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Arthur Goodman (JfJfP) letter in The Guardian

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  • Mark Elf
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/01/crying-foul-criticism-of-israel Your letter (The space where anti-Zionism becomes
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2011
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      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/01/crying-foul-criticism-of-israel
      Your letter (The space where anti-Zionism becomes
      antisemitism<http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/24/anti-zionism-becomes-antisemitism>,
      24 February) quotes a few extreme cases of criticising
      Israel<http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/israel>,
      as if they were the generality, in order to smear Universities UK with
      alleged antisemitism for daring to support universities in hosting speakers
      who criticise Israel. The authors' main complaint is that a recent speaker
      referred to the "Jewish lobby" instead of the "Zionist lobby". Supposedly,
      that proves the speaker and, by implication, many others, was engaging in
      the Jewish conspiracy theory, supported or at least tolerated by the
      universities.

      What nonsense. Most critics of Israel and its apologists refer correctly to
      an Israel lobby, or possibly a Zionist lobby, because they know the lobby
      comprises non-Jewish as well as Jewish organisations. They also know that
      many Jews, and a growing number of Jewish groups, such as JFJFP of which I
      am chair, are deeply critical of Israeli policy.

      However, a chorus of some establishment Jewish organisations muddies the
      water by constantly telling the world that all Jews always support what
      Israel does. (The authors of the letter of 24 February represent three of
      them.) So it isn't surprising if a few people fall into the trap of
      referring to a "Jewish lobby". It doesn't mean they are antisemitic, and it
      doesn't mean the universities which host them tolerate antisemitism.

      There is a deep dishonesty in the chorus. Not only does it deliberately fail
      to acknowledge the wide range of attitudes within the Jewish community
      towards Israeli policy, it also tries to have it both ways. Having told the
      world how all Jews support Israeli policy, it cries foul when some people
      take them at their word.

      *Arthur Goodman*

      *Jews for Justice for Palestinians <http://jfjfp.com/>*


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