Jewish Chronicle publish our letter
On 31 July we reported that the Jewish Chronicle had devoted most of its front page and page two to a ‘scoop’ about JfJfP’s consultation on boycott, divestment and sanctions. We promised that we’ be sending a reply but weren’t holding our breath about it being published. In the event the editor agreed to take a 250-word letter from us. It appears today – more or less – though I guess you can accept all the changes as legitimate edits to fit. Though ironic that the longest cut was this final sentence: “Why are you apparently so afraid of letting our voices be heard?”!
The letter as published reads:
We’re delighted you devoted most of your pages 1 and 2 (JC, 31 July) to the serious consultation Jews for Justice for Palestinians has initiated about boycott, divestment and sanctions.
But we object strongly to being labeled as ‘anti-Israel’, and to the cheap slanders dropped in as though they were fact. It’s an unsubtle attempt to delegitimise criticism with which you disagree and unworthy of a paper that once laid claim to being Europe’s finest Jewish newspaper.
We are not anti-Israel. We are Jews, practising and secular, Zionist and not, who share a horror at the actions of successive Israeli governments that trample on the human, social, civil and economic rights of Palestinians, particularly those under occupation. On this we follow Israeli groups like Rabbis for Human Rights, Breaking the Silence, Acri, B’tselem and others that call the Israeli state to account for its failed human-rights record. Its actions – up to and including apparent war crimes – are most certainly not in Israel’s interests nor those of diaspora Jewry.
We urge your readers to read the statement that signatories sign up to – see http://jfjfp.com/. We are not monsters with horns, – simply members of the Jewish community with which other members, including your good selves, disagree. Yet we know, from the 2004 UJIA survey into Jewish identity, that a large number of British Jews share our disapproval of the occupation.