October 22: Brought down to earth

Matthew Gould was the protege of our (not so) good friend, the late Robin Cook, foreign secretary in Tony Blair’s first cabinet.

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
Brought down to earth
Sir, – After the euphoria at being assigned a Jewish British ambassador, Matthew Gould, we are brought down to earth, as usual, by his comments implying that the Israeli demands for peace are to be negotiated, while the Palestinian demands are already accepted and are nonnegotiable (“New British envoy: PA recognition of Israel as Jewish state is a ‘matter for negotiations,’” October 20).
As he said in his interview with David Horovitz (“A most intriguing ambassador,” October 15), he represents the British government, and we certainly shouldn’t expect any easing of the pressure on Israel just because he’s Jewish.
Another thing that should be remembered – and which was not mentioned in his interview – is that Matthew Gould was the protege of our (not so) good friend, the late Robin Cook, foreign secretary in Tony Blair’s first cabinet.
Kfar Bialik
Sir – The new British envoy – quoted as saying that Britain’s position is that settlement building is illegal – needs a legal education, since the only legal determination of this land is the League of Nations Mandate for a Jewish Homeland that included all of Jordan.
Arab refusal to accept the United Nations partition ended their claim to any portion of whittled-down Israel, whose leaders cravenly avoided annexation of the full gains of the 1967 war, leaving the status of those gains open to the false claim of “illegal occupation.”
Has Britain no shame for violating their mandate, promoting Arab interests instead and causing at least a million Jews to die for lack of escape to their homeland?
Sir, – Britain’s record before, during and after the Shoah was probably unequaled in its callous disregard for Jews fleeing Nazi concentration camps – all to please its Arab friends. So nothing has changed.
Britain is and always will be pro-Arab, and it is at our peril if we choose to disregard this.
Mixed-up priorities
Sir, – Mr. Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League is pleading with the Israeli government to allow non-Jewish children and their families to remain in Israel instead of repatriating them to their own lands and culture (“Do not send these children away, Foxman pleads,” October 20).
The same Abraham Foxman had no such deep feelings for the thousands of Jewish children torn from their homes in Gush Katif.
He and his organization approved of the expulsion.
Our children will have no homes, parks, synagogues or schools to show their own children when they become parents. They are children without a past.
Everything they remember has been destroyed.
Mr. Foxman, your priorities are mixed up.
Gush Katif-Nitzan
Disingenuous downgrade
Sir, – Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (“The Jewish view of homosexuality,” October 19) misleads by seeking to “downgrade” Judaism’s disapproval of male homosexual activity and to limit “moral” sins to those that directly harm another person.
There are indeed 613 commandments in the Torah, but only seven commandments – the Noahide laws – that are so vital that they address all of mankind.
One of them proscribes sexual immorality and includes male homosexual activity.
The Jewish religious tradition, moreover, associates homosexual activity with the great flood of Noah’s time and with the Canaanite peoples whose behavior defiled the Holy Land and caused their expulsion from it.
Rabbi Boteach is correct to counsel kindness toward people who are challenged by homosexual urges. But equating what Judaism considers a major and fundamental offense with eating nonkosher food is deeply disingenuous.

Director of Public Affairs Agudath Israel of America
New York