August 29: The Bat Ayin boys

As we begin the new school year it’s incumbent upon the education system, in conjunction with parents, to teach tolerance and that we are all created in the image of God.

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
The Bat Ayin boys
Sir, – Regarding “Bat Ayin boys aged 12 and 13 arrested in connection to firebombing of Palestinian family” (August 27), it’s time for people to stand up and state unequivocally that they are opposed to the horrors of racism and terror, from whatever quarter it stems. And as we begin the new school year it’s incumbent upon the education system, in conjunction with parents, to teach tolerance and that we are all created in the image of God.
I call for the political and religious leadership to take a stand and call for a mass demonstration.
Zeh lo haderech. This is not our way. Derachehah darchei noam. The ways of the Torah are pleasant and pleasing.
Sir, – These are children, for heaven’s sake! Twelve- and 13- year-olds, building and tossing firebombs. Where did they learn such things? Children are not genetically predisposed to be “terrorists” – as Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon called the as-yetunidentified perpetrators of the firebombing.
Rabbis, parents and community leaders from Bat Ayin create a poisonous environment for their children: attempted murder at a nearby Palestinian girls’ school; regular harassment of Palestinians in nearby villages; the destruction of Palestinian farms; the uprooting of Palestinian olive and fig trees; the shooting of Palestinian neighbors.
Children can be taught to hate and hurt... or to heal and help. May the God of Bat Ayin heal and help His children of all ages!
JUDY BAMBERGERO’Connor, Australia
Sir, – It’s not acts of terrorism – it’s simply bad children.
When I was growing up my father worked and my mother stayed home – and we had food on the table. I also had a mother who asked me how my day was.
Nowadays, both the father and the mother work, and just about every mother finds it hard to be both a mother and a wage-earner. Moreover, changes in rules at school regarding child discipline have made it more difficult to control disruptive children, and often teachers are afraid to take corrective action because parents themselves refuse to believe that their children behave this way.
To raise kind children who also respect others takes time and effort. Anything the government can do so that a working parent can be at home during the critical after-school hours would be a step in the right direction, and potentially very beneficial for many of our societal ills.
RACHEL LYNNEfratThe writer is a teacher
Sir, – With regard to the recent mob attack in Jerusalem, young Jewish lads should not be harming Arab youths unless it’s done because they themselves are being attacked.
When Jew-haters go into the street preaching death to Jews, civil behavior flies out the window and self-preservation becomes the norm.
We are the “chosen people.”
Let’s act that way.
BUZZ ALPERTLincolnwood, IllinoisThe writer is a former leader of the Jewish Defense League in Chicago
Respect, support
Sir, – MK Zahava Gal-On met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (“Abbas tells Meretz leader he will proceed with UN bid,” August 27).
The fact that Gal-On agreed to meet with a man who has consistently refused to meet with our prime minister shows both a distinct lack of respect for Binyamin Netanyahu and an absence of support for him. As such her action should be roundly censured.
Pirates, beware!
Sir, – As a member of the registered Pirate Party of Israel I would like to bring to your attention that the people mentioned in “‘Pirates’ land in Israel, will inaugurate political party in Bat Yam” (August 27) are not official members of the Pirate Party of Israel, although the conference they are planning is a blessed independent initiative to promote ideas presented by the Pirate parties across the globe.
Please clarify this to your readers so as not to spread false information, as if the conference will be admitting people to a registered party in Israel.
NOAM KUZARJerusalemThe writer is spokesperson for Pirate Party Israel
Letters about letters
Sir, – Raymond Cannon (“No Christian outcry,” Letters, August 27) wonders why Church leaders have not repudiated the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in which he denied Jewish ties to Jerusalem. These remarks certainly strike a shattering blow to Christian theology.
On reflection, though, it occurred to me that the damage to the Church’s fundamental tenets is, in fact, even greater than that put forward in the letter. If Jews were not around in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, who, then, was responsible for killing him? Could the deed perhaps have been carried out by the Palestinians? This possibility poses a real headache for Church leaders.
Sir, – Reader B. Yagil (“Physician, clean thyself!,” Letters, August 27) wonders how many physicians launder their ties. In fact, almost all doctors in Israel work tieless.
I am reminded of the question so often asked of me: “What made you leave South Africa, where you had such a large and lucrative medical practice?” My standard reply to what I considered a stupid question was, “I do not like wearing ties.”
MONTY M. ZIONTel MondThe writer is a retired cardiologist
Not anti-Semitism
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick (“Israel faces a cynical world,” Column One, August 24) is mistaken by interpreting the ongoing legal-political discussion in Germany about circumcision as an expression of anti-Semitism.
It is in fact about the rights of children to not be harmed unnecessarily and to have the right to decide about nonnecessary medical interventions – which circumcision certainly is in spite of its great potential health benefits – at an age in which they are able to give legally binding consent.
That this insistence on children’s rights contravenes a very ancient Jewish religious law is a major collision of interests, and German politicians of practically all parties in the Bundestag are trying hard to find a viable solution.
We Germans (at least the vast majority) are very aware that in all matters regarding Jewish life in today’s Germany there must be great sensitivity.
Nonetheless, the no-harmimperative has a constitutionally binding character, because of which the recent verdict about the purported unlawfulness of circumcision practiced on male newborns cannot be taken lightly.
There should be an acceptable compromise to deal with this collision of interests. The circumcision of newborns, no matter Jewish or Muslim, should be allowed if it fulfills three criteria: 1. Parents declare a special religious interest 2. The procedure is done, if not by a physician, then at least by a mohel (religious circumciser) who acts under medical supervision 3. The procedure is done with sufficient local anesthesia.
It would be a great misfortune if Israeli people viewed the discussion of circumcision in Germany as an expression of a newly-risen anti-Semitism.
This is certainly not the case, at least not with respect to the majority of Germans.
MICHAEL SEEBEREssen, GermanyThe writer is a physician