27 NOVEMBER 1959, Page 13


SIR,—In a journal of your high standards one finds lapses harder to bear than might otherwise be tac case. Certainly your reference to 'the extreme right- wing, aggressively nationalist Herut Party (the Yid- disher Nazis, so to speak)' is as offensive as it is in- accurate.

Herut campaigned as, and indeed it is, a liberal alternative to Israel's Socialist regime. Its election programme contains many features which it has'been your editorial policy to commend as desirable for the UK. Herut called for broad administrative reforms, and surely campaigning for a National Health Service is hardly the hallmark of an extreme right-wing policy. To refer to them as 'Yiddisher Nazis' is, to say the least, disappointing, coming from your journal. Far from preaching Nazi ideologies, it may interest you to know that Herut is the one group in Israel which has set itself the task of serving many obscure and numerically unimportant non-Jewish minorities in Israel. The Druses, for example, proved themselves to be among Herut's most loyal election workers. It may surprise your readers that an appreciable number of Christian and Moslem Arabs supported Herut. This support cannot be lightly dismissed because it sprang from the very real efforts, which are

an integral part of Herut policy, to work for the equal advancement of the non-Jewish citizens of Israel. Efforts such as these are not politically rewarding. It is all the more galling, then, to sec the group responsible for them libelled in this way.

You may or may not agree with Herut, you may feel a socialist government is better for Israel than the UK. You have, however, grievously overstepped the mark by these hurtful and entirely unjustified comments, which are far from being in keeping with the general tone of your journal.—Yours faithfully. M. HARRIS 48 Hazelbrook pnad, Terenure. Dublin