November 8th-14th 2002

Dear Editor,

As a lecturer I'm well aware I'm not one of the target audience for Redbrick, but I felt I had to write to you about this week's headline, which seems to me to be a very irresponsible piece of journalism. There are other ways to portray this story without the headlining of anti-Semitism: the tone of your article will, I fear, do more to promote division and mistrust on both sides than to promote dialogue.

I should make clear that I am Jewish and support Israel's right to exist, though I abhor the current brutality of the Israeli state and its oppression of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories. I read Sue Blackwell's website looking for anti-Semitic content and links, but could find none. What I found there was carefully reasoned argument, and links to the websites of organisations of many ethnic, national and religious groups (including non-afilliated organisations), all of them actively opposed to the continuing illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and opposed to the brutal enforcement of that occupation by the Israeli military.

It is a matter of great sadness to me that some parts of the Jewish establishment choose to equate such opposition with anti-Semitism. While these kinds of accusations are made - and while they are taken seriously in publications such as your own - there can be little hope of creating the climate of trust in which dialogue can take place. In any future coverage of this or related stories, I hope you will take a more measured and less emotive approach. If we are to have peace with justice - and I believe this is the only solution that will bring an end to carnage in the region - then we all need to stop hurling the insults and start taking responsibility.


Shereen Benjamin

(Lecturer, School of Education)

This site is owned and maintained by Sue Blackwell.
Its contents are in no way endorsed by the University of Birmingham.
It was last updated on 25th November 2002.