Religious Jews need to live in Hebron

November 17, 1996

THE OCT. 31 editorial, "The intransigents of Hebron," makes the outrageous statement, ''To some, however, the moral need for Jews to live in Hebron was nullified by Dr. Goldstein's revenge 65 years later."

For Jews to live in Hebron is not a question of moral equivalence, despite the Arab massacres of Jews in that city in the 1920s and 1930s, resulting in the extermination of a Jewish community that had existed for millenniums.

Instead, Jews should have a right to live unharmed and unhampered in the second holiest city for the Jewish religion.

Under Jordanian rule there was no such opportunity. Now, under the state of Israel, certainly there should be no restrictions.

To compare the act of a single individual, Baruch Goldstein, traumatized by the killing of his relatives during the Arab riots in 1929 and 1937, with those acts conducted with the full approval of the Arab population of that city, is egregious.

There is no moral or ethical reason why Jews should not be allowed to live in Hebron but more important there is a compelling necessity for religious Jews to be in Hebron, the second most holy city in Jewish history.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

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