August 15: Little menschen

Though we take our children's childhood away at a very young age, they have something Jewish children from the Diaspora often lack: a decency and love for others.

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
Little menschen Sir, - I have loved Herb Keinon's articles for years and "Talking war to a 10-year-old" (August 13) really got to me. He expressed the feelings of parents everywhere. However, though we take our children's childhood away at a very young age, they have something Jewish children from the Diaspora often lack: a decency and love for others. And they are generally not spoiled brats. We are raising a generation of "menschen," and that more than compensates. SUSAN SHAUL Nitzan 2 Sacrifices... Sir, - To the IDF, hospitals, police and emergency services in these difficult times, I say a profound thank you for all you did, and do. To everyone who suffered the loss of loved ones, I share your grief and thank you for the highest possible sacrifice on my behalf. To the wounded, I thank you no less and pray fervently for your recovery. To our government, I say, Thanks for nothing. You have signed up to another worthless document produced by a tyrannical organization led by a man whose dislike of Israel seems to match that of the body he heads. You have compromised on key demands and given terrorism a victory. The good news is that the majority of Israelis are infinitely tougher than this government. Elections can't come soon enough. I. KEMP Nahariya ...not in vain Sir, - Condolences to author David Grossman, whose son died in a war Mr. Grossman did not support. May the Lord grant him the strength to deal with his loss, and the wisdom to understand that his son did not die in vain ("Son of anti-war author Grossman dies in battle," August 14). CHAYA HEUMAN Ginot Shomron My Lebanese grandmother Sir, - I have just received sad and shocking news. Three civilians who died escaping southern Lebanon on July 11 were from my mother's town of Marjayoun. The Israelis stormed violently into the town, destroying what was left of the fallen place, supposedly looking for Hizbullah operatives in my uncle's house. Uninvited, they banged on my widowed 78-year-old, fearless grandmother's home, again looking for Hizbullah! I have come to the realization that Israel looks at all Lebanese civilians as Hizbullah operatives, with blatant disregard for human life or dignity. If these actions are not war crimes, then what is? The Israeli state has not only killed more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians, it is killing people I know, people my family knows. It is no longer about a million refugees, it has become about my grandmother, who has never stepped out of southern Lebanon, getting fired on while trying to escape and becoming a refugee. Is this what the Israeli public sees as the "right of Israel to defend itself"? How can I, a self-described pro-Western Canadian Lebanese, ever again sympathize with Israel's cause and right to exist if it entails murdering civilians and turning them into refugees? And I ask, all for what? Two soldiers who were taken hostage! Yes, I have lost the objectivity to see that what Hizbullah did is wrong, but so have millions of people inside and outside the Arab world. And can you blame them? However, I have not lost the objectivity and compassion to condemn the attacks on Israel's civilians by Hizbullah, and attacks on synagogues and Jewish centers here and abroad. Arabs and non-Arabs should not confuse Israel's political actions as representing Judaism, Israelis or Jews. The rebuilding of Beirut must not be limited to its bridges, airport and downtown area, but include Beirut's synagogue and its Jewish life, destroyed more than 20 years ago. KHALIL JOSEPH MOUCHANTAF Boston Part-time moralists Sir, - Calling Israel's reaction to Hizbullah's capture of two Israeli soldiers disproportionate because the number of Lebanese killed is greater than the number of Israelis killed overlooks what has really been happening. So does terming the Israeli bombing of Lebanon a "war crime" because civilians were killed by the bombing (warning of the bombings was given in advance). Every country is obligated to protect its citizens. Where is the uproar from Western media moralists and others over the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians via hundreds of rockets, their warheads filled with deadly metal pellets? These rockets are fired from areas crowded with civilians, and so any attempt to destroy the launchers causes collateral damage, including civilian deaths. In such a situation, why is the victim termed the aggressor? JULIUS ROMANOFF Newtown, Pennsylvania So ashamed Sir, - As a Scandinavian citizen I want to express my deepest apology to the State of Israel and to the Israeli and Jewish people for recent statements by the Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder [who wrote in the Aftenposten newspaper last week that Israel is "history"]. I feel so ashamed of this man, so utterly ashamed! It seems we have learned nothing from WWII and the Holocaust, absolutely nothing! METTE THOMSEN Malling, Denmark Beacon of hope Sir, - Thank you, Israel, for showing the rest of the world what courage and steadfastness mean. May God bless you and keep you safe from harm. Israel is a beacon of truth and hope. Someday Israel will be the seat of world government and all humanity will come to pay homage to the Messiah. GLEN J. KEMP Palm Bay, Florida Three deadly 'Cs' Sir, - Considering his unrelenting - now vindicated - campaign against Kadima's retreatist agenda, Effi Eitam scores high marks for his call for calm in the Knesset. Urgently needed now is the creation of a national unity government with the sensitivity to deal with the needs of bereaved and displaced families and the repair of their homes and infrastructure; a cabinet with the independence to make the urgent changes needed in the military hierarchy; and a leadership which can rid itself of the three deadly C's: complacency, corruption and capitulation ("The cease-fire is less impressive than the war's accomplishments," August 14). ZALMI UNSDORFER Chairman, Likud-Herut UK London Immediate need Sir, - I was most interested to read that Mark Levinson recognizes the importance of immediate care for post-traumatic stress, especially for our children ("The difference between that war and this one," August 13). At least 20 Emunah-run day care centers in the North have been closed because of the hostilities; around 1,500 of our Emunah children have been in bomb shelters. As things get back to "normal" there will be an immediate need for psychologists in each center. We estimate we will need at least one additional worker per center over a two-month period. Emunah is ready to act now for those children already here and in need. BARBARA PFEFFER English Speaking Chapters of Emunah Rehovot Simply Tsfat Sir, - Thank you for the write-up about Torat Reva Yerushalayim's Simply Tsfat concert, to be held in Jerusalem on August 17 ("Arts in Brief, August 8). Tickets are NIS 30, free for people from the North. All proceeds will benefit the relief effort in the North. Tickets can be picked up at JBC-Judaica Book Center, 5 Even Israel Street, Jerusalem. For more information, call 052-534-6260. SHARONA MARGOLIN HALICKMAN Director, Torat Reva Yerushalayim Yonkers, New York Sir, - I get so tired of the liberal media always showing us pictures of the "poor, poor people in Lebanon." I want them to wake up and realize Israel is the country that was attacked, and acted in defense. MEECHE MILLER Minneapolis