For and against
Israel’s right to defend itself (even putting its own troops at risk so as to minimise casualties) that the voice of British Jewry has embraced the message of Hamas.
We are struggling to address antisemitism here in the UK. With friends like you, who needs enemies? Gillian Fenner firstname.lastname@example.org
I was absolutely shocked and appalled to see a full-page ad for a Gaza appeal. This is an insult to those wonderful brave soldiers who gave their life for Israel and to the rest of the wonderful soldiers who fought for Israel and the three lovely boys who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas.
The IDF need our support, they need our money. While I don’t like to see innocent children die — this is war and it happens.
In any event, the money may not get to the ordinary person in Gaza.
Any donations should be given to the IDF and, if the JC want to make any other appeals, then perhaps they could collect for those poor people up in the mountains in Iraq who are desperate for aid!
I cannot imagine what the families of the three boys and soldiers must be feeling at this time. Irene Collins Priests Lane Shenfield, Essex
Your decision to accept an advertisement by DEC beggars belief and is an insult to your readers as well as members of the IDF who have lost their lives defending the State of Israel.
I anticipate that were an Israeli charity to seek to do the same in an Islamic publication, such a request would not see the light of day.
Your paper used to be called “The Organ of British Jewry”. Would your predecessors have accepted a similar advert appealing for funds for humanitarian aid for the Nazis? I think not.
Your actions are odious and you should hang your heads in shame. Alan Berg Stanhope Road, Bowdon Cheshire
You should hang your heads in shame
As Jewish people, we claim to be a “light unto the nations” and what better way than to care for innocent victims?
This should not be conditional. It is the standard that we set for ourselves even if it sometimes feels unnatural.
We should not lose sight of the fact that this appeal is necessary because of Hamas choosing the path of destruction, and the huge amounts of misspent aid money that was used for tunnels and luxuries for the leadership rather than the unfortunates of Gaza.
We should also not lose sight of the fact that, however unpalatable the collections are, they ultimately reduce the aid that Israel is compelled to spend.
This benevolence, however, should not be one-sided. There are innocent victims in Israel, too.
Perhaps we should seek to place an advert in the Muslim News to raise funds for the children of Sderot and Ashkelon?
I hope that such an advert would be accepted. It would be interesting to see whether an appeal, even if for the children of Israel and the children of Gaza, would be accepted.
My gut tells me it wouldn’t be, my heart hopes it would.
Maybe by doing that we can turn this awful conundrum into a “win/ win”.
We should not lose sight of the fact that there is a humanitarian crisis, albeit one created by Hamas, and that we are humane. Mark Lewis Taylor Hampton Solicitors Strand, London WC2
Amid the controversy I feel it important to thank you for your careful and measured response and indeed to applaud the JC’s courage in publishing the DEC appeal.
As immediate past chair of a large synagogue, I know well how emotive anything involving Israel proves for many Jews in the UK and elsewhere in the diaspora. This is understandable but careful analysis and informed critique are far more helpful as a counter to the exaggerations, distortions and worse in situations like this.
Equally, we know, alas, via the CST and media reports, that each time there is conflict involving Israel, antisemitic incidents in the UK, France and elsewhere increase. This latest episode is no exception.
Concern for humanitarian relief for the undoubted civilian casualties on both sides of the conflict, and having the courage to criticise specific Israeli government actions where justified, are vitally important to Israel’s longer term wellbeing and security rather than being ‘disloyal’. They are also essential to demonstrate the fallacy of the antisemitic identification of everything Jewish worldwide and Israeli as being synonymous. Professor David Simon Royal Holloway University of London
Every day, for more than a month, Kedem, a small shop in Manchester city centre selling Dead Sea products, has been targeted by several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators at any one time.
Waving Palestinian flags and banners and placards vilifying Israel for events in Gaza, they have spouted not only anti-Israel bile but some of the worst excesses of antisemitism, too. The demonstrators have at times blocked King Street, one of Manchester’s most fashionable shopping districts, affecting the trade not only of Kedem (which has suffered considerable financial damage) but of neighbouring stores, too. They have been quite clear that when they finish with Kedem they will move on to kosher shops in Prestwich.
The tactics of the pro-Palestinians have intimidated not only the band of Israeli counter-demonstrators, who have turned up to present their case day and night, but innocent shoppers and office workers just going about their daily business.
They and the dedicated Manchester Zionists have been forced to run the gauntlet of hate, all in the name of Gaza and alleged atrocities the pro-Palestinians would have everyone believe falsely are carried out in the name of the Israeli government.
Pictures of tragic Palestinian children affected by action Israel was forced to take because of Hamas’ terror activities have been regularly displayed in King Street — the same type the JC chose to feature in a full page advertisement for the DEC last week to raise funds for “thousands of children in Gaza like Ahmed [who] are injured, homeless and living in fear”.
This played directly into the hands of the anti-Israel lobby. The JC running this advert gave them valuable ammunition and added credence to their arguments.
Worse, the JC’s editor, rather than immediately admitting that he had scored an own goal, not only by allowing the advert to run but then going online to justify it as “humanitarian”, then proceeded to say his chairman had accepted the ad, as if it made any difference who accepted it.
But why did he choose to publish on page 5 what amounted to a plug for the Gaza Crisis Appeal, the same charity whose advert appeared 11 pages later?
Accepting the advert may have damaged weeks, months or even years of quietly effective anti-propaganda efforts. The JC has allowed itself to be used as a propaganda tool. Adam Chinn Manchester
This played directly into anti-Israel hands
Why did you publish the DEC socalled “appeal” for Gaza? Where is the guarantee that monies and resources will not end up in the hands of Hamas or Islamic Jihad or any other Gazabased fascist/antisemitic crowd, so beloved of the so-called left?
It is my contention that the DEC is biased. Why was there no similar appeal for the Israeli citizens who have lost relatives to Hamas/Islamic Jihad terrorist attacks? Kevin McCourt Tennyson Street Leicester LE2
After a lifetime as a JC subscriber, I have today instructed my newsagent to cancel all future deliveries. Jonathan Pfeffer email@example.com