February 21, 2006

Guardian letters

Interesting crop of letters in the Guardian today, responding to Paul Oestereicher's article yesterday. It's interesting to see a new zionist tactic emerging. The first letter is from a philisophy lecturer, Harry Lesser, from Machester University who argues that:
"zionism" is a term so vague as to be meaningless
So offer us a definition. A Marjorie Lessey suggests that the C of E should continue investing in Israeli war crimes because:
The Palestinian people, even children, have been indoctrinated with the lie that Israel is occupying their land. The truth is that this area is part of God's land given to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as an everlasting inheritance.
My favourites are these:
The general synod of the Church of England has every right to sell shares in a company whose actions it considers unethical. However, Jonathan Sacks in his criticism of this decision (Sacks accuses synod of bulldozer ill-judgment, February 17) has done precisely what anti-Jewish people and groups do: he has merged Israeli government policies and actions with those of Jews in general. There are substantial numbers of Jews both inside and outside Israel who find the actions of the current Israeli government unacceptable and repugnant, and there is no reason why the synod should not also think so. To do so is not to attack all Jews nor Christian-Jewish relations. Sacks and his supporters have done Jews in Britain and possibly the world a great disservice.
David Freedman

Presumably, the chief rabbi, who concerns himself a great deal with ethics and the position of religious organisations, would prefer it if the church continued to invest in a company whose products are used directly in the brutal oppression of people living under a military occupation. Still, at least Jonathan Sacks is speaking only for himself. Nobody in the Jewish community elected him and he doesn't speak for the vast majority of Jews, many of whom will be appalled at his latest failure to take a moral stand over Israel's continuing occupation of Palestinian land and oppression of its people.
David Rosenberg
And the nuttiest is this:
What Oestreicher fails to comprehend is the exhaustion caused by the constant need to reassert our legitimacy. This is a feeling shared by Jews and Israelis of all religious and political persuasions.
Arthur Oppenheimer
Hove, E Sussex
We might ask "what legitimacy?" here. Or we might point out that there are many Jews who are opposed to the very existence of the State of Israel and certainly to the occupation. There are also of course many Jews who support divestment from companies profiting from the occupation and a more comprehensive boycott of Israel. Does the letters editor of the Guardian really not know that?

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