French Boycott: Readers Respond
Reader I: You would deny a dying man medical care? This is one of the reasons why so many people are “against the Jews.” Everybody knows that long after Arafat is gone, the suicide bombings will continue as usual. He will remain just as ineffective a leader in death than he was in life. The problems in Israel go way, way beyond Arafat. As a fellow Jew, I am starting to get turned off to the Jewish cause, especially seeing how many Jews support Bush, and the meaningless killing of innocent Iraqi people. Enough is enough already. Are we not taught to have compassion? We need to stand up and be leaders. Denying a dying man medical care is hardly an admirable trait. -Adam
Reader II: Dear Sir, I am
shocked and appalled by your call for a boycott of France. Denying a person to die
in a hospital in my view is immoral.
One may call for his arrest and prosecution, not for denying treatment. This is against any
belief and morality of the civilized world. Not because of the morals of the enemy, but because of
our own morals. I am
convinced that most Jews do not share your view. I do respect your right to fully disagree with the late
PM Rabin and today’s
Israeli government, that ‘gave way’ for this ‘solution’, yet, your call for a boycott
could serve no other purpose than to further divide the world. It certainly will not bring peace and
security for Israel any closer. I hope that our wisdom will be
stronger than our outrage.
Yours sincerely, Ytzen
Reader III: Although there is no person in the world that I would love to see dead more than Arafat, I don’t think that this is a wise campaign. Injured people are pitied and given aid irrespective of who they are and what they represent. Your protest would be viewed as a very extremist perspective. This would only discredit any protests that you would undertake in the future. You should be protesting the fact that France does not protect the Jewish Community from violence and makes no effort to apprehend the perpetrators of the violence. As a result, France is seen as a complacent corroborator with those involved in Terrorism and Anti-Semitism which fuels additional Anti Semitic activities. -David Skurnik
Reader IV: I am sorry but I disagree with your position in this matter. It is no secret that France is not a friend to Jews, but we as Jews are suppose to be a light onto the nations, as Israel volunteered to help Iranian during a disastrous earthquake. We must reach out to our enemy, and at least show the world that indeed we are different. We are caring humans. If we were to take the stand that you are suggesting, then why not ask, “With all the chances that Israel has had to kill this man, why did it not do so?” He is a terrorist just like Yassin was. I say, let God take his course with Arafat and with France. It does not bode well for Jews to be condemning doctors for doing their job. The famous question, “If a terrorist is wounded, does an Israeli take him to a hospital for help from a Jewish doctor, or does he kill him?” I think we all know what the answer is: otherwise we would all be terrorists. -Charly Hazan
Response by Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: Then I suppose if Arafat were to be healed and then his continued bombings killed your wife or child, that this would be an acceptable outcome of healing this murderer? If you would study our Torah, you would learn of God’s code of morality, and abandon your own, self-destructive notions. God instructed Saul to kill the wicked king Agag. When he violated God’s command, he was dethroned, replaced by King David who slaughtered many enemies of the Jews. God condoned King David’s actions. There is a time when we not only wish for another to die, but we must kill him with our own hands. These are God’s words. To be a true Jew, one must adhere to God’s commands, not to his own sympathies and fabricated morality. We need no approval of people whose ideas contradict God.
Reader V: Although I am far from a believer in the ideas of Arafat, I believe that to condemn those who would give medical care is wrong. We as Jews cannot be so high minded that we would deny treatment that is offered when someone is ill. We can argue the ideas and condemn the man and his movement. However, to want to bring actions against those who would provide medical care is not good thinking. I think that this message should be rethought. -Tom
Response by Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: “Caring human beings” refers to those who act to save lives of the innocent. So care shown to a murderer is foolish. We are only a “light unto the nations”, when we display God’s will, not our own. Part of educating the world on God’s Torah is to teach when it is proper that a man be killed. As I mentioned above, I am certain you would opt to kill Arafat, rather than to see him murder your child. Well, other parents have children too, and those children must not be lighter in your eyes than your own. Treating Arafat would have enabled him to kill your children.
God’s Torah demands the death penalty for those like Arafat. “Reaching out to our enemy” as you suggest, is foolish, and not God’s idea of how man will survive. And to answer your question, if I chanced upon a terrorist, requiring medical attention or not, I would most certainly kill him, to save others, like your own child. If you feel that killing a terrorist makes one a terrorist himself, you have a corrupt idea of God’s will to be enforced against our enemies.
There are a few responses to be applied to the evil of our enemies. At times, we offer them the chance to live via a Torah ultimatum. But at times, with those who have committed atrocities as Arafat has done, there is but one response: death. These are God’s words in His Torah.
