March 25: Toulouse terror

The decent Muslim community has not stood up and said that random murder is against the Koran.

Toulouse terror Sir, – The terrible murders that took place in France (“‘Enough, God, enough of this pain,’” March 22) should at long last make the world aware that an entire group of people all over the world has been educated to kill innocent men, women and children.
They use any reason, whether it be soldiers fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq, that women should not wear burkas, that Palestine hasn’t come into being or that they hate the system of law and order. It doesn’t matter what their grievance is.
What does matter is that the decent Muslim community has not stood up and said that random murder is against the Koran, that killers are not martyrs but murderers and that they themselves will take on these murderers and turn them over to the authorities. Until this happens, Muslims will be looked upon with great suspicion and fear.
The countries where terrorism exists must adopt very strong measures because these murderers want to destroy every facet of society. It is time that decent people around the world band together and state unequivocally that they want a good and prosperous society and that this can never be achieved unless such murderers are treated as they should be.
Sir, – Not to minimize the outrage against the killings in Toulouse and the tragedy that befell the Sandler family, but it is instructive to note that no such international sympathy was expressed after the massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar, nor after any terrorist attack in Israel, as far as I know.
Is it because this attack took place outside Israel? Are we in Israel “fair game?”
Skewed priorities Sir, – A giant in the world of Torah and an inspiration to thousands here and in the Diaspora, responsible for hundreds of families making aliya, dies – and all your newspaper can do is write a blurb (“Rabbi Scheinberg dead at 101,” News in Brief, March 22)? His funeral closed off main arteries and streets in Jerusalem for hours. If it had been a celebrity it would have been plastered all over your paper! Where are your priorities?
KYNA KAR Jerusalem
Arrogant knucklehead Sir, – According to Peter Beinart (“Peter Beinart calls for a ‘Zionist BDS,’ but he’s not finding many takers,” March 22), Jews and Israel are overly concerned with the survival of the Jewish people. Our new power found in the might of Israel is being used to destroy our enemies while distorting our ethical responsibilities as a nation. Much of the threat to the Zionist state is caused by settlers and antidemocratic religious fanatics who hold politicians captive through their small-party voting blocs in the Knesset.
But survival as a sovereign state and a people is the first and ultimate responsibility. Settlements are military and political insurance in the efforts to make peace with the Palestinians. No other nation has had to worry about survival as have the Jews and Israel.
Israel knows and practices its ethical responsibilities. No other modern army with enemies sworn to the country’s annihilation has acted as ethically and morally as Israel’s.
Beinart might really believe that his call for a boycott will elevate the discourse on peace, but I doubt it. It will add fuel to the calls from the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions promoters, who will count him in their camp and not explain the nuances of his argument for Israel’s survival.
His fidelity to Israel will be lost in the rhetoric.
Thanks for the moral compass check, Peter, but you are just wrong calling for a boycott of anything to do with Israel. You are an arrogant knucklehead for legitimizing boycott tactics of those who wish to destroy Israel.
Livni as footnote? Sir, – Regarding “Livni warns: Kadima can’t exist without me” (March 21), Tzipi Livni seems obsessed with finding fault with the prime minister to the point of being ridiculous. She obviously believes that being in the opposition means she always has to “oppose.”
Livni might be feeling uplifted after being listed as one of the most influential women in the world, but let’s call a spade a spade: In Israel she is on the way to political oblivion. In history books she might receive passing mention, in a footnote perhaps.
If she wants to assure her place in Jewish history, let her set an example by telling Prime Minister Netanyahu that at this most crucial moment she will join a unity government (although she should not soil the gesture by posturing for a cabinet position – we don’t need to be dragged through that nonsense).
Livni should forsake the path of petty politician. It is time to put all differences aside and present the world with a unified Jewish people.
Misogynist law Sir, – The new law “making it illegal for the media to publicize models who appear severely underweight” (“A world first: Knesset bans ads with photos of overly-thin models,” March 21) is at its root misogynist.
Almost without fail, public criticism regarding appearance focuses on women. In this case, some models have been legislated as being too thin. Some communities do not want to see pictures of women at all in the media, making them the first to be in full compliance with this new law.
Absurdly, logical extensions of the law include the prohibition on ads with overweight women or banning women teachers and caregivers who are the “wrong” size. This legislation is consistent with the obsession with women’s looks, which is fundamentally a form of women-hate.
I look forward to the day when the only criticism my teenage daughter faces over how she looks comes just from her mother.
More than artifacts Sir, – I was surprised at Shmuel Rabinowitz’s essay refuting denial of Jewish history by invoking the existence of ancient artifacts in Jerusalem. Those who wish to deny truth to advance their own political agendas never allow empirical facts to disturb their assertions.
Even as our enemies make desperate attempts to obliterate us and our history, we remain steadfast and confident that the very existence of the Jewish people after so many exiles and attempts to destroy it stand as testimony to God’s eternal promise to our forefathers that He will never allow our destruction. And this evidence, more that all the ancient coins, stamps and pottery, is available to all who seek access to truth in today’s age of distortions and misinformation.
What is missing more than anything else is the willingness and readiness of the Jewish people to step up to its role as disseminator of truth through Torah. If there were unity among the Jewish people, our detractors would have no leg to stand on.
SHARON LINDENBAUM Rehovot It was Toynbee Sir, – In “Victims of unoriginality” (Terra Incognita, March 21), Seth J. Frantzman refers to “the famed British historian” but does not identify him. It was the notorious Arnold J. Toynbee, who “progressed” from pro-Zionist to vicious anti-Zionist, anti-Semite and distorter of history in his 10- volume study that misjudges and misrepresents Jewish history, culture and contemporary life, reducing it all to a “fossil civilization,” inert, petrified, dead.
Maurice Samuel excoriated Toynbee in 1956 in his The Professor and the Fossil. Israeli ambassador to Canada Yaacov Herzog finished the job beautifully in a debate with Toynbee in Montreal. I still have the tape, which does not leave much – if anything – of Toynbee’s bias and distortion of history.