The tragedy of the worshiping Jews killed in the synagogue in Istanbul will only be worsened if put into a context of a never-ending series of retaliations. Those interested in a lessening of anti-Israeli tensions and peace in the Middle East (and elsewhere) should not let the statements made by some mourners at the Simon Wiesenthal Center go unanswered.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper calls on the Turkish government to close the offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization in that country. Must the rabbi be reminded that the PLO is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, recognized by that august body, the United Nations. He urges "the forces of freedom here and in Israel to deal with the hijackers and thugs in the language they best understand." As an American Jew, I am sickened and outraged at this senseless slaughter, but for the rabbi to have used such violent and inflammatory language is inexcusable.
The biblical phrase, "the blood of our brothers cry out from the earth" is surely a statement that could be made by peoples the world over. This tragedy will be intensified if it is used as a signal of more bloodshed to come.
Somehow, we as a human race are going to have to learn that violence is not to be condoned. Not the violence of terrorists machine-gunning 21 innocent worshipers; not the violence of an Israeli state-terrorist action to "avenge" them; not the state-sponsored terrorism employed by the United States in Nicaragua or Angola. A more fitting tribute to these martyrs would be to learn the art of compromise, and the use of nonviolent solutions to our many problems.
MICHAEL A. GISH