The JC

Letters to the editor 12 April 2024

German citizenship, Irish feminism and David Baddiel


Families of hostages held in the Gaza Strip and supporters hold signs and photos of hostages, as they are releasing yellow balloons during a demonstration calling for a hostage deal on April 03, 2024 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

April 10, 2024 11:51

 Ubiquitous ignorance

​In the new German citizenship questionnaire, designed to weed out potential citizens who are antisemitic, question five asks on what legal basis the state of Israel was founded (Want to be German? Then learn about Jewish life and history, 5 April).

It gives the correct answer as being “A resolution of the United Nations”. Such ignorance, unfortunately, is ubiquitous, including amongst Jews and many governments.

The UN does not have the power to create states, and no other state, other than supposedly Israel, has been “created” by it.

Jewish legal rights to the Land of Israel under international law were formulated by the victorious Principal Allied Powers after the First World War.

The still extant treaties that established Jewish legal title to the entire land of Israel on the former mandated territory of Palestine, (arguably including what is now Jordan), are as follows:

1) The San Remo Resolution of April 1920, set aside all of Palestine for the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home, based on “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine.”

2) The Franco-British Boundary Convention of December 1920, fixing the northern and northern eastern boundary with Syria/Lebanon, making it clear beyond any doubt that Judea, Samaria and Gaza were to be part of the Jewish National Home.

3) The Mandate for Palestine document confirmed by the League of Nations on July 1922 detailing all the Jewish rights to Palestine, in particular the right of Jewish settlement in all regions of the country.

4) The Anglo-American Convention, Respecting the Mandate for Palestine in December 1924, which became, under Article VI of the US Constitution, part of the supreme law of the United States.

Article 70 1B of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which guarantees the legal rights of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, and Article 80 of the UN Charter which guarantees all the previous treaties under the former League of Nations.

Finally, the universal concept of uti possidetis juris guarantees that the borders of the previous ruling entity, ie the British Mandate, shall be inherited by the sovereign that replaces it, meaning that all the land west of the Jordan River is under Israeli sovereignty.

James R Windsor

Ilford, Essex

Smug adolescent

So David Baddiel is “not very fussed” by the chant “From the river to the sea.” He’s cool with it. Like he was cool with saying, in his book Jews Don’t Count, “F**k Israel.”

To be precise, he was emphatically indifferent to it; bagels and American TV comedians were a far more important part of his identity.
Do we really need this smug, narcissistic adolescent in the JC? If he wants to be cool, let him be cool somewhere else.

Rhoda Koenig

London SW2

 I share David Baddiel’s despair at the failure of “apparently caring progressives“ like Charlotte Church to recognise the offence caused to Jews by her promotion of the musical version of From The River To The Sea (Sorry,Charlotte Church. I’m a fan. But thing is,I’m also Jewish, 29 March). I also agree with Rachel Moiselle that in Ireland, Jews have been betrayed by the progressive movements they have long supported (How October 7 exposed Irish feminists as hypocrites,, 29 March). Unrequited love. Some of the most prominent progressives have been Jewish.

Progressivism, which arose during the Enlightenment to improve the human condition through social reform, has helped create the more caring and egalitarian society that most of us enjoy.

Today, progressives have become consumed by identity politics, with its hierarchy of victimhood in which Jews don’t count. Progressivism is no longer progressive and the sooner the likes of Baddiel realise that the better. It is a dead parrot. It is no more. It has ceased to be.

Stan Labovitch


JDA fears

V That a terrorist sympathiser should be democratically elected as rector of Glasgow University is more than a sad reflection of the often unjust criticism of Israel (Fears over ‘segregation’ of Jews at Glasgow University, 5 April).

Ghassan Abu-Sittah’s appointment also risks greater support for the left wing Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (or “JDA”) definition in place of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (or “IHRA”) definition of antisemitism.

This matters. Unlike the IHRA definition, the JDA definition does not regard the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (“BDS”) movement as antisemitic. One of the BDS’s three aims is the return of all Palestinians to their homes and properties as initially required by UN resolution 194. Enactment of this resolution (which was subsequently amended by resolution 514 to allow resettlement by UNWRA) would see the end of the State of Israel as declared on 14th May 1948.

The JDA definition goes further. Criticism of the existence of any sort of Jewish national self-determination is not antisemitic: “…examples that are not antisemitic….Criticising or opposing Zionism as a form of nationalism….including its founding principles”.

The desire for a homeland for the Jews goes to the heart of the vast majority of Jews and as such the BDS and JDA definition are clearly antisemitic documents as they single us for special negative treatment not afforded others.

It is ironic that the reason Abu-Sittah gives for encouraging the adoption of the JDA definition is because he alleges the IHRA definition stifles criticism of Israel. Not only does it not do so, it shines a light on Islam’s own hyper-sensitivity:

“Anyone who cares about free speech should care about how allegations of Islamophobia are used to restrict the expression of legitimate opinions. In a free society, we must be at liberty to debate and criticise all kinds of beliefs and practices (Banning Islamophobia: Blasphemy Law by the Backdoor, Tim Dieppe of the Free Speech Union, March 2024).

Daniel Robinson

London N3

Welcome support

I am not religious but have looked in in horror at the continuous attacks on Israel and Jewish people since 1948 and the shameful antisemitism that pollutes our streets and media in 2024.

Facts do not seem to be a factor in the distortion of the truth that would make Joseph Goebbels bring out his best rictus grin.

For those of us looking on objectively, the list is long. Hamas, its predecessors and supporters continuously tried to destroy a sovereign state culminating in October 7.

The IDF has done more to minimise civilian casualties than any “reacting” military force ever. War always includes errors. Israel is expected to feed those who elected Hamas and even participated in terror attacks.

No Arab country is helping Palestinian civilians. Iran is free to back atrocities which would not have been allowed if the target was the UK or USA.

The BBC, Channel 4 et al are biased in their reporting, even asking Russia for a moral comment about war. The British police allow clearly criminal antisemitism to thrive. The list goes on and you have called it out.

Please know that we Gentiles are not all blind to reality and can see through the trash, smoke and mirrors of disguised antisemitism.

John Gallagher

Littlehampton BN17

Early Pesach notice

In response to your correspondent, Ruth Temerlies (Early notice, please, Letters, 22 March) I am writing to let her and Jewish Chronicle readers know that KLBD’s Pesach information is now available at and the product search is live via

Although KLBD is not responsible for the prices shops charge, we are keen to make Pesach as easy and as financially accessible as possible whilst ensuring the highest kashrut standards are maintained.

Over the last few years, KLBD has worked with major manufacturers to encourage them to have their products certified as kosher throughout the year including for Pesach, so that kosher consumers can benefit both from the lower prices of mainstream brands as well as increased accessibility across the UK.

A number of Tate & Lyle sugars, for example, now bear a KLBD-P symbol and can be purchased for Pesach from regular shops at the normal year-round price. Saxa salt, Yorkshire Tea and many Nescafé products can now be enjoyed at Pesach even without bearing a kosher l’Pesach label.

We wish you and the whole community a chag kasher v’sameach.

Rabbi Elie Schoemann,

Interim Director, KLBD

April 10, 2024 11:51

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