Letters, the Week of Aug. 10, 2017

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What Shall I Tell My Grandson?

On Dec. 20 I am taking my 11-year-old grandson and his parents to Israel. The tickets have been bought are not refundable.

Six years ago, when I took my 11-year-old granddaughter to Israel with her parents, I was able to tell her how fortunate I felt to live at a time when we have a thriving Jewish homeland where all Jews are welcome. For millennia, our ancestors prayed for a return to our land, and we are the lucky ones who are able to stand together at the Kotel and thank God for allowing us to see this wondrous place.

So I will take my grandson to the Kotel this December, but where will we stand? Can we recite Shehechiyanu together? Can I tell him that all Jews are welcome here, or must I tell him that this country is not ready to welcome Jews like us?

Barbara S. Block | Philadelphia

Removal of Temple Mount Security Squanders Opportunity

A historic opportunity to change the Israel-Palestinian dynamic on the Temple Mount for the better has been squandered.

Following the status quo-shattering double murder of two Israeli policemen there, Israel installed metal detectors and security cameras as a sensible, and wholly justified, measure to ensure the peace at that sacred space.

Removing them, under Muslim threats and international community pressures, sent the worst possible message: You, not we, are sovereign there. We, not you, can always be intimidated into surrender. Israel’s enemies are now exceedingly emboldened, its defenders deeply demoralized.

This skirmish is but part of a wider Muslim war to totally deny history and any Jewish connection to the land of Israel. UN agencies, like UNESCO and the Human Rights Council, reclaim for the Palestinians, and pretend to have to defend, such sites as the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque (Rachel’s Tomb), the Buraq Wall (Western Wall) and, of course, the Haram Al Sharif (Temple Mount). It is an insidious campaign, one rapidly gaining strength.

It is time not to capitulate, but to counterattack. Denials of unassailable history and Jewish rights must not be allowed to stand without continuous challenge. As Palestinians seek to push Jews totally off the Temple Mount, it is up to us to push back.

Richard D. Wilkins | Cherry Hill, N.J.

Slaughterhouse Description Whitewashes Reality

In “Atara Foods: Restoring Glory to Hindquarter Meat” (Aug. 3), the author writes, “Freshly slaughtered cattle strapped to metal ceiling hooks added a pop of color to the white-walled facility.” Did she really just describe a gruesome scene depicting recently killed, bloody bodies as “adding a pop of color to white walls”?

Killing sentient creatures is callous enough — please don’t attempt to conceal the horrific reality with cutesy euphemisms akin to an ad for dining room paint.

I long for the day when tsaar balei chayim (kindness to animals) actually means something to our community.

Dara Lovitz | Philadelphia

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