Skip to main content

Hello. It looks like you’re using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best experience possible, please make sure any ad blockers are switched off, or add to your trusted sites, and refresh the page.

If you have any questions or need help you can email us.

Israel will ignore those who failed it before

The Jewish experience, over centuries, has been one of persecution and disregard. This is why Israel is pursuing its destructive policy in Gaza

A Palestinian woman rushes her children to a hospital where casualties are brought in following Israeli bombardment in Bureij, Gaza. Photo: AFP/Getty

I congratulate Paul Mason on taking a stand (“Why I won’t stop talking about left wing antisemitism” TNE #382). I spend a lot of time on social media trying to explain what the concept of “Zionism” means, and that Keir Starmer is not responsible for genocide nor in the pay of Israel. It is a tough and lonely path, as Mr Mason testifies.

As a Jew, I also find myself constantly answering the question, “Why is Israel, which saw millions exterminated during the Holocaust, bent on pursuing an identical policy, in the face of global opprobrium?” (The words differ; the question is the same.)

In my opinion, Israel is pursuing its destructive policy BECAUSE of the Holocaust, not in spite of it. Let me use my family as an example: 

In the 1930s, when Hitler was beginning his persecution of the German Jewish population, my uncle emigrated to Palestine, then under the British Mandate, to escape the Gestapo. A while later, after being beaten up and forced to sell their business and the family house in Osnabrück for a ridiculous price, my grandparents decided to join him, but were refused entry by British officials as their paperwork wasn’t “correct”.

Sent back to Nazi Germany, they were put on a transport leaving Berlin for Auschwitz, where they were subsequently murdered. 

The aftermath of Hitler’s gruesome policies are known. But there was a “beforemath”, where Jews were desperately alerting the west to what was happening throughout occupied Europe, but were not being listened to. Thousands were refused entry to the US (where antisemitism was rife) and to the UK, where the Daily Mail was particularly hostile to “German Jews pouring into this country”. After the second world war, hundreds of Nazis were secretly spirited away by the victorious allies, as they had scientific knowledge that would be useful.

The Jewish experience, over countless centuries, has been one of persecution, pogrom and displacement, all done with no condemnation of the persecutors, and no punishments or sanctions ever being meted out. You ask why the Israel government “chooses” to ignore the UN, the UK, the US and Keir Starmer? This is why. 
Carol Hedges 
Harpenden, Herts

I cringe every time I go on Keir Starmer’s Facebook. People don’t seem to realise that Zionist Occupation Government conspiracies are antisemitic and deeply offensive.

And I say this as someone who wants Israel brought to account for the atrocities it is committing in the same way we have dealt with other nations committing open ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Jack Millard

Election misinformation
Mandrake’s informant (TNE #382) who believes there will be an election in late May is surely misinformed. If the Tories wanted to spare us from further Westminster intrigue they would simply have held the election on May 2.

This cynical lot will go out in the most cynical way possible, with a winter election held when the weather makes it difficult for older people without transport to go out and vote, and when students will be away from the campuses where they are registered. Every thwarted vote counts!
Kate Rudd

Seriously? A general election campaign interrupted halfway through by what is likely to be a disastrous set of local election results, and the devastated local activists will then be expected to just carry on door knocking and leafleting?

I know Sunak can’t do politics, but this is taking it to the next level!
Tim Mawby

Liberal opposition
With regard to the possible annihilation of the Tories at the next election (Alastair Campbell’s DiaryTNE #382), is it possible they won’t even have the numbers to form the official opposition? And therefore should the Liberal Democrats start to “go back to your constituencies and prepare for opposition”?
John Kendall

The end for Orbán
Marion van Renterghem’s “Donald’s little helper” (TNE #382) does not take account of the turmoil Viktor Orbán’s government has been in since the appearance of Péter Magyar on the scene in Hungary. This former diplomat and member of Orbán’s inner circle has renounced his membership of the Fidesz Party and denounced the government as a mafia state, giving many examples of corruption.

This has had a galvanising effect on the population, coming hot on the heels of a massive scandal that shocked the country in February. Two senior female ministers, the president and the minister of justice were forced to resign by Orbán as fall guys for the regime in the wake of the discovery of a lengthy cover-up of child abuse in one of Hungary’s grim children’s homes, implicating the highest echelons of Fidesz.

Since mid-February Orbán has totally lost control of the public conversation. This is the beginning of the end of the Fidesz government.
Antonia Benedek

Cancellation at Waterloo
I liked “Our fate was to be with you” (TNE #382), Paul Barrett’s article about being in Sweden when ABBA won Eurovision, but with one caveat. 

