HOW ABOUT JUSTICE FOR ISRAEL FOR PROVIDING FUEL FOR GAZA?
Whilst the concern of Jews for Justice for Palestinians is admirable, I feel I must clarify some grave misconceptions: their advertisement ( JC, April 18) claims that the blockade on Gaza is “collective punishment” which is “illegal under international law”. However, Israel is under no legal obligation to provide Gaza with anything — water, electricity, food, medicine or fuel — as it unilaterally withdrew in 2005.
There is no legal obligation for any country which once occupied a nonsovereign territory to provide it with any goods. Under the same thinking, Egypt would be legally compelled to do the same. As such, anything that Israel does provide to Gaza is not by legal compulsion, but out of humanitarian concern. Indeed, Israel continues to provide aid and to allow Gazans into Israel for medical treatment. Perhaps this is not enough, but it is nonetheless remarkable for a country, in this situation, to provide it with even a grain of salt, let alone fuel (given that half of it may be used by Hamas for its rockets on Sderot).
What Israel is legally compelled to do is not to obstruct the passage of aid from external sources. However, when Israel halts the smuggling of 6.5 tons of potassium nitrate for making dynamite, disguised in sugar packets labelled “EU assistance”, it is Hamas which breaks the laws of international fair play and twists Israel’s hand into extending further restrictions.
When the Palestinians elect a guerrilla force into government, they must bear responsibility for the actions of those elected in their name. When a body acts in the capacity of a nation state but refuses to accept the responsibility and culpability of a nation state, it is that body which must be held accountable for what it brings upon its people.
Hamas’s mastery in propaganda is astonishing — and we are said to control the world media! They have people, including JfJfP, believing that Israel should respond to Hamas’s overtures of negotiation based on the ’67 borders, forgetting the caveat that they want a full return for refugees. I have pity and contempt for those who believe Hamas is a viable peace part- ner when its conditions for peace are, first, Israel’s political suicide, and then its genocide at the hands of Hamas.
Kudos to the JC for publishing the ad. At least it refutes Avi Shlaim’s recent claims that we are “stifling debate” and free speech. Eylon Levy email@example.com
It would be a real Pesach miracle if we could see a full-page advertisement from Palestinians for Justice for Jews. Alas, no such organisation exists, which is significant in itself!
Instead we are treated to a perversion of “the Enduring Message of Pesach” with no mention of the Eleventh Plague — the Kassam rockets which the residents of Sderot must daily endure. We are further asked to “respond to the Hamas offer of a ceasefire”, which is superficially seductive but is actually a prescription for catastrophe. It would enable Hamas — surely the present-day Amalakites — to upgrade its missile infrastructure, smuggle in advanced weaponry and send its members abroad for training as well as renewing hostilities at a time of its choosing.
I do not know the cost of a full-page ad, but the monies spent would surely be better employed in alleviating the suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians caught up in the present conflict. Malvyn Benjamin Downage, London NW4
JfJfP must be under the impression that they are the only Jews who pray for peace in the Middle East. Most Jews would, begrudgingly, accept a total Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank if it would guarantee peace. But that guarantee will not be given, especially by Hamas which does not wish for negotiations “based on the 1967 borders” but based on the elimination of the Jewish state. It should also be remembered that past negotiations — the 1937 Peel Commission, UN Resolution 181 of 1947 and the Camp David negotiations of 2000 — have led directly to even greater tragedy for both sides in the shape of, respectively, a deeper Arab uprising; a war; and the second intifada. One must ask JfJfP why would this time be any different from all other times? Richard Millett firstname.lastname@example.org
We should all welcome the admission by JfJfP that the violence in Gaza, Sderot and Ashkelon was initiated by Hamas, and that the Israeli response was self-defence. A question remains. Few readers of the JC vote in Israel, serve in the army or are violent to Palestinians. I doubt the leaders of Hamas or Hizbollah see the JC. Surely JfJfP should put their advertisement where the people they wish to influence will see it? If not, I am afraid their document reeks of emotional self-indulgence. Bryan Reuben Claverley Grove, London N3
Nu, what’s common to Neturei Karta and Jews for Justice for Palestinians? The former are motivated by religious fervour, the latter by misguided secular zeal. The end result is identical: hastening the end of the only Jewish state. JfJfP is urging us to “respond to the Hamas offer of ceasefire”. The Arabic language has a dozen words for our “ceasefire”, each with a different meaning. Hamas’ proffered one is: We agree to stop killing you while we regroup, rearm and wait till we spot a weakness in Israel, then deliver the fatal blow. This is exactly what JfJfP are urging your readers to accept. A Soudry Glasgow G77
At the end of your story on the Ham & High accepting adverts from the BNP, there were two paragraphs on the JC advert from JfJfP. The unmistakable inference was that JfJfP and the BNP are similar pariahs in the Jewish community, different only in that the JC (apparently with heavy heart) prints adverts from the former. I was not a signatory to the JfJfP advert, but I do not accept that its call for justice towards the Palestinians at Pesach necessarily equates to support for the racist far right. It is precisely these kind of semi-hysterical insults that disfigure our Jewish community. Dr Keith Kahn-Harris email@example.com