As Jews, the “light unto nations”, we must be ever so careful not to fall prey to a society’s emotions and cultural views, attempting to gain their favor. The sentiments voiced by the readers above display just how distorted the Jewish view has become. This is primarily an outgrowth of the Jewish nation abandoning Torah study, and mimicking other peoples who live by their emotions. God created life, and only He may decide who earns continued life, or death. Study His word if you wish to know the truth.
You must also get your argument straight: if Jews are a light unto the nations, then they cannot seek approval from them. This would mean we follow “their” morality, as opposed to teaching God’s truths.
In fact, Judaism asks Jews to celebrate when a wicked person like Arafat dies. Why is this? Doesn’t God desire the repentance of the wicked? Of course He does. But if one did not repent, he died as an evil person. There is no changing him post mortem. But the command to celebrate may have a deeper meaning then simply rejoicing when evil in vanquished. It may be that the Torah knows very well that man has the emotion of pity. This emotion is most dangerous when applied to one like Arafat. In order to correct man from allowing his pity to keep alive those who would kill others, the Torah demands that we make an outward expression of celebration. Thereby, we accustom our emotions in action, to realign them with truth.
It is both alarming and understandable, that without the study of Torah - God’s words - man’s reasoning is inherently flawed, and quite dangerous to himself and others.
Reader VI: WE HAVE NOT BOUGHT ANYTHING FRENCH FOR TWO OR MORE YEARS AND WE ASK ALL OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO DO SO TOO. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
Reader VII: Rabbi Ben
Chaim, Your position
is a sound one and I wholly support your effort. The French give us yet another
reason to boycott their nation unilaterally. To the readers who may object to this boycott, I wonder if they
also object to the assassinations
of Palestinian terror leaders over the last year, which has yielded a downturn in
homicide attacks. Of those objecting living in the USA, should we also show such compassion for Bin Laden
when he is found? What's
the difference between the two? "Bleeding Hearts" and liberals are usually rife with double
standards in their illogical, emotion based, yammerings.
The Torah does indeed justify the preemptive killing of one who would (and has) risen up against you. At least the largely Secular mainstream government has gotten that one right.
Why did Arafat choose to go to France rather than remain in Israel? In spite of the fact that he would not be allowed back into the country should he survive, as well as the advanced level of medical care available in Israel, he chose to get treatment in country who's Anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic positions are well known! I suppose he felt safer there. I don't believe any Israeli medical personnel would be held accountable for allowing him to die, or even more proactively, carrying out what the Leftist, Secular Israeli government has been afraid to carry out against Arafat and have had the chance to do for a considerable amount of time. For the record, allowing
Arafat to simply die on his own may be more humane treatment than he deserves and may even be antithetical to the Torah, which commands us to take an active, not a passive role in shaping the world. Obviously, given the choice between exile and being "allowed" to die in an Israeli hospital, he chose not to be a fortuitous addition to the growing list of Palestinian terror leaders justifiably killed.
It is entirely appropriate to boycott a nation, which has historically been an enemy of Jews worldwide and has not demonstrated any semblance of backbone in other recent trials. Are they truly weak or do they have another more sinister agenda? Regardless, what do we have to gain in any alliance with a country, which does not learn that appeasement of tyrants has never been to their benefit, economically, politically, or otherwise? Imagine if the Allied Forces had found Hitler wounded during the closing days of WWII. Would there be anyone insisting that he be nursed back to health other than to enjoy a well deserved execution? Make no mistake - Arafat is no better, but then the French simply laid down to Hitler without a fight. Perhaps they harbored many of the Reich's beliefs and wished to be a part of Hitler's "thousand year plan". Old habits die hard, and so should Arafat. As far as the French are concerned, we must boycott those who harbor such ideologies, and indeed terrorists. -Nolan M. Gisser
Response by Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: Thank you for your words and efforts.
In summary, as we watch Arafat’s health decay and die, if he hasn’t yet as you read this, I urge all of you who sense any feelings of pity, or any reluctance to rejoice I Arafat’s death, to rethink your motives and values. You must weigh with clear objectivity, both sides of the scale: consider the deaths and torment he has single-handedly delivered to thousands of Jewish families; think of the kindergarten children who died at his hands; the mothers with their daughters gunned down at point blank range; the numerous, crippled Israelis who will never walk again due to limb loss; those blinded by nail-laden bombs. Imagine their pain. Imagine the father’s and mothers who still mourn over their children years later, and the orphans who desperately miss their murdered parents. Now, imagine a life without Arafat. May he and all like him perish, and cursed are those who offer any aid whatsoever to ruthless killers, starting with the French.