25 OCTOBER 1997, Page 33

Demonisation of Jews

Sir: George Galloway (Letters, 4 October) trumpets the alleged moral superiority of those who espouse 'pro-Palestinian posi- tions'. 'Israel', he writes, condemning the entire nation and not merely its govern- ment, 'has entered a period where its actions and policies cannot be supported by any civilised person. . . . ' Many of Mr Gal- loway's Labour colleagues, as Sion Simon's article (`Israel goes Orthodox', 13 Septem- ber) made clear, are partial to Israel. Pre- sumably Mr Galloway has assiduously lec- tured each of them, face to face, as to why they may no longer be considered civilised human beings. 'Ending the Oslo process', Galloway claims, is something 'Netanyahu always promised to do.' I challenge Mr Gal- loway to provide evidence not only of his


`always' but of the claim itself.

Central to the integrity of the Oslo accords is the recognition of Israel's right to exist. On 9 September 1993, Yasser Arafat committed himself, in a letter to the late prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, to the amendment of the PLO Covenant. Amongst its clauses, this 1968 document states that . . . the establishment of Israel [is] fundamentally null and void' (Article 19). Article 20 obliterates the existence of the Jewish people as a nation and any ties it may have to Israel, and Article 22 pro- claims that 'the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist pres- ence . . . '. For all the bluster, not a word of this has been repudiated, although dead- lines have come and gone.

The example of Jews 'seizing' Arab hous- es in Jerusalem is preposterous. As Mr Gal- loway himself states, they were 'bankrolled' by an American businessman; seizure implies theft, so why the need for funding? Because the property in question was pur- chased, not grabbed.

Demonisation of Jews and scorn for their supporters has a long and dishonourable history, with which Mr Galloway aligns himself with evident pride. As usual, truth is an early casualty.

Michael Marcus