The JC Letters Page, 24th May 2019

Dr Tony Klug, Barrington Black, Anthony Green, Shimon Cohen, Leo Davidson, Lewis Herlitz, Dr Yair Sternberg and Martin Sugarman share their views with JC readers

May 24, 2019 13:07

PLO has recognised Israel 

On reading Frank Adam’s letter (JC, May 17), which called on the PLO to recognise Israel’s right to exist, I was reminded of Abba Eban’s quip about the Palestinians never taking yes for an answer. It seems the boot nowadays is on the other foot. 

Time and again in recent years, PLO leaders have publicly reaffirmed Yasser Arafat’s historic commitment to Israel’s prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, in an official letter dated  September 9 1993, that “The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security”. Palestinian denial ceased to be the issue long ago. However, the Palestinian pledge was always contingent on the Israeli government reciprocally recognizing the right of a Palestinian state to exist alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza, home to some five million Palestinians whose national aspirations are just as heartfelt and authentic as the Israelis’. 

But today it is Israel’s leaders who are in heavy-duty denial. Surrounding Palestinian towns and villages with Israeli settlements will not take the Palestinian national imperative off the table. It could, though, render non-feasible the only plausible solution - in the form of two states - to the clash of two national movements. If this outcome is irrevocably quashed, the future will be blighted by perpetual conflict. This would be bad not just for Israelis and Palestinians. Its toxins would be likely to sour communal relations in countries around the world and would almost certainly exacerbate anti-Jewish sentiment, especially if Israel’s occupation policies appear to have the support of Jewish communal bodies. 

The time to act is now, before it really is too late. 

Dr Tony Klug  

Leeds used to be different

I was saddened by your report (JC, May 17) on the adverse reaction by Leeds University Union warning that  the Independence Day event might make some members “unhappy”,  for the simple reason that  68 years ago I was elected, against six other candidates, as  President of that Student Union. My manifesto clearly indicated my involvement in the JSA and IUJF, and one of my close election aides was  George Awad, a Palestinian student.  I subsequently was elected Vice President of NUS and in later years and, not in return for financial donation, I was invited to join the Court and Council of the University.

Despite  my own student period  being only  4 years  after  the  anti-British incidents in Jerusalem, I came across absolutely no antisemitism, other perhaps than the reputed quota system in the medical school, something not peculiar to Leeds.  Professor Selig Brodetsky, President of the Board of Deputies, was a Pro Chancellor, and the Marks, Burton and Ziff families made generous Building donations.   

In recent years there has been considerable co operation with Israel on technical and medical research.

That there may be antagonism from certain quarters to the creation of Israel is one thing but to encourage if not condone such antagonism is deplorable.

Barrington Black
London NW3

A BDS triumph

After enjoying the Eurovision Song Contest from Tel Aviv, I now understand what the letters BDS stand for: Brilliant Design and Staging. 

Well done, Israel, you did us proud.

Anthony Green
Modiin, Israel

My friend is simply wrong

Lance Forman is my friend. I enjoy his company and his smoked salmon, too. However, I must correct his version of events (A very Jewish Brexit,, May 17). 

He claims that Mr Farage lobbied against proposed anti-Shechita legislation at the European Parliament. That is not so. Mr Farage did no lobbying but, instead, simply did as he always does and voted against the imposition of any new EU regulations. 

We were very grateful for his vote, and may well need it again.

Shimon Cohen
Shechita UK

It is curious that Lance Forman proudly declares that he has changed his allegiance from the Conservative Party to the Brexit Party - what he tells us was a 30-year loyalty (if that is the right word) - but apparently it would be an affront to democracy to ask the electorate if they have changed their minds about Brexit. One can only assume that the ability to change one’s mind is a privilege reserved for establishment metropolitan elite millionaires like him, not to be afforded to ordinary people. 

It is also curious that Mr Farage, who has railed against elites like Mr Forman, shows the latter such “warmth”. One might almost suspect that Mr Farage is a man without scruples, who will spout any populist trope (including antisemitic dog whistles) to play to his gallery. 

Right-thinking people recognise that movements based on paranoia, betrayal-myths and division, offering simple solutions (or scapegoats) to complex problems, are not good for anyone — least of all Jews.

Leo Davidson
London NW11

Jones is indeed a bad man

An internet search on Alex Jones reveals his statements and comments about Jews, which are often anti-semitic and conspiracy theory based.

He’s a dangerous man uninterested in the consequences of his words. I think the Alex Jones who Shmuel Freedman (Letters, JC, May 19) refers to must live in a parallel universe, quite different from ours.

Where Mr Freedman truly lives is incomprehensible to me.

Lewis Herlitz
Leigh on Sea SS9

KGB created the Palestinians

Izabella Tabarovsky’s article (To understand Labour, Jew-hate, go back to 1967 USSR, JC, May 17 2019) is timely and exact. Until 1967 the Arabs of Palestine always insisted that they are not a nation apart but part of the Arab nation, at most part of Southern Syria (as indeed their names testify their countries of origin). 

But it was the idea of the Soviet KGB that they will change and claim to be a nation apart. This, they advised, would turn them from Goliath to David and provide sympathy. See the book Red Horizons by Ion Mihal Pacepa of the Romanian KGB. 

Dr Yair Sternberg
Cambridge CB3

Do you know this man?

V AJEX are seeking information from any family of soldier 7387115  Pte M . Ginsberg, who served with the RAMC attached to Airborne Forces in WW2. 

If you are related or know anything please email me at:

Martin Sugarman 
AJEX Archives

May 24, 2019 13:07

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