More voices on bin Laden’s death

Responses to the successful U.S. operation that resulted in the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden have poured into Jewish Light from throughout the community. Here is a smattering, compiled by Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Robert A. Cohn:

“The death of bin Laden provides a measure of justice – but no compensation – to the victims and families of the thousands brutally murdered in terror acts under his command or influence. This is not a moment for celebration. It is a moment to redouble our efforts to condemn, reject and fight terror in all its manifestations.”


– Barry Rosenberg, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis

“We call on the nations of the world to stand with the United States in a vigorous and sustained effort to continue to address the issue of international terrorism in all its manifestations.

What is at stake is of vital importance: victory over those whose avowed goal, as had been the case with Osama bin Laden, is to destroy free societies that are based upon democratic institutions and the rule of law.”

– Jewish Community Relations Council President Gerry Greiman and Executive Director Batya Abramson-Goldstein

“The historic event of bin Laden’s death needs to be noted, and then used as the basis of moving forward. The extraordinary impact of his genocidal hatred has harmed the world. Educating to prevent the occurrence of the 9/11 devastation must be our priority. It should start early. It should happen often.”

– Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Missouri/Southern Illinois Anti-Defamation League

“Our tradition tells us that we are not to take joy in the demise of our enemies and we are not to gloat and we are to remember with humility that the death of our enemy is a last resort. We should be humbled by that, even while we are grateful at the hopeful increase in security and the victory of good over evil.”

– Rabbi James Bennett of Congregation Shaare Emeth

“Last night reminded me why I am proud to be an American. The incredible patriotism present on USC’s campus was inspiring. Everyone was out of their houses on their porch or on the lawn, blasting (Bruce) Springsteen and Creedence Clearwater Revival, draped in red, white and blue, smoking victory cigars and drinking good old America brews. Everywhere across campus complete strangers were starting chants of ‘U-S-A! U-S-A!’. . . Today, as the novelty of this victory begins to wear off, people are starting to understand that there is no easy-fix to solving violence and terror across the globe, and that the death of bin Laden is the beginning of a journey which is far from over. However, if only for a night, it provided a much needed catharsis 10 years in the making, and at the very least reminded all of us students that we do in fact love this great nation of ours.”

– Joseph Weil, a graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School, now a freshman majoring in film at the University of Southern California