Ardent Zionists v Enlightened Jews: An Assault on British Jewry

UK-jewry-assault-02

They must be the opposite of the:

large number of enlightened British Jews [who] see the double standards and object to Israel’s intransigence. It must be so hard to do what they do, behave with integrity and empathise with those they are instructed to hate.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

The disgraceful implication here is that British Jews who support Israel (which doesn’t necessarily mean having to agree with all Israeli policies) are lacking in integrity. And where does Alibhai-Brown get her evidence that British Jews are “instructed to hate” Palestinians? Actually, it is Alibhai-Brown’s readers who are being instructed to hate Israel.

This can only be taken as an assault on the bulk of the British Jewish community. After all, a 2010 survey of the community revealed that four-fifths of respondents said that Israel plays a central or important role in their Jewish identities while significantly, Jews in Britain clearly desire peace, and are eager to see the Israeli government take steps to achieve it:

Over three-quarters favor a “two state solution” as the “only way Israel will achieve peace with its neighbours in the Middle East”, and two-thirds favor trading land for peace. Furthermore, three-quarters oppose the expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

So British Jews are overwhelmingly pro-Israel and pro-peace, while holding legitimate concerns for Israeli security. But for Alibhai-Brown, these Jews are anything but.

Jews (and anyone else) have the right to advocate for or support Israel without having their integrity or motives questioned. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has crossed a line by dividing a community into “ardent Zionists” versus “enlightened Jews”.

Please send your considered comments to The Independent – letters@independent.co.uk

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Image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com, flickr/brymo.

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