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Letter to the Editor: War and Anti-Semitism

Due to his efforts to permanently rid Israel of the terrorist organization Hamas, Benjamin Netanyahu may have unwittingly and ironically become the largest cause in the recent swell of anti-semitism. If the premise upon which this surge is based is that most Jews support the war efforts of the Prime Minister, I am confident that this is untrue. How can any peace-loving person accept the deploring devastation being inflicted on the Palestinian civilian population?  

As a Jew, I am filled with indignation and shame that a country that was founded on democratic principles has gone astray of the concept of “an eye for an eye” (Lev.24:19-20) that was intended to prevent excessive revenge and make punishment proportional to the crime. With the ending of the cease-fire and negotiations, the remaining hostages appear to be lost in the rubble caused by Israeli bombs and artillery. I feel the pain of those waiting to hold their loved ones again as if they were my own family.  

I am not anti-Israel. The state and its people have been a source of pride as a symbol of my Jewish identity. The acts of barbarism inflicted by the Hamas for the purpose of annihilating the State of Israel and its Jewish population are unforgivable. But the devastation in Gaza does not right the wrong. This rampage may not rid us of Hamas. 

It is difficult to describe the responsibility I feel as I see Jewish members of the military cause so much suffering and death. This is more than revenge and retribution. Anti-semitism is wrong, war is wrong and we have enough examples of man’s inhumanity to man. Rather, in the words of the Book of Isaiah, “They shall beat their swords into plough shares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” 

Judith Miller

Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin