Letters - 12 July 2019

From being land locked to national treasure

Land locked

Mark Frankel’s letter (28 June) demonstrates why the current debate about anti-Semitism is so intractable. As long as people conflate opposition to the policies of the state of Israel with anti-Semitism then they will see the latter everywhere.

To me, neither of the statements he quotes from previous letters imply the stereotyping and hostility he assumes. The assumption that criticism of a country implies hostility to all that country’s people would not be made about criticism of any other government.

Making this assumption so consistently about criticism of the policies of the Israeli government diverts attention from the very real anti-Semitism on the nationalist/populist right that has no interest in what is going on in Israel itself.

Helen Porter

I am sorry to have offended Mark Frankel. My grandfather, John Husk, was instrumental in bringing persecuted Jews from Europe to safety before world war two broke out and I can still remember an affinity towards these traumatised adults I met as a child.

In my opinion, what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank today is nothing to do with being a Jew, Muslim or Christian – it is the product of human behaviour, pure and simple.

I hope my letter (14 June) did not imply that, because some Jews behave badly, all of them do, or, indeed, that there is something wrong with them.

My letter (15 February) posed the question, how do we criticise the Israeli government without being labelled anti-Semitic? Is it possible? Apparently not.

As a war child myself I have empathy with the suffering of children in Palestine, as with all children in all war zones. I know more about that part of the world, hence a present emphasis on the Holy Land.

It is hard to remain silent in the face of atrocity and the word restriction in a letter does not allow for all the atrocities on the earth to be numbered.

Finally, I firmly believe that to hold the view that another race, religion or gender is inferior to our own and to treat others accordingly is a repugnant philosophy, whoever holds it, in whatever position.

Jennifer Bell

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