MISGUIDED EMPHASIS ON OBSCURE JEW-HATERS
When I opened my copy of the JC and saw the front-page headline ( Oslo opens floodgates to conspiracy madness, July 29), I expected to read about how the mainstream western media had falsely — from right through to left — initially blamed Muslim extremists for the terrible events in Norway.
Instead, space was given to what are essentially obscure and marginal voices who blame the Jews for everything. At this point in time, we should be soul-searching about the intellectual and cultural atmosphere that enables Islamophobia to flourish.
But readers of the JC were treated to the unreflexive writings of Melanie Phillips, who refuses to see the historical parallels between hatred of Jews and prejudice against Muslims. The former, she argues, is irrational, the latter “all-too-rational”.
In the heyday of modern antisemitism — roughly the hundred years between the 1840s and 1940s — antisemites denied any malice on their behalf: they blamed Jewish behaviour or Jewish difference for their own intolerance. The same is true today of our justification for antiMuslim attitudes.
The Norway tragedy shows that hatred in the end will destroy all that it comes into contact with — very few of Breivik’s victims were Muslims. Prejudice, whether against Jews, Muslims and others has to be fought. The first battle is within ourselves. (Professor) Tony Kushner Director, Parkes Institute University of Southampton
It is totally unnecessary to define ourselves in terms of what our enemies say, many of whom are simply off the wall. Paying loonies so much attention ( JC, July 29) simply magnifies their importance.
In Israel, a growing population, with relatively low unemployment and a burgeoning economy in many hi-tech sectors, is wondering why things cost more than they do in the UK and the USA.
Olim like my daughter, who went with Zionist principles, are wondering why their salaries seem so low and do not buy much. Is that Herzl’s Zionist dream?
Let’s hear about such difficulties as these faced by the Israelis, perhaps as a result of competition being squeezed by the oligarchs, and shut up about the antisemites. Hazel Stein Hazelstein@aol.com