THE FALL-OUT FROM THE GAZA CONFLICT, ON RADIO, TV AND ON THE STREETS
I have just been listening to a phone-in programme on a national talk-radio station, the subject being the morality of the IDF.
A young Jewish man with dual British-Israeli nationality, who had served in the Israeli army, called to say that the IDF was the most moral army in the world. To substantiate his claim he went on to say that, during training, IDF recruits were instructed that if they were given an order they disagreed with on moral grounds, they could refuse to carry it out.
The radio interviewer expressed his surprise and asked the caller if he could substantiate his statement — which he could not. But still he went on with his claim, arguing his point and sounding more foolish by the minute.
Potential callers to these programmes should be aware that the presenters are highly trained journalists, skilled in the art of interviewing. They can be as potent as many a top-notch legal counsel, with far more freedom to lead a caller into making a fool of him/ herself, especially when one gets the impression that the interviewer is at odds with the caller’s views.
If you must call to make your feelings known, ensure that you have your facts and figures written down in front of you and don’t dig yourself into a hole. Stick to the facts and don’t enter into an argument with the interviewer. Remember the Mark Regevs of this world can do a much better job than any aspiring A-level wannabe politician, and that calls of this nature can do more harm than good when made by unskilled do-gooders. Alf Allenstein Heddon Court Avenue, Barnet
Proportionate? I have just watched videos made by the correspondents in Gaza of France 24 and the Indian TV channel NDTV showing Hamas assembling and firing rockets from the very heart of built-up Gaza, one from a site within yards of a building flying the UN flag. These are the sort of rocket-firing incidents BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen told the New Statesman he had not seen and, by implication, had not heard about.
Perhaps the BBC could borrow the footage from channels brave enough to film it and have a special showing for Mr Bowen. BBC viewers might also be interested. They might also shed their tears, as I did, for the children allowed to play around the rocket launchers after they had been fired. Geoffrey D Paul OBE email@example.com
Since the 7,000-strong rally in Tel Aviv on July 27, which displayed slogans such as “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies” and “We are not afraid of a political solution”, Israeli authorities have tried to ban further anti-war protests. What are they afraid of?
A feature of the London demonstrations has been their diversity and their youth. Many of the Jewish protesters are also young people who a few years ago belonged to Zionist youth groups and spent time in Israel. Now they carry banners and placards saying Haskalah [enlightenment] not Hasbarah and Not in my name.
London’s diverse communities do not hate Jews, they hate injustice and are angry at an Israeli government that wreaks such destruction on Gaza’s civilians rather than pursue a political solution. As Jews, we condemn this Israeli government too. Jews in Britain have a proud history of campaigning for justice and human rights and for upholding international law created in the aftermath of the Nazi genocide. If that puts them in conflict with the current Israeli government, we hope they choose to stay true to their values of justice. David Rosenberg Jewish Socialists’ Group BM 3725, London WC1