Letter sent to the Red Crescent

Rochel Sylvetsky,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Rochel Sylvetsky
Rochel Sylvetsky is Senior Consultant to Arutz Sheva's English site and serves as op-ed and Judaism editor. She is a former Chairperson of Emunah Israel (1991-96), CEO/Director of Kfar Hanoar Hadati Youth Village, member of the Emek Zevulun Regional Council and the Religious Education Council of Israel's Education Ministry. She has degrees in Mathematics and Jewish Education.

Dear Sirs:

I strongly suggest that you add a translation of the following lines from the immortal English poet William Shakespeare to the training course for Red Crescent personnel in Judea and Samaria. In order to make it culturally suitable, I have changed the word Christian to Muslim every time it appears in the original:

From the play, "The Merchant of Venice":

Hath not a Jew eyes? 

Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? 

Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Muslim is?

 If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?

 And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? 

If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. 

If a Jew wrong a Muslim, what is his humility? Revenge. 

If a Muslim wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Muslim example? Why, revenge. 

The villainy you teach me I will execute—and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

Revenge is not a Jewish trait and is even outlawed specifically in the Torah against one's countrymen. In practice, Israeli Jews treat wounded terrorists as they do their victims. Shakespeare did not know any of that, obviously, and expected Jews to act the way Muslims do.

On the other hand, Judaism believes that evil is to be eradicated. God is called "the God of vengeance."

I tried to find more modern rules for emergency care personnel facing your situation last Friday, but it seems no one has imagined the possibility that medical caregivers would not care for a patient, except for saying that even if they cannot pay, emergency patients must be treated and that the enemy must receive medical treatment. 

It obviously never entered any medical professional's head that an ambulance crew could see two wounded teenagers as well as their critically wounded father and young children in shock and continue on its way - and then try to lie about it, thinking that Jews are not only stupid enough to take care of wounded terrorists, but also to believe the idiotic story you told the media.

You do not deserve to be called emergency rescue services. What you deserve, I will let God decide - the real God, not the one you have created.


A Human Being

To readers: Don't tell me, I know this letter is useless, but I cannot stand quiet at the spilled blood of our people. May Hashem avenge their blood.

You can write him as well at  jdemaio@icrc.org