October 5: Pay the price

"I find it hard to believe that this dastardly 'Price tag' act was committed by Jews."

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Pay the price Sir, – Regarding “‘Price tag’ graffiti desecrates J’lem convent” (October 3), I find it hard to believe that this dastardly act was committed by Jews, and for a number of reasons.
First, Jews have no history of desecrating Christian holy places. Second, even so-called settlers do not feel threatened by Christians and therefore would have no reason. Third, although the police have been quick to arrest numerous young settlers on suspicion of having committed other “price tag” attacks against Muslim or Arab locations, not one arrest has ever led to a conviction.
It seems far more logical to look elsewhere for the perpetrators. If our police and politicians would not be so quick to accuse settlers for political reasons, perhaps they would realize that hateful words in English and Hebrew can just as easily be written by Israel’s enemies in an effort to shame it in the eyes of the world.
Perhaps their search would prove far more successful were they to look to Israel’s enemies to find their quarry. After all, terrorists do not limit themselves to explosive devices to carry out their aims; explosive language can sometimes be used to achieve them.
Sir, – In the wake of the latest contemptible “price tag” assault, it’s time to call all such unprovoked aggression exactly what it is – terrorism, pure and simple.
The classic definition of terrorism is “the deliberate use of violence aimed against civilian targets in order to promote/achieve political ends.” Contrary to those who would minimize these attacks as “vandalism” because (luckily) they have not yet resulted in loss of human life, price tag attacks clearly fit this definition.
We cannot credibly assert our opposition to terrorists if we ignore terrorism within our own society. These despicable acts call into question our own morality. Failure to call them exactly what they are, and to oppose them with all possible legal and moral force, makes us enablers and accomplices in these crimes.
EFRAIM A. COHEN Zichron Ya’acov
Equal time
Sir, – I casually read your October 3 issue and came across the article about Moshe Feiglin (“Feiglin arrested for praying on Temple Mount”). Then, I re-read the sentence: “The three Arab and one Jewish suspect were released on condition they do not visit the Temple Mount for 15 days.”
Excuse me?! I was arrested with three other members of Women of the Wall early in August for a similar charge “in violation of the customs of the site,” but the judge saw fit to state that we were not to visit the area for 50 days. Where is the equality? I did not go up to the Temple Mount, nor did I urge thousands of supporters to pass out any flyers, as apparently did Feiglin. I went to pray.
I continue to pray, as is my custom, with my tallit (prayer shawl), as a woman who has worn a plain beige tallit, not striped with either black or blue, for over 14 years, a Conservative woman who has prayed and wants to continue to be treated equally, not to have any more restrictions than a man.
And no, I don’t instigate for the sake of instigation.
Coexistence Sir, – Your report, that what is present-day Israel may have been the only place where early homo sapiens and neanderthals lived peacefully and interbred (“Neanderthals, humans may have coexisted in Israel,” October 2), might find an echo in the Book of Genesis, where there is an obscure reference to two mysterious groups – “sons of God and daughters of men” – and the questionable relations between them.
For an interesting elaboration of the theory, see the article in The Jewish Bible Quarterly (Vol. 40:1) with that precise title by Prof. Shubert Spero.