Letters week of Sept. 25, 2014

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One reader argues the importance of Jews living outside of Israel, while another says that blaming Israel for Arab behavior is nonsensical.

Aliyah Diminishes Jews’ Global Contributions

I enjoyed reading about the “Jewish Educators’ Exodus to Israel” (Cover, Sept. 4). Regarding Rabbi Shmuel Jablon’s comments and his aliyah, I think that it’s absolutely great that there is an Israel and, were there to have been one before 1940 or so, perhaps the Jewish carnage that ensued would not have happened.
 
But, prior to World War II and the expulsions from North Africa, Jews were almost everywhere and had a national identity along with their Jewish identity.
 
It saddens me greatly that Jews no longer populate the world as they once did, contributing greatly to their national homelands, even as they identified as Jews. Their unique cultures will be difficult to maintain away from “home,” and the world will be the lesser for it.
 
There has been significant national rebirth in Ukraine (until Putin’s encroachment), Germany and other countries. That Jews were living in so many places was a source of pride. That all, or most, should make aliyah would diminish my Jewishness. I would hope that Jews never abandon their global presence.
Nathan Farbman | Philadelphia
 
Blaming Israel for Arab Behavior Nonsensical
In his letter (Kvetch ’N Kvell, Sept. 11), Frank Friedman seems to want to split the baby on the causes of the never-ending strife in the Middle East. He admits that Arab leaders “have abrogated their responsibilities to their people, preferring instead to foment hatred and make war.” He also admits that some of these leaders want to destroy Israel and that the Arabs have rejected numerous proposals for peace over the past 65 years. So far we agree.
 
Where we disagree is his assertion that these rejections were due to these Arab leaders’ belief that they were getting the short end of the stick. If the Arabs thought that these peace proposals were unfair, biased or insufficient, they have never to my knowledge indicated a coherent reason why.
 
Mr. Friedman then goes on to name increasing numbers of settlements in occupied lands and the use of excessive force against Arabs as inexcusable. I would love to have Mr. Friedman describe the exact amount of force that is acceptable when Hamas uses mosques, hospitals, homes and schools as bases to shoot rockets and other munitions at both Israeli soldiers and civilians. In what war has any side not used all means to protect its own people who are under attack from a genocidal opponent?
 
Daniel Bacine is exactly correct when he says that what’s inexcusable and a disgrace is Arab hatred of Jews (Kvetch ’N Kvell, Sept. 4). From 1948 to 1967 to the present, it’s been the Arab rejection of the right of the Jewish people to their state in their ancestral homeland that has been the cause of the wars and terrorism in the Middle East.
Steve Heitner | Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.
 

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