From: DUMONT@XAVIER.XU.EDU

URL: http://www.metimes.com/2K/issue2000-43/letters/you_shall_not.htm

You shall not commit murder: sixth commandment of Moses
 
   An October 13 news story about a pro-Israel rally in New York referred
   to a sign held by a protester that read "Don't Throw Rocks and You
   Won't Get Killed." This is perhaps the saddest single sentence I have
   read yet. As a faithful and observant Jew, I am told by the
   organizations that supposedly represent me – with the spin
   summarized in that sign - that I must be entirely pro-Israel in my
   reactions to the recent violence.
 
   As someone who believes in God and the principles of my religion, I
   cannot accept this sign, these statements, this representation. How
   offensive to be told that I must believe that the Sixth Commandment
   has conditions, that all people were not created in God's image and
   that I should be complicitous in the violation of all I have learned
   in synagogue because it will damage Israel's political position.
 
   Israel and the American Jewish community have demanded that Yasser
   Arafat and the Palestinian people disclaim the murders of the two
   soldiers killed before the world's eyes. Although they should be
   justified in making this demand, how have they disclaimed the killing
   of 100 Palestinians, other than by insinuating that they do not have
   the same value as Israeli soldiers?
 
   How can Mr. Arafat order his people to stop protesting when we
   proclaim our pride in the ability to kill them? And when will Israel,
   the American Jewish community and the media demand actual allegiance
   to the principles, ethics and values of the religions that have
   supposedly created this conflict?
 
   Brad Rubin
 
   Washington
 
   US reparations to the Palestinians: $3 trillion?
 
   Palestinians should stop the violence because it won't get them what
   they want. Instead, they should immediately demand that the United
   States acknowledge its own role in the devastation of the Palestinian
   people and the theft of Palestinian land and other property.
 
   Basically, the US and Palestinian Jews stole Palestine from the
   Palestinians. Why, then, is the US acting as a mediator to bring peace
   to the Middle East? If two men steal your horse, do you want one of
   the thieves to act as mediator to get restitution for your loss? Of
   course not, especially when the thief who is acting as the mediator
   pretends that he is innocent of the crime.
 
   Right now, American officials want the world to believe that they are
   not thieves at all, that instead they are holy people who are doing
   God's work. Right. And I'm a camel who knows how to type.
 
   While no amount of monetary reparations can make up for more than 50
   years of suffering, heartache, poverty, death and lost opportunities,
   American law does have a way to measure such losses, and based on
   America's own legal principles and on recent cases against America's
   tobacco companies, it seems that any good American law firm would be
   able to make an excellent case that the Palestinians should receive
   damages of at least $1 million per Palestinian. What does that come
   to? About $3 trillion?
 
   The US government likes to put itself forward as the moral leader of
   the free world. It should prove this. The Palestinians and their Arab
   supporters should hold the American government to its own standards.
 
   The American people are generally very fair-minded, although many of
   them don't understand much about the history of Palestine and Israel,
   and about America's role in that history, in part because much of the
   American media is biased.
 
   If Americans were given a complete and balanced picture of the history
   of Palestine and Israel, most of them would probably accept that the
   US bears significant responsibility for the plight of the
   Palestinians, and that the Palestinians deserve compensation from the
   US for their losses.
 
   Israel says it fears Arab threats to destroy Israel. Yet Israel can't
   be destroyed. If all the Arab nations united in a war against Israel
   and it appeared the Arab nations would win, Israel would respond by
   incinerating every Arab capital and scores of other Arab cities. In
   other words, the price Arabs would pay to defeat Israel is simply too
   high.
 
   If President Clinton and the presidential candidates don't acknowledge
   that America bears a large responsibility for the plight of the
   Palestinians, they are nothing but dishonest horse thieves, and the
   Palestinians should look elsewhere for a mediator that both sides can
   trust.
 
   Jim Richards