March 10: Readers react to yeshiva shooting

What nation can allow its enemies to celebrate acts aimed at its destruction, on its own land?

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sir, - My deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured by this latest atrocity ("Gunman kills 8 at flagship J'lem yeshiva," March 7). I write to let you in Israel know that there are gentiles in the United States who believe you have been constrained too long in how you respond to these monsters. I guarantee you that if terrorists from our bordering countries repeatedly infiltrated the US and killed, injured and maimed our people - and celebrated such actions - we would not hesitate to crush them. MARSHALL ONELLION Madison, Wisconsin Sir, - "We are proud and happy, and everyone in Jebl Mukaber is proud of him," a cousin of the murderer told reporters. Perhaps the family should be relocated to Gaza, where they could live their dream ("In Jebl Mukaber, evil counsel is the order of the day," Calev Ben-David, March 9). BRUCE PLEAT New Jersey Sir, - I realize there truly is a humanitarian crisis - a lack of human beings - in the Gaza Strip ("Thousands celebrate in Gaza," March 7). What type of creature celebrates the death of innocents, does not allow the International Red Cross to have contact with captives, and takes to the streets, singing, dancing and distributing candy as the Twin Towers topple? MICHAEL D. HIRSCH Kochav Yair Sir, - Thursday night, for hours, celebratory shots were fired in the village that my apartment overlooks. Beit Safafa, with its Jewish-Arab, co-ed Max Rayne school, is considered a safe, mixed Arab village between the Gilo and Patt neighborhoods. When the students look out from their school they can see the spot where our friends were murdered in the last Jerusalem bus bombing four years ago - on a bus whose driver didn't let me in, which saved my life so that I can write this now. M.M. VAN ZUIDEN Jerusalem Sir, - Many of your editorials and op-eds look to the international community to take strong measures against terrorism. But it is we Israelis who have to take the lead: What other nation would allow its enemies to celebrate acts aimed at its destruction, with impunity, on its own land? LORELL BLASS Jerusalem Sir, - This letter is written by a Jerusalemite heartbroken not only because of the appalling terrorist attack on innocent students studying religious texts, but because the murderer came from Jebl Mukaber, an integral part of Jerusalem. This exposes the canard that the city can be divided. It is impossible to separate out Arab and Jewish neighborhoods. Salah el-Din St., the scene of Arab rioting and a near-lynching, is a main street of Jerusalem. Nor can there be any wider separation. Shall we cut off the Arab Triangle, or Galilee, from the rest of Israel? Both currently have an Arab majority. Security means a united people whose morale is strong and who understand that Israel's destiny lies with a higher power than Ehud Olmert and his ministers. TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem Sir, - The lives of eight of your unarmed people are blown away in a seminary in Jerusalem. How come you keep letting Condoleezza Rice dictate to you that Mahmoud Abbas will be getting East Jerusalem in the peace talks? Gaza is already a terrorist base used against you. Do you want terrorist rockets from Jerusalem to destroy Tel Aviv? ("Condi's echo chamber," Caroline B. Glick, March 7.) LUJACK SKYLARK Benld, Illinois Sir, - Whenever an atrocity is committed against Israeli Jews, rather than an armed response, would it not be more positive if a new settlement were established in memory of the victims? It would be a fitting and lasting memorial, and an answer to the terrorist numpties and their supporters. JEFFREY MARLOWE Leeds, UK Sir, - We Indians strongly condemn the frequent attacks by Hamas and others against the innocent Jewish people. Israelis and Indians are brothers and sisters. Both countries are suffering from Islamic terrorism. But at the same time we are succeeding in all fields. A time will come when Israel will be the superpower in the world. T. SIVAPRAKASAM Mannargudy, India Sir, - A message from an Israeli mother to the Gazan mothers who beat the drums of death for their children: Educate those who should be your flowers. Let them grow in a garden of peace and tranquility. Rid yourselves of the terrorists among you so that your children may grow to love and not to hate, maim and kill. DIANA (DINA) ROSENBERG Kiryat Tivon Sir, - At the moment eight of our finest young people were murdered by an Arab terrorist, I was barely a kilometer from Mercaz Harav, celebrating the 21st birthday of my youngest daughter in a restaurant. Our party over, we decided to drive back home to Efrat. When we arrived at the tunnel road there was a huge traffic jam, continuing until the checkpoint on the other side of the tunnels, where each car was checked thoroughly by four border policemen and soldiers. To me, this was an insane way of dealing with the terrorist war that has been imposed on us. In their search for weapons and terrorists those soldiers endangered the lives of hundreds of people, sitting ducks on the tunnel road, exposed to any Arab terrorist willing to execute another shooting attack on Israelis from Beit Jalla. It is already more than a shame that our government wasted three years of relative quiet, not building a protective shield atop the tunnel road where, in the past, several Israelis have been murdered by Arab snipers. Those who command our security forces need to think: It is important to catch a terrorist, but not by endangering the lives of hundreds of Israelis on their way home. YOCHANAN VISSER Efrat Sir, - Friday morning was the day I scheduled for baking my Purim hamentashen. My tears from watching the funerals of eight innocent boys mixed in with the filling. I trust that those who eat them this year will forgive the salty flavor. REBECCA RAAB Ma'aleh Adumim Sir, - With the massacre at Merkaz Harav occurring as the joyous month of Adar began, we are left wondering, how can we go on? How can we celebrate amid such great tragedy? What meaning does a 2,500-year-old story have for a nation coping with a modern-day disaster? We would do well to recall what Adar meant for the Jews in the days of Mordechai and Esther. They spent the beginning of Adar praying, fasting and preparing themselves for battle (Esther 9:16-18). They faced a world filled with enemies and knew that their foes could not wait to kill and pillage. Nevertheless, because they maintained their faith and put their lives on the line to defend their families and property, Adar became a month of victory and joy. We hope and pray that this will recur in our generation. RABBI JOSEPH BLOCH Jerusalem