The JC Letters Page, 2nd November 2018

Gary Mond, Dr Anthony Isaacs, Nitza Sarner, Valerie Asher, Dr Stanley Jacobs and Martin Sugarman share their views with JC readers

November 01, 2018 16:28

Two state supporters are a diminishing number

The Chair of the JLC, Jonathan Goldstein, states that “the vast majority of our community believe in a two-state solution, with Israelis and Palestinians having national self-determination and secure borders” (We will not be deterred, October 26)

This view might have prevailed in the 1990s but today a high degree of realism has developed among the UK Jewish population. Most of us know that the overwhelming majority of the Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza do not want a Jewish state at all, under any terms, and that they believe exactly what they so often say, namely “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, which means the destruction of Israel. 

True, there are still a number of us who support a two state solution in theory but that number is reducing with every year that passes. Mr Goldstein needs to get out and about in the Jewish community a bit more and perhaps the JLC might like to conduct a fresh opinion poll on the matter.

Gary Mond
London NW7 

In praising the Jewish contribution to British society, Jonathan Goldstein states that “we are going nowhere”. 

Ironically this typifies the current state of relations between the communal leadership and the Labour Party but the fault is not all on one side. Contrary to his assertions, the leader’s office have attempted to reach out but have been continually thwarted by the JLC, who have not only refused any further engagement but have pressurised others not to engage or belittled their attempts, as in the case of Rabbi Danny Rich.

By maintaining this hostile attitude to Labour, they are in danger of taking their eye off the ball. Antisemitic attitudes remain endemic in society but all the survey evidence shows that they are more prevalent on the political right than the left, as borne out by the tragic events in Pittsburgh.

Fortunately, there are signs that the hegemony of the unelected JLC is beginning to weaken. It is essential that new lines of communication are opened up with the Labour Party, bypassing the JLC if it does not wish to be involved. Only then can we hope to build a common front to combat antisemitism, racism and all those other societal ills which are antithetical to the Jewish tradition of social justice.

Dr Anthony Isaacs
London NW3

Germans say I’m not German

You reported (Flood of Jews seeking German passports, October 26): “Citizenship is granted to anyone who lost their nationality for political, racial or religious reasons.”

My mother had to leave Germany age 15 with the 2nd group of Youth Aliya and arrived in Palestine January 1936.  Her parents managed to leave a year later, also to Palestine.

My children wished to obtain EU Passport on the grounds you mentioned. Unfortunately my parents married and my father was not a German National. 

According to the German constitution she is not eligible because she relinquished her German nationality on marriage. I thought it was taken away from her by the Nazis. If I was born out of wedlock, I would have been eligible.

My mother received reparations from the German government, meaning that they did so to her as a German. Still, neither myself nor my children can receive German passport. 

Nitza Sarner
London NW8 

More gratitude

I had a similar experience to Jonathan Freedland on the death of his father (Kindness is the rule when we mourn our dead, October 26) except that my husband died at home and we had the impossible situation of not being able to get a death certificate in time due to the difficulty of diagnosing the cause of death. 

We were introduced to Sidney Sinitsky by the Coroner, who he was on first name terms with. And my daughter and I were on first names with both of them within two phone calls. We were running out of time and he organised everything with the Coroner.  

I shall be eternally grateful to him.

Valerie Asher 
London NW7 

Alternative reality

David Chesler rightly says (Letters, October 26) that the British government felt a need to placate the Arabs by issuing the White Paper of 1939 (extending to 1948) severely restricting Jewish Immigration to Palestine In effect, that made it impossible ever to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine even though Britain had earlier pledged to the League of Nations to do so.  Even so, official Arab policy rejected it. Before the White Paper, Arabs in Palestine were already vigorously fighting the British from 1936-1939.  Between1933-45 Arab and Nazi strategic policies were already aligned against British imperialism, colonialism and Zionism.

So the White Paper did not stop Hitler’s closest Middle Eastern ally, the implacable Arab Nationalist and fervent anti-Semite Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, from meeting Hitler in November 1941 for help to establish Arab independence.  Using the tactic of procrastination, Hitler effectively turned him down, for Arabs too were untermenchen. Ironically, the post and its holder was set up by the British government itself, even though it had the option of more conciliatory Arab Leaders. 

That was surely an ill-fated choice, still having implications for the intractable conflicts today. We should not forget the major guilt not to bomb or provide any weapons-drop to the thousands of concentration camps and their railways littered throughout Europe. Yet a squadron of bombers was mustered for a pin-point accurate attack on a German prison to successfully release hundreds of Frenchmen. 

Now consider an “alternative” reality.  Millions of new Jewish refugees in Palestine would have been immensely grateful to the British, who would have had at their disposal a huge increase in dedicated determined military personal, wealth, know how and auxiliary help.  

That would have facilitated the war effort in the Middle East and not unlikely have shortened the whole war. In the 1948 War of Independence Israel might well have gained more of its historic homeland. In 1967, when the demography of Israel would have been decisively Jewish, the positive integration of Arabs in Sumaria and Judea (and possibly even Gaza) would have been distinctively more feasible than today. 

Intifada would have been damp squibs and the PLO would have remained an extremist minority.  Iran would have found it much more difficult to aggressively penetrate the Middle East.

Just as the British surrender of Singapore in 1942 was the country’s greatest avoidable military disaster, so the White Paper of 1939 was the British government’s greatest avoidable foreign policy humanitarian disaster. A measure of historic guilt is surely in order. 

Dr Stanley Jacobs 
London SW18

Information, please

AJEX are searching for surviving relatives of Air Gunner Edward Shatz, RAF, whose parents Harry and Mary lived in N5 area of London. 
Edward was killed in March 1944. 

Please contact myself, the AJEX Archvist, at the email below. 

Martin Sugarman

November 01, 2018 16:28

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