For and against

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

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 gillian­fen­ner@hot­mail.co.uk

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 jpp@dic­tate2us.com

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