuous (“Jewish hate crimes and vandalism are NOT terrorism,” Into the Fray, August 7).
The Longmans dictionary defines terrorism as “the commission of acts to engender terror to achieve a political aim.”
This is an exact fit to the firebombing at Duma, the torching of a Galilee church and numerous other crimes.
Describing these incidents as the actions of a few irresponsible youths is also disingenuous.
These youths should be deprived of the supportive environment they presently enjoy.
The entire West Bank Jewish community and the rabbinical establishment should spit them out.
The nuclear deal
Caroline B. Glick’s column regarding the Iran nuclear deal (“Obama’s enemies list,” Column One, August 7) portrays the president of the United States as the enemy of the State of Israel. It is so off-putting! Barack Obama never used the word “traitor,” which Glick so casually extrapolates from his speech. She has a short and selective memory if she does not recall all the US has done for Israel over the past 65 years.
Obama has outdone previous presidents with his generous support, which Glick can confirm with any of the Israeli military brass.
It is not a matter of whom we trust more – Obama or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – but what the absence of this deal would mean for Israel.
Nowhere does Glick offer an alternative plan of action. How naïve of her to think that Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany would have their belief in the credibility of the US shaken should the agreement not pass in Congress. It is Israel that would be shaken, with the reality of a nuclear weapon next door in a very short time.
In the past, the US has used its veto at the UN to insure that Israel was not the object of hateful attacks. In the same spirit, President Obama will use his veto power to implement the passage of this deal, which gives Israel much-needed breathing space. He is the patriot!
Far be it from me to call the president of the United States a liar. He merely chooses to ignore facts that don’t agree with his positions.
President Barack Obama said that Israel is the only country to oppose the Iran deal. This is patently untrue. How does he account for the agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia to cooperate against Iran, and their turn to Russia for nuclear assistance and arms if they don’t oppose the deal? Maybe he should have said that Israel is the only country that is openly and actively opposing the deal, although perhaps that doesn’t sound strong enough for him.
Obama also stated that the choice is this deal or war.
Another error. The choice is this deal, no deal (which means keeping the sanctions in place), a better deal (which would deprive Iran of all the progress it has made by removing the centrifuges and all enriched uranium, with vigorous inspections to assure compliance) or war. Once again, the president shows his tendency toward demagoguery.
We ought to accept that the American Jewish community’s powerful ties to the Democratic Party and the community’s inherent divisiveness give President Barack Obama confidence that protests by Israel and AIPAC will be insufficient to derail the Iranian nuclear deal in Congress.
We should also accept that America’s “military option” regarding Iran is written on the proverbial block of ice.
Beyond the soaring rhetoric is the reality that Israel is truly alone when it comes to Iran’s threat of annihilation, and it is only Israel’s resolute willingness to use its nuclear option that gives the mullahs pause before launching their missiles.
PETER I. BERMAN Norwalk, Connecticut
Room to be flexible
I would like to offer an alternate understanding to that of Kenneth Cohen (“Has God been taken for granted?” Comment & Features, August 4).
Rabbi Cohen claims – quite correctly, in my opinion – that the Torah is “incapable of containing any imperfections.”
However, as to his statement that it would be “considered blasphemous that this work of perfection could ever become outdated,” its application changes with changed circumstances.
To indicate that this is so for “the holy sages” who “transmitted the God-given Torah,” I would cite a debate between Rabban Gamliel and Rabbi Yehoshua (Berachot 28a) regarding the permissibility of an Ammonite convert to marry a Jewish woman.
Rabban Gamliel prohibited it, based on the Torah’s declaration that an Ammonite is forever prohibited from marrying into the Jewish people (Deut. 23:4).
Rabbi Yehoshua, however, permitted it based on changed historical circumstances – with Sennacherib’s dispersion in 722 BCE of the 10 tribes and other local peoples, the majority inhabiting the lands of Ammon were no longer Ammonites. The Torah prohibition no longer applied.
The Talmud indicates that Rabbi Yehoshua’s position was upheld. And so it is stated in the Shulhan Aruch (Even Haezer 4:10) that converts from the lands of the Ammonites and Moabites are permitted to marry Jewish women.
It is thus possible that Rabbi Cohen’s citation of the 18th century Torah scholar Rabbi Yakov Emden (“A greater miracle than the splitting of the Red Sea is that the Jewish people survived into the late eighteenth century”) is based on our ability to recognize changed circumstances and apply Torah and Halacha accordingly.
Unlike what was stated in the caption of the photo accompanying “Bringing Jewish terrorists to justice” (Frontlines, August 7), Baruch Goldstein was killed by enraged worshipers in February 1994 after he opened fire on Palestinians at prayer in Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs, killing 29 and wounding over a hundred.