Letters to the Editor: A Recipe for Destroying Lebanon

Smoke rises from a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut after an Israeli air strike, July 19,2006.

A call to heed

In response to “Only ‘Jewish Peace Corps’ can save Zionism from millennial crisis,” February 25

Ari Shavit issues an important call to expand service opportunities for young Jewish adults. Shavit’s right: Jewish service links volunteering to Jewish values in millennials’ minds. Each year Repair the World engages tens of thousands of young adults in meaningful, Jewish-infused service, and we’ve measured strong increases in how they connect their passion to drive social change to their Jewishness. Many even build innovative Jewish communities around this work. Through service initiatives like Passover’s #SupportforRefugees, young adults address today’s urgent issues, make Judaism fit their lives, and challenge themselves to learn, question and lead.

The difficulty for many in the Jewish community is internalizing how crucial it is for the service to be authentic – for programs to reflect uncomfortably extreme pluralism, and for Jewish elements to be offered “no strings attached.” Young adults deepening their appreciation for and identification with Jewish values don’t always build stronger connections to what they perceive to be the “organized” Jewish community. And, that’s okay. For many, this work is not an entry point into Jewish life – it is their Jewish life. As more young adults bring their Jewish expression to authentic service, they are making not just a better world, but a more vibrant Jewish community. 

We hope others heed Shavit’s call and create more opportunities for young adults (and Jews of all ages!) to explore the Jewish imperatives of tikkun olam and creating social change.

David Eisner

CEO, Repair the World

A recipe for destroying Lebanon

In response to “Should Israel consider using devastating weapons against Hezbollah missiles?” February 15

Prof. Amitai Etzioni has “discovered” America, in more ways than one. American military officers told him that an effective way to destroy Hezbollah’s missiles, most of which are stored in private houses, would be by fuel-air explosives.

According to Etzioni, many studies have proven that massive conventional bombings, like those of Tokyo, Dresden and London during World War II, failed to achieve their goals. Fuel-Air Explosives – which are essentially a variation of the notorious napalm bombs, used mainly during the Vietnam War – would be a more effective solution, he says, as long as the civilian population is warned to evacuate the area.

I would have expected an expert in international relations like Etzioni to write that Israel must announce in advance, to the entire world, including at the United Nations, that it will see any attack on it by Hezbollah as a declaration of war against it by the state of Lebanon. And in a war between two states, Israel will act like it’s at war: The state of Lebanon will be quickly destroyed.

Avishai Geva

Tel Aviv