The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

It is with dis­may and deep dis­ap­point­ment that I read the open let­ter pub­lished by Lady Dahren­dorf et al in the Fi­nan­cial Times (July 17, “Is­rael has to end its block­ade and re­spect Arab rights”). The writ­ers give the im­pres­sion that if only Is­rael were to lift the block­ade over Gaza peace would reign in the Mid­dle East. Alas, if only it were so sim­ple. When Is­rael oc­cu­pied Gaza, un­til the uni­lat­eral with­drawal from all of Gaza in 2005, sim­i­lar calls were made — if only Is­rael were to end its oc­cu­pa­tion. Now that there is no oc­cu­pa­tion of Gaza, and there hasn’t been one for eight years, it is the block­ade which is the bar­rier to peace. Will lift­ing the block­ade re­ally change the minds of Ha­mas, in whose of­fi­cial char­ter is the stated aim of de­stroy­ing Is­rael com­pletely?

I am sorry to hear that, as Jews, the writ­ers are ap­palled, and they seem to think that Is­rael is act­ing “in their name”. Is­rael is re­spond­ing, as any sov­er­eign na­tion would re­spond, to mis­sile at­tacks aimed at killing and in­jur­ing its civil­ian pop­u­la­tion — this time across the en­tire coun­try. Is­rael is not act­ing in the name of Jews liv­ing in the safety and se­cu­rity of the United King­dom.

In­ci­den­tally, the last time Lon­don was re­peat­edly bombed, Bri­tain re­sponded by at­tack­ing cities in its ad­ver­sary’s coun­try.

The only real con­nec­tion be­tween Gaza and Bri­tish Jewry is that when Ha­mas peo­ple speak of their sworn en­e­mies, they re­fer to them as “Al Ya­hood” (the Jews), not “the Is­raelis”. So yes, the mis­guided writ­ers are in­deed in­volved, but not in the way they be­lieve they are. Thank­fully, the ma­jor­ity of the Jewish com­mu­nity in the UK see the sit­u­a­tion for what it re­ally is and don’t en­gage in the ro­botic re­sponse of au­to­mat­i­cally con­demn­ing Is­rael. Yu­val Yashiv Gold­hurst Ter­race Lon­don NW6

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