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Letters to the Editor - Volume 4, Number 3
Letters to the Editor - Volume 4, Number 3
Volume 4 , Issue 3

Letters to the Editor

Dear Sirs:

Haim Chertok, in his lengthy article (The Jewish Review, Vol. 4, No. 2), unwittingly reveals what the problem in Israel is. It is not the Arabs, but Jews, who advocate a policy that would put Israel on the road to suicide. This is all advocated with the belief of restoring Jewish "moral standing" in the goyishe world. A pretty high price to pay for a figment of someone's imagination.

Chertok's advice to forget the past, before the reestablishment of the State, when Jews were attacked and murdered by Arabs is hard to believe. Those were the bad Arabs. The present day Arabs are different. They are the good Arabs. They are willing to offer Israel ?peace? if they can have a sovereign state of their own to join the twenty one other Arab states.

Chertok seems to be influenced by the Arab claim that the Jews stole their land. Being haunted by that feeling of guilt, he would atone for it by giving them a state of their own to expand their "humanity."

Chertok seems to have closed his eyes and mind to the simple fact that the Arabs in Israel are manipulated, organized, guided and financed by the surrounding Arab states in their efforts to de-stabilize Israel.

If Chertok spent his time and effort trying to convince the Arab governments still at war with Israel to negotiate a peace, he would be doing something worthwhile.

The Turks ruled the land for nearly 500 years and in all that time there was never an Arab nationalist movement. Does the Arab claim have any validity? Let's examine some historical facts.

When the Romans defeated the Jewish armies, they forced into exile every Jew they could lay their hands on. Many Jews escaped their dragnet by going into the hills and mountains so that there has always been a Jewish presence in the land. The Romans destroyed Jerusalem, renaming it Aelia Capitoloni and forbade any Jew from entering it, except on pain of death. But they went even further in their endeavor to obliterate any trace of Judaism. They renamed the land Palestine. Since there never was a Palestine, it became a Roman invention. Then they invited people from neighboring countries to come and take Jewish property and Jewish land.

There is a legal and moral principle recognized by all civilized peoples and governments that when the rightful owner of stolen property comes to claim it, it must be returned to him.

This is what the Jews did in 1948. The fact that it required a little persuasion is another story.

What kind of ?religious? Jew is Chertok, when he exhorts religious Jews to ignore the Biblical deed to the land and to forget the lesson of the six million who were murdered by the Germans because they had no place to go?

Whose land is it?

Very truly yours,

Harry Lerner

Forest Hills, N.Y.

Haim Chertok responds:

Nowhere in my article did I raise the matter of the moral standing of Israel in the ?goyishe world.? Instead, I wrote of the demoralization effects of the occupation upon ourselves, especially upon the sons and daughters serving in the Israel Defense Forces.

Nowhere did I say or imply that Jews had ?stolen the land.? I did employ the prohibition against building a succah with stolen materials as an example of the illegitimacy of fulfilling a mitzvah in such a fashion that its verypoint is compromised. I gather Mr. Lerner misapprehended the use of the analogy.

How could I have exhorted Jews to ?ignore the Biblical deed to the land,? when the very title of my article and its central argument invoke the controversy between Abraham and Lot?

Finally, as to the Palestinian question, it is highly complicated. In answer to your question ? Chertok is the kind of `religious' Jew,? who acknowledges that another religious Jew might legitimately view matters differently from himself

Dear Editor:

The Jewish Week is a UJA Federation supported newspaper that is secular inits outlook. It treats Orthodox Judaism as just another sect within Judaism rather than as the historical character and moral conscience of the Jewish people. It offers no warmth or encouragement to the practice of Judaism and the columns of Rabbi Rackman are often hostile and belittling. I was therefore surprised that you chose to give Rabbi Rackman a full page interview (The Jewish Review, September, 1990).

Rabbi Rackman has views of Judaism which are far from mainstream Orthodoxy and which many would consider heretical except that he calls himself modern Orthodox.

Featuring Rabbi Rackman was an aberration to the otherwise wonderful articles in your very fine newspaper. Keep up the good work.


Abraham Frank, Past President, Association of Orthodox Jewish Teachers Brooklyn, N.Y.



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