Letters | The Death Penalty and the Palestine Mandate

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For the Death Penalty

How frustrating yet predictable that another Jewish editor tries to whip up sentiment against reinstating capital punishment (“Reinstating Capital Punishment Is a Bad Idea,” Aug. 1). Judaism is quite clear in permitting the death penalty for specified heinous crimes. The time from guilty verdict to execution in these cases appears to exceed 20 years — more than enough time for clever attorneys to use every ploy imaginable to keep the killers alive. None of the murderers was a choirboy having a bad day but, rather, hardened criminals whose disregard for the value of human life led — logically — to the forfeiture of their own. Enough is enough.

David L. Levine | San Francisco

Against the Death Penalty

The death penalty rears its ugly head in Washington, D.C. (“Rabbis Talk About Jewish Views on the Death Penalty,” Aug. 1) and for what reason? It has been proven it does not deter crime, is extremely expensive, has the tendency to traumatize victim’s families and is unconstitutional. The state has no more right to murder than does an individual, so what is the rationale? All that remains is vengeance, one of man’s baser instincts, and it doesn’t do a very good job doing that. If revenge is the motive, compare lying down, being injected with lethal substance and going to sleep forever with serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison.

Ralph D. Bloch | Jenkintown

Regarding That Mandate…

A reader’s letter raises two objections to our op-ed, “‘Two-State Solution’ Isn’t Best for Either Side,” writing that what’s today’s Jordan had been “temporarily included in Palestine,” but was “not part of the mandate,” and that all sides’ objections to considering Jordan “the [Arab] Palestinian state” make it “hardly a realistic scenario.”

The Palestine Mandate’s Article 25 gave the Mandatory, Britain, power “to postpone or withhold” application of some of the Mandate’s provisions to “the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine.” — i.e., today’s Jordan. Palestinian Arabs reject splitting even western Palestine into “two states for two peoples,” demanding a Jewish State-ending “right of return” of millions of Arabs to a truncated 1949-ceasefire-lines Israel deprived of historic Jerusalem and Judea-Samaria. What’s realistic is recognizing that Jordan and Israel accomplished that two-state solution into a far larger and more viable Arab state than a rump “West Bank” hewing to a 1948 war’s long-gone ceasefire lines, and a secure Jewish state redeeming the historic homeland of Jews.

Lee S. Bender and Jerome R. Verlin | Philadelphia

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