Letter to the Editor

Understanding Israel

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dear Editor,

News coverage of events in the Middle East appear quite often, when attacks occur. They capture the attention of Jews, Christians and Moslems.

When there are questions, historic sources including the Bible and the writings of Josephus, the Jewish historian are quoted.

Josephus, originally known as Joseph Ben Mathias, was captured by the Romans in 70 A.D. when they destroyed the temple of Jerusalem.

William Whiston, a writer and an educator, published his translation of the writings of Josephus in 1737. He was a mathematician, theologian and a professor at England's Cambridge University. He states that Josephus became a Roman citizen and changed his name to Josephus Flavius.

Will Durant, author of "The Story of Civilization," describes the siege of Jerusalem under the Roman general Titus, in vivid detail. It lasted 134 days. 1,100,000 Jews were killed and 97,000 were taken captive.

Only 8,000 Jews were left in Palestine. Survivors fled to various countries. They were accused of spreading the "Black Death" that spread throughout Europe in 1348.

The country of Israel was reborn in 1948 when the State of Israel was established. Some 35,000 Jews fought against an army of 80,000 Arabs. They planted six million trees in a place known as Martyr's Forest. (That is one for each Jewish life lost in Nazi Europe.) We need to understand how Israel feels.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Nebraska

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