Letter to the Jewish Chronicle (unpublished)

In his Pesach message, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks writes:

“A free society … rests on self-restraint and regard for others. The ultimate aim of Torah is to fashion a society on the foundations of justice and compassion … Thus we say, ‘Next year may we … be free in a way that honours the freedom of all’. The Pesach story, more than any other, remains the inexhaustible source of inspiration to all those who long for freedom. It taught that right was sovereign over might; that freedom and justice must belong to all, not some; that, under God, all human beings are equal; … Nowhere more than on Pesach … do we see how the story of one people can become the inspiration of many; how, loyal to its faith across the centuries, the Jewish people became the guardians of a vision through which, ultimately, ‘all the peoples of the earth will be blessed’.”

It’s a remarkable message. No less remarkable is the blindspot he – and not only he – has when it comes to the sorrowful plight of one particular people who have been striving for nearly half a century to be freed from the oppressive military occupation and alien rule of one particular country whose own people happily enjoy their independence and the social, legal and democratic freedoms that are daily denied to the other. Let us hope that next year this other people too may “be free in a way that honours the freedom of all”.

Tony Klug sent the above letter to the Jewish Chronicle on 27 March 2012
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IJV is a network of Jews in Britain who share a commitment to certain principles, especially with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in mind: putting human rights first, rejecting all forms of racism, and giving equal priority to Palestinians and Israelis in their quest for a peaceful and secure future. We believe that these principles, rather than group loyalty, should determine the parameters of legitimate debate.
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