JEWS FOR JUSTICE FOR PALESTINIANS ‘ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE’
Dan Judelson complains that his organisation, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, only has “free speech” when bought in the form of expensive advertisements ( Letters, May 2).
Have I missed something, or does the frequent publishing of their letters in the JC (last week occupying the top two-thirds of the page) and numerous articles expounding their philosophy, such as the recent, full-page JC one by Avi Shlaim, not constitute free speech? One could also add the privileged and easy access that many of their signatories have to the BBC, Guardian, Independent and others.
Of course, the caveat to Judelson’s notion of free speech is that he and his fellow ideologues should be free to vilify and delegitimise the Jewish state without their accusations being held to account.
If their arguments stand up to scrutiny, why then should they take such exception to the JC editorial which explained the reasons for the decision to publish the offending ad? And no, genuine freedom of speech dictates that the JC is under no obligation to explain any other ads it chooses to accept with similar editorials.
The behaviour of members of JfJfP and their sister organisations is consistent with a totalitarian mindset, and considering that their 500 signatories only account for some 0.2 per cent of Anglo Jewry, they should acknowledge the vastly disproportionate free media coverage that they manage to achieve for their totally unrepresentative views. Sara King Brampton Grove, London NW4
I am offended by Dan Judelson’s statement that “the JC has carried adverts from JfJfP and other peace groups before”.
First, the JfJfP is not a peace group. A genuine peace group is one that respects both sides and acts in a positive manner. Nowhere does the JfJfP advertisement express support for the state and people of Israel. Two weeks later, many of the people who signed that advertisement wrote a letter to the Guardian criticising the existence of Israel. That was no surprise, as some of those people had previously written that they were hostile to both Judaism and Zionism.
Second, his statement tries to confuse JfJfP in readers’ minds with a peace group like Peace Now, whose advertisements have always expressed support for the views of large numbers of loyal Israeli soldiers and citizens. When I monitor anti- Israel events, I see that JfJfP are usually prominent in their organisation.
If we want peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians alike, we should celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary. We must respect ourselves in order to respect those Arabs we can talk to. Mark Drukker Margaret Close, Reading RG2
I note that you printed a letter from the chair of Jews for Justice for Palestinians. I look forward to reading the views of the chair of Palestinians for Justice for Jews. Martin Saffer Cardrew Avenue, London N12
Signatories to the JfJfP Pesach advert seem to think that Israel “controls all access to Gaza”, but last time I looked Gaza had a border with Egypt. Richard Millett email@example.com
If Deborah Maccoby considers the Israeli response to rocket attacks from Gaza to be “disproportionate” ( Letters, May 2), perhaps she would advise the Israeli government (from the safety of her home in Clapton) as to what would be a proportionate response. Firing on Gaza City the same number of rockets as Hamas aims at Israel? Alan J Miller Cloister Gardens, Edgware HA8
Perhaps all the people who signed the JfJfP petition would like to spend a day in Sderot and experience the trauma of having up to 30 rockets being fired indiscriminately into your town on a daily basis. Would they consider a “proportional” IDF response to be to set up rocket-launchers among the densely populated civilian areas in Israel and fire random rockets on Gazan civilians, giving them 15 seconds to run to a place of safety? Why is the suffering of Israelis of no consequence to them? Ruth Leveson Flamstead, Herts AL3
The JFJFP advert states that the people of Gaza are “enduring severe deprivation of food”, as does one of its signatories, Diana Neslen, writing that “the siege is inducing real starvation” ( Letters, May 2). I have yet to see any images to corroborate this. On the contrary, when one sees footage of mass rallies and demonstrations, the people appear to be well fed, well clothed and, in many cases, well armed. Andrew Fisher Brampton Grove, London, NW4
Diana Neslen is brazenly mendacious in blaming Israel for the situation that obtains in Gaza today. There is no blockade by Israel of either fuel or humanitarian aid to Gaza, but there is a deliberate strategy by Hamas of disruption and sabotage of the conduit of those supplies in order to demonise Israel in the court of Western public opinion.
In recent weeks, Hamas has forced strikes in petrol stations and bakeries, refused fuel deliveries and attacked fuel silos, such as in Nahal Oz with the killing of two Israeli civilians employed there.
Since the Hamas coup of July 2006, 505,554 tons of humanitarian aid (21,000 trucks) have crossed the main crossing points from Israel, and 13,000 Palestinians have been allowed to seek medical treatment there, including terrorists. Details of every consignment are published daily by the Israel Ministry for Foreign Affairs with the cooperation of Palestinian traders and independent observers.
Could Ms Neslen explain why on April 23, for example, despite the co-operation of Colonel Nir Press, head of the Coordination & Liaison Administration of the Gaza Strip, in coordination with UNRWA, 100,000 litres of diesel and 20,000 litres of gasoline were to be transferred and drawn from the depot at Nahal Oz, but the withdrawal was blocked by thousands of Palestinians near the entrance to the depot, thus preventing fuel leaving?
Hamas has not allowed the withdrawal of fuel during the past month and it alone is responsible for all the hardship. Roslyn Pine Upper Park Road, Manchester, M74
What happens to the connection between facts and logic for academics when they sign up for Jews for Justice for Palestinians? John Strawson wants us to believe that the total absence of Israeli troops permanently on the ground in Gaza constitutes an “Occupation” ( Letters, May 2). This is identical to Mugabe claiming that Britain is occupying Zimbabwe at the present moment or those who claim that the Americans occupy the Moon because they landed there some years ago. David Simmonds Mulberry Close, London NW4