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Countering Bias and Misinformation mainly about the Arab-Israel conflict

Archbishop Tutu appeals to Jewish journalist who turned her back on her religion

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About Maurice Ostroff
 The letter below in the LH column is a response to an article by journalist Moira Levy  as summarized in the right hand column below.

Her article  drew an appeal by Archbishop Desmond  Tutu not to blame her faith as described below her letter 

An open letter to journalist Moira Levy  
                     
June 24, 2012 

Dear Moira. Levy,

I refer to your oped in the Cape Times in which you announced that because of your understanding of the manner in which Israel treats refuges from Africa, you have turned your back on being a Jew.

I sincerely believe that your attitude to Israel and Judaism is not based on ill-will, but rather on misinformation gleaned from the media and I wish you success and happiness in your new life as a  non-Jewess.

I do hope that in cutting your ties with your past legacy and even with your family, you will also discard past prejudices, (we all have them) especially about Israel.  After all you will now feel less compelled to focus on Israel's warts self-consciously as a Jew and instead feel free to judge Israel as you would any other country, impartially and from a new perspective.

The mass entry of illegal immigrants, many of whom are genuine refugees, is indeed a serious human problem in many countries. You have raised legitimate concerns and now I ask you to please suggest a practical solution in your capacity as a non-Jew looking in from the outside.

As mentioned in the attached copy of  my letter to Archbishop Tutu, it would be interesting to learn what you would recommend if thousands of these refugees suddenly settled in and dominated your immediate neighborhood.

This open letter is being publicized as will the considered reply I hope to receive from you

Sincerely

Maurice Ostroff
 

Moira Levy's oped in the Cape Times

On June 20 2012 the Cape Times published an article by Cape Town journalist Moira Levy under the title "Israel's racism has made me turn my back on being a Jew".

She conceded "It is hard to dispute a nation's argument that it has the right to defend itself against suicide bombers and cross-border missile attacks, especially a nation that has already experienced one of history's most brutal attempts to destroy it on the grounds of racism and an evil and inexplicable drive to preserve racial exclusivity and national purity".

However she qualified this by accusing Israel of an open declaration of of hostility to people of other nationalities, an unapologetic-public determination to drive away people just because they belong to a different racial, religious or ethnic group, that forces her to once again question Israel's underlying reasons for its refusal to live alongside people of other nations, including those who happen to live on land that Israel has forcibly occupied or who are not lost in the battle with Israel's might security forces and she asked herself if she could in any conscience continue to be associated with people who have learnt from history only the ability to repeat the same horrific mistakes.
 
And she concluded "In the face then of the latest news of violent racial repression on the part of Israel, I have to cut my ties with my past, legacy and even family roots and, painful as it is, turn my back on being a Jew".

___________________________________________________________________________

Archbishop Tutu's appeal to Ms. Levy

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was, in his words, so "moved by the anguish courageously expressed" by the journalist that he wrote a letter to the Cape Times in which he appealed to her not to blame her faith for the policies of the people who have political power in the State of Israel.

He wrote that w are all members of the same human family, made for goodness and love and when members of our family behave wrongly, we do not turn our backs on them, but try to convince them to steer a fairer course.

He added that it was no coincidence that some of the most outspoken critics of apartheid, and of Israel, were Jewish and that these compatriots have a unique understanding of discrimination”.

A response to the archbishop may be found here 

 

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