Letter – 12 November 2009

They dare call themselves “Jews”

They destroyed 100 olive trees last night.  Cut them down.  Up-rooted them.  Destroyed them.  Massacred them.

50-/60-year-old trees.  Trees that provided a living to Akram Amram and his family in Burin, Palestine.  No longer.

People calling themselves Jews did this, although Jewish law prohibits wanton destruction:  “[Y]ou shall not destroy [a city’s] trees by wielding an axe against them; for you may eat of them, but you shall not cut them down.”  [Deuteronomy 20:19]

Jews blessed and encouraged by their Rabbis – so filled with religious zeal that they give “Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel … even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation.”  [HaAretz, 9 November]

They dare call themselves “Jews” …

Not a week ago, I was harvesting trees like these, climbing their strong branches reaching toward the clouds.  Trees deeply, securely rooted longer than my almost-60 years, drawing richly from the red, clay soil, producing silky green and deep blue fruit.  Next to patches that had been burned, cut, and up-rooted earlier this year and last.

The settlers of Yitzhar and their Rabbis desecrate everything that is Jewish.  Defile Judaism.  And those of us who know their depravity – which Judaism do we embrace?  What actions will we take?

For if these people are Jewish, then I must relinquish my Jewish-ness, for I will not abide the Judaism they represent.

Judy Bamberger,
O’Connor ACT

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