Justice or vengence?

Beautiful in its simplicity and its morality, and an argument against the blind anger and fear that surrounds us all, this letter in the New York Times today should pull us all up short.

Some 30 years ago, a Hebrew University law faculty member wrote, "A border is secure when those living on the other side do not have sufficient motivation to infringe on it."

As another Hebrew University professor put it: After every victory, "the abyss of mutual hatred will deepen and the desires for vengeance will mount."

A few months after the 1967 war, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, a leading Israeli intellectual, said that the occupation was unjust and would lead to the subjugation of the Palestinians, and even to the corruption of Israeli society.

Ancient Israel gifted the world with the revolutionary idea that it is justice, not military might, that brings peace. Now is the hour for that wisdom to be reborn.

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Published on May 9, 2002 12:09 PM.

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