22 April 2002 The Independent David Aaronovitch's article
At no point in his article (Independent , 19th April) does David Aaronovitch question the Chief Rabbi's very public backing for the current vile policies of the Israeli PM Ariel Sharon - a man regarded in much of the world, as well as by the Jewish MP Gerald Kaufman, as a war criminal. An Amnesty International investigation into what horrors really happened in Jenin is underway led by British Professor Derrick Pounder. The Chief Rabbi may yet come to regret his knee-jerk support for the Butcher of Beirut.
Yes, anti-semitism is an evil which we should all try and combat. Thankfully, British Jews have our racial discrimination laws (which cover anti-semitism) on their side. British Muslims have no such protection because they are not classified as constituting a race and religious discrimination is peculiarly not regarded as being unlawful. Go to www.bnp.org.uk to see how the BNP are exploiting this particular legal loophole to try and stir mayhem.
We are surprised that Mr Aaronovitch did not focus on calling for an end to Israel's illegal and very brutal occupation of Palestinian lands, especially when one examines the results of this expansionist Israeli policy: the growing radicalization of the Palestinian and Muslim peoples.
As to the absurd charge about "anti-Israeli sentiment" in the media, this seems to be an increasingly common allegation which covers any criticism of Israeli actions. Mr Aaronovitch would do well to bring to mind that Israel been allowed to get away scot free by the international community for its illegal occupation, its illegal Jewish settlements, its unlawful annexation of East Jerusalem and its long defiance of numerous UN resolutions, thanks to the Israeli lobby's influence over US Middle East policy.
In the wake of the Holocaust, European governments tried to assuage their guilt at the mass murder that was committed in this continent by establishing a homeland for the Jews. Unfortunately, in doing so, they punished another people who were entirely innocent of European anti-semitism. The events of the last 54 years have shown what a tragic miscalculation that was.
Mr Yousuf Bhailok,
The Muslim Council of Britain