The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

Barry Ru­bin’s piece on why the West stands back and al­lows the Ira­nian proxy Hizbol­lah to con­quer Le­banon ( JC, May 16) is well-timed; how­ever I would take is­sue with his men­tion of the Span­ish Civil War as an il­lus­tra­tion of the pol­i­tics in­volved.

In claim­ing that other coun­tries failed to in­ter­vene on be­half of Span­ish Repub­li­cans be­cause they feared be­ing la­belled “Catholo­pho­bic”, his rea­son­ing is quite in­cred­i­ble. In fact, the chief rea­son why Bri­tish pub­lic opin­ion, at least, failed to take much no­tice of the ap­palling Repub­li­can atroc­i­ties against priests, nuns and mem­bers of re­li­gious or­ders was pre­cisely be­cause the vic­tims were who they were. As such, it would have been rather strange if the Church had sup­ported the Repub­li­can cause. The Bri­tish pub­lic in the 1930s was not par­tic­u­larly pro-Semitic, but nei­ther was it pro-Catholic.

Sadly, even af­ter the Holo­caust, the West has con­tin­ued to stand back from pro­tect­ing hu­man rights, for ex­am­ple in Dar­fur, where China has im­por­tant in­ter­ests, and Ti­bet, which is un­der Chi­nese oc­cu­pa­tion. Come to think of it, China is a much bet­ter il­lus­tra­tion for the plight of Le­banon; China is the great power of the new cen­tury, which no West­ern coun­try will chal­lenge. Only West­ern gov­ern­ments can end such op­pres­sion, but this will only hap­pen if Western­ers put pres­sure on their gov­ern­ments. Ann Farmer Wood­ford Green, Es­sex IG8

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