Ne­turei Karta: where I agree

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS/ -

IN RE­SPONSE to your re­cent cor­re­spon­dents (JC, De­cem­ber 22), I am only aligned with Ne­turei Karta in so far as we both be­lieve that Is­rael’s po­si­tion is un­ten­able — but for en­tirely dif­fer­ent rea­sons. The ra­tio­nale of Ne­turei Karta is based on re­li­gious dogma, whilst my con­tention is com­pletely prag­matic. The Jewish state as en­vis­aged by Herzl and es­tab­lished un­der Ben Gu­rion has be­come an en­tirely dif­fer­ent en­tity un­der Sharon, Olmert and the Likud.

In 1948, the Zion­ist pi­o­neers worked and lived for an ideal that was forged out of the hor­rors of the Nazi Holo­caust and Euro­pean an­tisemitism. Those pi­o­neers worked to make the land fruit­ful for the com­mon good. And aided by the Jewish di­as­pora, in­clud­ing mem­bers of my own fam­ily, they suc­ceeded.

How­ever, the last decade has trag­i­cally seen the coun­try de­gen­er­ate into an oc­cu­py­ing power that ig­nores in­ter­na­tional law, par­tic­u­larly in re­gard to hu­man rights, in the pur­suit of a po­lit­i­cal pol­icy that re­fuses to en­gage con­struc­tively with the Pales­tini­ans and is there­fore anath­ema to so many of us inside Is­rael and out­side. Fur­ther­more, the po­lit­i­cal process has be­come mired in cor­rup­tion. The time has surely come for a par­a­digm shift. Is­rael is un­for­tu­nately both the fo­cus and the ex­cuse for in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism and as such, al­beit un­wit­tingly, has be­come a threat to world sta­bil­ity. Sadly, there ap­pear to be no states­men, or women, ca­pa­ble of res­ur­rect­ing the dream of Herzl and Weiz­mann. Michael Halpern c/o Mos­sel Bay, South Africa

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