Tougher tactics to stop terrorists
The recent Har Adar killings suggest that it is time to reassess the strategy for dealing with such terrorism.
Merely demolishing the terrorists’ houses (Jewish News, 4 October) is not particularly effective since the terrorists receive funds to rebuild the houses almost immediately, and the new home is usually much more sumptuous than the one it replaces.
It would appear there are three factors that motivate terrorists to undertake what usually turns out to be a suicide mission: that they will be rewarded in the hereafter, the posthumous honour they and their families accrue and that the latter receive a comfortable ‘pension’ which solves their previous financial problems.
There should, however, be a mandatory death sentence in the unfortunate circumstance that they survive. Their remains should then be incinerated, preferably together with a pig which, according to their perverted beliefs, would deny them admission to enjoy the services of 70 virgins in jannah (heaven). This procedure was used successfully by the British authorities in colonial India.
The terrorists’ ashes should then be disposed of at sea so their graves could not serve as shrines, as was done with Eichmann.
These tactics may well offend liberal western values, but are justified in this emergency situation.
Martin D. Stern, Salford
No valid comparison of nazi treatment
Marika Sherwood, a survivor of the Budapest ghetto, says Israelis are doing to Palestinians what the Nazis did to her.
Most people would probably define Nazi treatment of Jews in terms of genocide, gas chambers and crematoria among other means of death and destruction, while Jews were held waiting in ghettos.
Most Palestinian Arabs live under Palestinian Authority rule in the West Bank or under Hamas rule in Gaza.
The ‘occupation’ has little day-to-day effect on the West Bank, and Israeli Arabs are citizens of Israel with the same legal status as any other Israeli citizens.
Israeli Arab political parties are represented in the Israeli Parliament. I conclude there is no valid comparison with the Nazis’ treatment of Jews.
Joseph Feld, By email
Labour is no more racist than others
I am a Jew in the Labour Party and have personally come across no anti-Semitism whatsoever.
I accept that it must be present in the party to some degree.
It, and other forms of racism, can be found, in major and minor ways, in almost all organisations, But it is not fair or accurate to make out that the Labour Party has a worse problem with anti-Semitism than other organisations.
Indeed, research shows that people inclined to the right politically are more likely to be anti-Semitic than those on the left.
Many in the Labour Party are very critical of the way that Israel behaves – as indeed are many Jews. That, most definitely, does not make us anti-Semitic.
Please do what you can to put right this false portrayal of a party that has long worked towards safeguarding human rights for all.
Pam Laurance, NW10
Reasoned dialogue is answer to Israel hate
Many of us are alarmed by the remarks made –particularly as reported from some Labour Party meetings – which make us feel that anti-Semitism is again rearing its ugly head.
I believe we must be cautious and courageous in our responses In answering these remarks.
Instead of anger and abuse, we should try to enter into a reasonable dialogue and tell the truth about the need for Israel and its attempts over the years to encourage a balanced and fair democracy.
Many of us have for years complained about the difference in degree and quality of hasbarah of the anti-Israeli lobby and what this community and Israel itself have been producing.
We should try to be better equipped to describe the history that we know to be true of the foundation and values of Israel and the difficulties and dangers it has faced throughout its existence and be prepared to call on this in discussion.
Kohelet last weekend reminded us perspectives and views are confusing and varied for all humans. The only way to get respect in an argument is to give some respect to the opposite view.
Unfortunately, we Jews often cling to tiny differences even between ourselves. Let us instead attempt to answer these threats coming from outside in unity.
And I do hope that those of us who retain our membership and loyalty to the ideals of the Labour Party will find a way of ensuring we can answer these attacks by being calm and respectful and armed with our belief and our commitment to justice.
Judith Usiskin, By email
Saving life is the priority
According to your editorial on organ donation [Jewish News, 11 October], “We are at a moral fork in the road”.
I would propose that this is certainly not so.
Saving a life takes precedence over all other considerations, even Shabbat observance.
Organ donation unless you opt out? Sooner the better. I’m one of many people carrying a donor card. The primitive belief that my innards are better buried in a box rather than in another person whose life can be saved is all but immoral.
Those scared of meeting their Maker with parts missing, fearing being only partially equipped when the Messiah comes to rouse them, are free opt out.
We should be less worried about such superstition and more concerned with giving someone a chance of life.
Barry Hyman, Bushey Heath
Clarification: Last week’s article on an interfaith succah near Grenfell Tower stated that “members of Holland Park Synagogue attended the event”. Jewish News is happy to clarify that only one member of the shul attended this event, in a private capacity.