CHIEF’S OMIS­SION

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

There was a strik­ing omis­sion from the Chief Rabbi’s char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally el­e­gant and thought­ful es­says pub­lished in the JC ( Es­say spe­cial, Oc­to­ber 10). Nowhere, not even in his sen­si­tive dis­qui­si­tions on Zion­ism and Is­rael’s need to be a “more ide­al­is­tic so­ci­ety”, did he men­tion the Is­raeli Arabs, or as they pre­fer to be called, the Pales­tinian cit­i­zens of Is­rael.

How a so­ci­ety treats its mi­nori­ties is a defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic, recog­nised in the To­rah (“for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”), and in Is­rael’s own Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence which pledged equal­ity of treat­ment for all cit­i­zens. The con­di­tion of Is­rael’s 20 per cent mi­nor­ity is in­sep­a­ra­ble both from the peace process and the eco­nomic and so­cial health of the coun­try as a whole. We need a wider de­bate about the is­sue, and it would be good to see the Chief Rabbi lead­ing it. Sir Jeremy Beecham Board mem­ber, New Is­rael Fund UK Gos­forth, New­cas­tle on Tyne

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