GAZA: DIS­PRO­POR­TION­ATE RE­SPONSES, OR HON­EST SO­LU­TIONS?

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

Yu­val Yishal ( Let­ters, July 25) is dis­ap­pointed by the July 17 let­ter to the Fi­nan­cial Times from In­de­pen­dent Jewish Voices protest­ing against Is­rael’s bom­bard­ment of Gaza. He sug­gests we are im­ply­ing that if the siege of Gaza were lifted, this would be a suf­fi­cient con­di­tion for peace.

Lift­ing the siege will not be enough to end this con­flict. Although Is­rael pulled the Is­raeli mil­i­tary and set­tlers out of Gaza in 2005, it con­tin­ues to tightly con­trol ac­cess by land, sea and air, ef­fec­tively turn­ing the Strip into an open-air prison.

We de­plore the rocket at­tacks by Ha­mas and its stated aim of the de­struc­tion of Is­rael, as well as con­demn­ing any at­tempt to present this con­flict in racial or re­li­gious terms. How­ever, gov­ern­ments of Is­rael re­peat­edly claim to rep­re­sent and act on be­half of Jewish peo­ple the world over.

The cur­rent as­sault on Gaza is grossly dis­pro­por­tion­ate and in­hu­mane. In­de­pen­dent Jewish Voices be­lieve it is cru­cial for Jews to speak out at moments such as these. We would ar­gue that the true friend of Is­rael is not one who sup­ports Is­rael’s ac­tions un­der all cir­cum­stances but one will­ing to say loudly when its govern­ment is bent on a path de­struc­tive, not only to the Pales­tini­ans, but also to Is­rael it­self. Adam Fa­gan, Jac­que­line Rose In­de­pen­dent Jewish Voices a.fa­gan@qmul.ac.uk

I be­lieve that Is­rael could at­tempt to do two things that would go to wards chang­ing world opinion and be gen­uinely help­ful.

Why don’t they make an en­camp­ment for Pales­tinian women and chil­dren where they can come across to Is­rael and be shel­tered, fed and wa­tered un­til a truce is called, and then sent back when it is safe? Their five-minute warn­ings are re­ally use­less if the peo­ple have no shel­ter to go to. Whether Ha­mas would let the women and chil­dren cross to the safe haven of Is­rael will be a lit­mus test for the rest of the world and it would be a win, win sit­u­a­tion for Is­rael, no mat­ter which way it went.

The other thing that Is­rael could try to do openly is to warm up the cold peace deals that they have with Egypt and Jor­dan and try to act in con­cert with them to show how that re­gion of the Mid­dle East could be run for all faiths, work­ing to­gether to make the re­gion safe and pros­per­ous. I be­lieve that they would have two will­ing part­ners but some­one has to start the ball rolling.

Do­ing noth­ing bold is not an op­tion; we know Is­rael has the fire­power but that’s not the way peace is go­ing to come. Con­rad San­dler Kid­der­pore Av­enue Lon­don NW3

No doubt read­ers will re­call the dis­rup­tion at the Proms a cou­ple of years ago when the Is­rael Phil­har­monic Orches­tra at­tempted to play. I see to­day that the Chi­nese Phil­har­monic was al­lowed to play un­in­ter­rupted at this year’s Proms.

In 2008 a UN re­port found that the use of tor­ture in Ti­bet was “wide­spread and rou­tine.” Since China’s in­va­sion of the coun­try, well over a mil­lion Ti­betans have been killed.

So why does the English left, which hates Is­rael with such ve­he­mence and dis­rupts con­certs at the Proms, have no con­cern what­so­ever about the plight of Ti­betans?

I think the an­swer is ob­vi­ous: the English left is an­tisemitic to its filthy core. How­ever, un­like the fas­cist right, the fas­cist left does not even have the hon­esty to ad­mit that its ha­tred is aimed at Jews. Gary Soska Cole­man Man­sions Crouch Hill Lon­don N8

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