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Returning to an ancestral land

January 01, 2007

Re "Heeding a call to duty, Jews move to Israel," Dec. 26

Thank you for the article discussing Yonatan Cooper, an American who is emigrating to Israel. We frequently hear about Muslim and Christian fundamentalists, but it is not often that we encounter reporting on Jewish fundamentalism, and can explore how different their values are from those of mainstream Americans, and how this type of fundamentalism affects the situation in the Middle East.

The Times tells us that Cooper's decision was "grounded in a deep passion for his ancestral land," a concept that is alien to me since I harbor no passion whatsoever to whatever lands my ancestors called home. The Times also informs us that Israel's Law of Return allows Jews from anywhere in the world to "return" to a land they might have never seen and denies native-born Palestinians the right to return to their birthplace. It seems to me that the reason why the conflict in the Middle East has festered as long as it has is because Jewish fundamentalists think that they have rights that other people don't. Imagine if the rest of the American population thought it had the right to return to its ancestral homelands and displace the native-born population living there. What a mess the entire world would be.

ANA SANCHEZ

Newport Beach

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