Military strength vs. moral strength
In “How to repair Israel’s relationship with the younger generation” (Opinion, Aug. 11), Dan Schnur hit the nail on the head when differentiating between those of us older Jews whose attitudes were shaped by the Yom Kippur War, and the younger generations who came of age after the Lebanon War, which is regarded as Israel’s Vietnam. A better way to express the contemporary challenge is the farther away a generation is from the Holocaust, the less likely they will see a need for Israeli military strength, and more likely to value moral strength, instead.
Younger Jews are more likely to believe in the commandment in Deuteronomy to “love the stranger, for you were strangers in a strange land.” The Israeli government can help change that by 1), improving the lives of Ethiopian Israelis and 2), seriously addressing instead of discrediting the testimonies of large numbers of veteran Israeli soldiers who have witnessed first-hand cases of abuse toward the Palestinian population in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
How to understand Israel
Regarding “How to repair Israel’s relationship with the younger generation” (Opinion, Aug. 11):
This story has been replayed many times. Jews are oppressed and then there’s a period of emancipation. Jews excel in the arts, science, law, trade and commerce until they don’t. During those periods of prosperity, Jews assimilate. One only need look at the lives of the musical Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler. There’s always some version of Haman that alters the dynamics. The difference, of course, is the existence of the State of Israel.