174. Comments by Jews offensive

On Jan. 8, two letters commented on "The Last Word" a title under which five writers mused on the millennium on its waning days. Four of them elaborated philosophically on its darkest moments.

Cynthia Ozick (Dec. 27) was the exception. She would only remember the victimization of Jews by Christians. Her anti-Christian diatribe was offensive. It fits, however, within the overall context of shielding Jews from any criticism. Recalling such victimization serves notice on the world that the wrong done to the Jews is so great that put them beyond criticism.

A Forward (Dec. 31) reporter referred to Israel's disposition towards Christians visiting the Holy Land for the millennium as follows: "Imagine that someone you didn't really like was having a party--and you had to host it." Also, religious councils "threatened to rescind the kosher certification of hotels" if they host New Year's Eve parties or display Christmas trees.

It was also shocking to read that Ron Kronish, a Reform rabbi, said that "Israelis may be surprised to find out that a lot of Christians have a very strong attachment to the Holy Land." Why should they be surprised? Do Jews have a monopoly on being attached to their holy sites?

Furthermore, Israeli Orthodox have been "trashing and burning the apartments of young European Christians" accusing them of "missionizing." [An Orthodox newspaper, Yated Ne'eman, has even called Christians "enemies of Judaism from time immemorial."]

If there is to be reconciliation let's get beyond such vindictive and hurtful attitudes.

January 18, 2000