Questioning Israel’s behaviour is not antisemitic | Letters

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Readers respond to recent letters and articles from the Israeli ambassador Mark Regev, Karma Nabulsi, Giles Fraser, and a group of artists and activists who wrote about Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Mark Regev’s response (Letters, 14 December) to Karma Nabulsi’s article (In Jerusalem we have the latest chapter in a century of colonialism, 13 December) suggests that those who question the current behaviour of Israel are questioning “Israel’s right to exist” and that this is antisemitic. As none of my Jewish friends are very happy about the current Israeli policy of stealing the land of occupied neighbours and killing the latter in large numbers when they attempt to retaliate, I must know a lot of antisemitic Jews.

This approach is typical of Regev, more PR man than diplomat, who prefers cheap emotive effects and the use of ad hominem mischaracterisation to the more respectable task of actually engaging with an argument. In this case, Regev well knows that the question of a state’s “right to exist” is largely meaningless. States do not come into being through the exercise of “rights” but through violence, and neither the biblical nor the modern state of Israel has been an exception to this rule. States survive when their existence is accepted by their neighbours as a pragmatic fact, but these days Israel does nothing constructive to achieve that acceptance.

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