By Jonathan Hoffman
February 27, 2011
The Independent has to date not published the letter below. Background is here:
Almost precisely a year ago we read Christina Patterson’s rant against her supposedly annoying and rude Charedi neighbours in Stamford Hill.
So if Ms Patterson (23 February) thinks that Channel 4’s “The Promise” is “balanced”, it’s a sign that it’s probably not. In fact it is full of the most outrageous stereotypes.
No, not all Jews in Israel live in California-style houses with swimming-pools and not all Arabs “struggle to buy bread.” The reality is that Israeli Arabs serve as Supreme Court Judges and in the top echelons of the diplomatic service, and that Arab women in Israel get by far the best education in the Middle East .
And the IDF is not full of sadists, as the series makes out. In fact Colonel Richard Kemp – former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan – believes that the IDF is “the most moral army in the world.
And Ms Patterson is wrong is asserting that the settlements are “illegal”. There is no basis in international law for saying this and the US – for one – does not believe it.
In fact the central premise on which “The Promise” is based – that the creation of Israel was solely a response to the Holocaust and that Arabs “paid the price” – is maliciously false. The series’ writer and director Peter Kosminsky makes no mention of the steady return to Palestine of Jews which began in the 1880s. Neither does he mention the Balfour Declaration and other international commitments – including from the League of Nations - to support a Jewish national home. Neither does he mention the flight of 800,000 Jews from Arab countries under duress and the immigration of many to Israel, nor Arab antisemitism personified by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, whose influence - according to testimony by Nazi war criminals – was critical to the German decision to annihilate the Jews of Europe.
And Kosminsky promulgates the complete falsehood that the Jews and Arabs lived in harmony before World war Two. It is as if he had never heard of the Arab riots against the Jews in the 1920s and 1930s, or the Hebron massacre of 1929.
Co-Vice Chair ZF