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Letters to the editor: Aug. 28, 2019

No partner for peace

Ninety years ago this week there was no Israel, there was no Gaza, there was no “occupation.” There was no PLO, no Hamas.

There was no border, no security checkpoints, and no red, yellow or green lines.  

There were, however, Jewish people living in our Promised Land and our Homeland. There were Jewish people practicing Judaism in Jerusalem, Hebron, Tzafet and Jericho. 

On August 24, 1929 in the city where Abraham and Sara, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah are buried in a cave purchased by Abraham, Arab terrorists began throwing stones at the windows of the homes where Jewish families lived.  

Shortly after 8:30 a.m. on a Shabbat, the terrorists then pulled out axes and knives and began entering these homes and attacking the children, men, women, senior citizens — they did not care, so long as their victims were Jewish. Synagogues were vandalized and desecrated. A Jewish hospital that treated both Arab and Jewish patients was looted and attacked. 

Torahs, synagogues and libraries were set on fire. Sixty seven Jewish citizens were murdered — three children under the age of five, 24 students at the Hebron Yeshiva. Most of the deceased were buried by the Arabs in a mass grave. 

The terrorists did not blame the loss of land, conditions in Gaza, a lack of jobs, or long lines at security checkpoints for their actions. So what drove these terrorists to kill 67 Jewish innocent citizens and injury many more in 1929?  

It’s the same reason that 90 years later, on Aug. 23, 2019, 17-year-old Rina Shnerb, her 21-year-old brother Dvir and their father Eitan in Dolev, 27 miles from Hebron, were attacked by terrorists.  

These terrorists attacked this family because, like the Hebron terrorists, they hate all Jewish people, they do not want Jewish children living in the Middle East, and they certainly do not want a Jewish State. Worst of all, they will kill innocent men, women and children to make their point.  

What are Hamas, PLO, Fatah, Palestinian leaders and Arab leaders doing to prevent this violence against their Jewish neighbors? How can we ever have peace while our neighbors want to kill every Jewish person in the neighborhood? 

Mike Minoff, Olivette


Disloyalty and free speech

Today, President Donald Trump made a suggestion that as a Jew I don’t understand what is at stake here or I am disloyal for supporting Democrats. A few years ago at Central Reform Congregation, my synagogue in St. Louis, a group from Kansas came and stood on the corner of Kingshighway and Waterman, shouting at us about how we are destructive and destroying the world. 

I wanted at the time to run them off the street. How dare they invade my space and make me feel unsafe? Rabbi Ed Harris was leading services that day and we had a long discussion about values. I came to believe that the principle of free speech  —regardless of whether or not I agreed with what was being said — was the most invaluable right. 

This idea is unique in the world. Therefore, when the president says I am disloyal, he is wrong, because what sets us apart from the rest of the world is the right to free speech. Immigrants fight and die to come here (because of it) and two world wars were fought to (defend) it. 

No, Mr. Trump, I would never be disloyal to that principle — I would die for it.

Richard Isserman, Pembroke Pines, Fla. (formerly of Creve Coeur)