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An Open Letter to Robin Cook
Last uploaded : Friday 10th Oct 2003 at 23:12
Contributed by : The Editor


There is an obsession in Great Britain about 'the Jews running Washington' and about 'tons of American money going to that rogue state Israel.'Frankly, I cannot socialise anymore because my British friends and their guests go into a paroxysm of rage about Israel and the USA the minute I arrive....

The former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, who quit his prestigious job as Parliamentary Secretary on the eve of the Iraq War, has written an editorial in 'The Independent' about President Bush not reining in the Sharon government.

For me it is red rag to a bull when he says 'The standing jest after the Republican gains in the mid-term elections was that the second largest party within the Beltway [Washington] was now Likud..'

This is my 'open letter ' to the Honourable Mr Cook:

Dear Mr Cook,

I must tell you that I have had enough of British people accusing the American political world of being controlled by ?the Likud? and ?the Jewish lobby.?

There is no ?Jewish lobby? -- this is a myth created by people who want Israel to fail. Where were the complaints about this mammoth ?Jewish lobby? when Clinton was spearheading the Oslo process and bringing Rabin and Arafat together in the Rose Garden? Where was this obstructive, Likudnik Jewish lobby when Carter, Sadat and Begin embraced ? Jews have no influence whatsoever on the political scene in the USA. If they did, would Al Gore have not run away with the 2000 election and even won his own state? .

85 % of American Jews are affiliated to the Progressive Movement, a movement not greatly loved by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. One of the reasons why so few American Jews have made aliyah is because 53% of American Jews are married to non-Jews whose citizenship would be problematic under the Israeli system. And guess what: my parents gave to Goodwill Industries; the Salvation Army and the March of Dimes, not just to Israel. These 85% of Progressive Jews are also DEMOCRATS and the vast majority loathe the Bush crowd as much as you do. These Progressive Jews were fiercely supportive of Oslo. The suggestion that a Republican 'Likud' had gains in midterm US elections is a dangerous fiction that does not befit a man of your stature.

To refer to the mid-term elections as a victory for the Liked ( and please, Mr Cook, I don?t think ?Likud? Wolfowitz and Feith and Perle and Co have been running back and forth to Israel as much as some of my non-Jewish London neighbours have been to scuba dive in Eilat) is like the joke Jews love to tell about ?the UN condemning Israel for the Italian truck crash in Germany that killed 35 Swiss footballers.?

What I find alarming about your reference to Beltway jokes about the Likud having won gains in the USA elections is that I cannot find one colleague, friend or relative in the USA who has any idea of what Europeans are talking about when they go on and on about the ?Likud? running the White House. The BBC special that singled out Administration figures with Jewish-sounding names as a ?Mafia? caused outrage even amongst my most Left-leaning, pro-Palestinian relatives and friends.

Bush is influenced most by Condi Rice and Dick Cheney, then comes Franklin Graham and then Card and Rove. These are not people about to make aliyah or send cheques to WIZO and Hadassah.

Finally, like all Brits who torment me at dinner parties in London about the money the USA sends to Israel, you should remember that the 100% secular Herzl founded Zionism because of unbearable European anti-Semitism, and Israel was founded after Christian Europe tried to annihilate the Jews. The USA did not start World War I, the Dreyfus Trial, the Pogroms and Pale of Settlement ( in which my grandparents would have perished had they not made it to the USA) ; World War II and the Holocaust. If there is any continent that should have sent billions to help Israel, it is Europe, not the USA.

When it is suggested that the Likud is dominating the American political dynamic I am reminded of the fictions generated by the Third Reich about the Jews being behind everyone?s woes.

Yesterday I went to Marks & Spencer Oxford Street and was greeted by a host of police trying to protect a small group of young British Jews who had set up a stall promoting Israeli goods. (Mr Cook, Israeli wines have recently won Gold and Silver medals at the Bordeaux Festival; can you find me any award-winning wines from the chaotic dictatorships that surround Israel?) The police did their best to protect these youngsters from a vicious and large crowd of mostly English people screaming at and threatening them. One man said he wished 80 or 90 Jews would be killed by the suicide bombers, whom he admires. It reminded me of the tales my late Aunt Rose told of the pogroms in Poland.

The trouble is, Mr Cook, that these people were screaming at the top of their voices all the absurd mantras that appear in your article: America sends all that dhosh to Israel; America is dominated by the Jewish cabal in Washington etc etc

Sometimes I wonder why people who are so angry about American money going to Israel do not just put their cards on the table. Why not just say, as Faisal Bodi said in ?The Guardian? in January 2001 that Israel simply has no right to exist?

How happy such people would have been had Hitler finished the job!


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