We were shocked and saddened to hear about the recent anti-Semitic vandalism that occurred in Juneau. This occurred within the context of other recent anti-Semitic acts occurring throughout the Pacific Northwest. Here in our community of Sitka, we have heard some blame the Jewish lack of acceptance of Jesus as the Savior for the recent acts of terrorism in our country. Elsewhere, some of our country's citizens have targeted Muslim or Arab-Americans in an attempt to exact revenge or misguided justice.
Ignorance and fundamentalism takes many forms. Whether it comes in the form of teens or young adults impulsively acting and spreading swastikas, in the form of Christian ministers preaching hate, "patriotic" Americans seeking revenge, or militant Islamic fundamentalists on a Jihad; it leads to potentially horrific consequences. It spreads the seeds of hate, intolerance and fanaticism that denigrate others and are used to justify violence and death.
If we allow such beliefs and behaviors to flourish in our communities, than we truly are no different than the militant fundamentalists who wish to destroy others who believe differently than they. If our nation stands unified and respects the diversity of all peoples, then we truly will have a society worth defending.
Aryeh and Kay Levenson
Libby and William Stortzane Eidler
Joseph and Thea Motto
Members of the Sitka Jewish Community