Archive for Thursday, April 11, 2002

Fires of prejudice

April 11, 2002


To the editor:

Danne Hautmann's comments on April 8 crossed over the line of reason and truth. While it is common practice among Israel's enemies to equate Israel's actions with those of the Nazis, anyone with an understanding of world history realizes that the analogy is ludicrous and insults the memory of the 6 million who perished.

The slander continues by misquoting the Talmud, stating that Orthodox Jews are taught that gentiles do not deserve equal treatment. Hautmann is clearly unaware of the lengthy discussions in the Talmud about how all people (Jews and Gentiles) have a place in the world to come if they have lived moral lives.

Many Jews sincerely acknowledge the need for a separate Palestinian entity. The tragedy in Israel is one of two peoples tied to the same land, both deserving to live there in peace. Israel is doing what must be done to protect her citizens from being blown up in pizzerias, from being massacred at dance clubs and from being killed at religious celebrations.

To state that Israel's goal is the eradication of the Palestinians only heightens the level of hate and ignorance. One may not agree with how Israel is defending her citizens, and may even feel that the Palestinian actions are justified. But peace cannot be achieved by characterizing a nation who is struggling for its survival as the villain.

The inflammatory comments expressed by Hautmann throughout his letter fuel the fires of prejudice that have confronted the Jewish people for centuries.

Rabbi Judith Beiner,

Lawrence Jewish Community Center

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