Letter | Writer has no right to speak for God in views of Israel v. Palestine

08/01/2014 4:47 PM

08/01/2014 4:48 PM

While I strongly disagree with Dick Withington’s opposition to American support for Israel as expressed in his July 23 letter, he is certainly entitled to his opinion. However, Mr. Withington writes that “American weapons are being used to punish the Palestinians again. I don’t believe that God likes that.”

It takes quite a bit of arrogance for someone to look into the Mind of God and state that God doesn’t want Israel to get Hamas to stop firing rockets into its country. With Hamas’ use of schools, hospitals and residences to shelter terrorists and store weapons, with Gazans using sacrificial children as human shields and with residents refusing to vacate areas after being forewarned by Israel that the areas will be under attack, Hamas seems more interested in winning a public relations war against Israel than in saving lives.

If Hamas were interested in saving lives, it would not have rejected the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire accepted by Israel. If Hamas was interested in saving lives, it would have abandoned its practice of firing rockets into Israeli territory.

Mr. Withington has a perfect right to speak for himself. But where does he get the authority to speak for God?

Mr. Withington further writes that “the Jews have disobeyed God many times in the past, and they are doing it again.”

He condemns an entire people, “the Jews,” for supporting a policy with which he disagrees. This is a very dangerous tactic. I am a Jew and I support this policy, but columnist Mande Wilkes, also a Jew, has a different view. Why does Mr. Withington lump all “the Jews” together? This is the approach used by the perpetrators of the Holocaust as well as those who committed other atrocities against an entire people throughout history. It is negative stereotyping.

The writer is Rabbi of Temple Shalom in Conway

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