Guardian pulls ‘ghetto wall’ let­ter

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JES­SICA ELGOT

A LET­TER which sug­gested Jewish iden­tity was de­fined by “the ghetto wall” has been pulled from the Guardian’s web­site af­ter com­plaints.

The let­ter, writ­ten by Guardian reader Niels En­gel­sted, claimed that Is­rael was build­ing the se­cu­rity bar­rier along the West Bank bor­der as “pro­tec­tive wall build­ing”, cre­at­ing con­di­tions akin to liv­ing in a ghetto.

Is­raeli of­fi­cials in London told the JC that the tim­ing of the let­ter, pub­lished in the Guardian Weekly edi­tion of the pa­per, was par­tic­u­larly shock­ing given that it was pub­lished in the week of Yom Hashoah (Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Day).

The Guardian has now re­moved the let­ter from its web­site af­ter re­ceiv­ing com­plaints.

The orig­i­nal let­ter from Mr En­gel­sted read: “As no doubt Is­raeli pol­i­tics have much to do with pre­serv­ing and pro­tect­ing Jewish iden­tity, and as this iden­tity his­tor­i­cally was de­fined by the ghetto wall, one can­not help think that it is the ghetto wall that all this pro­tec­tive wall-build­ing in Is­rael is meant to re­build”.

An Is­raeli Em­bassy spokesman in London said: “It is not news to us that there are plenty of lu­natics out there with such twisted opin­ions. What is more dis­turb­ing how­ever, is that the fil­ters at such a pres­ti­gious news­pa­per failed to es­tab­lish that this was not a suit­able view for pub­li­ca­tion.”

Board of Deputies pres­i­dent Vi­vian Wine­man said: “It is out­ra­geous at any time to com­pare the sit­u­a­tion in the Mid­dle East to the mur­der of most of Europe’s Jews in the Sec­ond World War. To do so in the week of Yom Hashoah adds in­sult to in­jury.”

A Guardian News & Me­dia spokesper­son said: “The let­ter in ques­tion was brought to our at­ten­tion by one reader at 11am to­day. The is­sue was im­me­di­ately ad­dressed in the nor­mal way by the Guardian’s in­de­pen­dent readers’ ed­i­tor, who took the decision to re­move the let­ter in ques­tion from our web­site.

“The on­line page has also been foot­noted to ac­knowl­edge the dele­tion, and the fact that the let­ter used lan­guage in­con­sis­tent with the Guardian’s ed­i­to­rial guide­lines.”

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