The song Waterloo, with its awful lyric about enforced surrender 
(“I tried to hold you back, but you were stronger, And now it seems my only chance is giving up the fight”) is one of their poorest and ripe for cancellation.
Mia (not yet a mamma) Manchester

Building blocks
James Ball’s “A landlord ban solves nothing” (TNE #382) was excellent on the need to build more homes rather than “abolish landlords”. The point should perhaps be more nuanced, however, because the express need is to build more homes for rent.

That is because wealth distribution impacts mean that in effect we have two, sometimes divergent, markets – a rental market where there is consistent excess demand for properties to rent, and an owned property market where demand is sometimes weak because of the size and cost of the capital required for that purchase. 

And yet political focus is generally on satisfying or supporting demand for home ownership and not for rental properties. That either doesn’t address the latter at all, or does so only indirectly and inefficiently. 

There is a need to directly focus on the rental market. Addressing supply there would help to solve that problem – and probably indirectly, over time, free up lower cost supply for the owned market.
Colin Garwood
Berkhamsted, Herts

The mantra of simply building more houses is not necessarily a solution as strangely enough it won’t lead to a drop in prices. The housing “market” doesn’t operate like that.

Housebuilders build out to maintain high prices, hence all the granted planning permissions that aren’t built out. There’s also the issue of high land values, which act as a disincentive to provide necessary infrastructure – education, health, green spaces and shops/community facilities. 

There needs to be a way of capturing some of this value for the benefit of communities. Some form of compulsory purchase vehicle for local authorities could be a way forward.

Leaving it to the private sector just won’t deliver the volume and reduction of prices needed. What we need is a programme of high-quality social housing in well-planned communities similar to the postwar New Towns programme. As a former town planner I wrote my dissertation on this 30 years ago, and sadly things have only got worse.
Nigel Roberts

Housebuilders are not going to flood the market and destroy their profits. Moreover, what is needed most is a lot of single-person homes in cities, not cookie-cutter houses in ever-stretched suburbs.
Robin Prior

Let’s get technical
While I agree with Jonty Bloom’s analysis of the damage being inflicted on our universities by this government (“The crisis on campus”TNE #382), he misses one important point: other countries – especially but not only those in the EU – have a better balance of university courses available to students. A large number of those courses are in what could loosely be described as the Stem sector – science, technology, engineering and maths.

There are universities – usually described as technical high schools or technical universities – that produce thousands of highly-qualified graduates each year. Many of them go on to find jobs in the manufacturing, R&D and technology sectors; a fair proportion set up their own technology-based businesses.

These businesses – SMEs eventually employing maybe 100 or 200 people – often specialise in a small number, sometimes just one, product or product range, designed and manufactured to very high standards. Unsurprisingly, they tend to be successful – think Biontech. Universities are usually core-funded on the basis of the courses they offer, with technical universities or those offering a range of Stem courses benefiting from the higher tariffs awarded to them.

The balance of courses on offer to would-be students here is not designed to produce sufficient graduates in the sectors that are most likely to re-energise our flagging and unbalanced economy, and the funding model does not help.

Note to Keir Starmer: we need a fundamental reappraisal of, and long-term plan for, our HE sector.
Rex Nesbit

It is very good to see the New European giving some space to this important issue, largely ignored by other media and by politicians. 

As regards the Tories’ fear and loathing of higher education, all intolerant and would-be totalitarian governments seek to destroy the independence of universities, because they know that people who can think for themselves are dangerous.
Mike Sibly

At the risk of accusations of pedantry from readers outside the education sector, can I gently point out that Jonty’s otherwise excellent article mistakenly conflates the terms further education and higher education – they are two very different sectors.

The FE sector comprises 220 or so FE colleges and sixth-form colleges that cater for a wide range of post-16 and adult students and apprentices. Despite some recent funding rises, the FE sector remains the poor relation of the English education system, with funding rates at least 10% below those of the schools sector (often for teaching the same qualifications to the same students) and, scandalously, liability for VAT on expenditure, from which private schools are exempted.

The plight of the FE sector is worthy of an article in its own right.
Ian Hookway

Is it now TNE policy to use US punctuation? I see that Jonty Bloom does so in “The crisis on campus” when he uses a capital letter after a colon – one of the most idiotic aberrations of US practice. Do we have to suffer more US cultural imperialism?
Tom Wilson

Travel Czechs 
I love reading Peter Trudgill’s column on languages, and learned quite a bit from his article on Smetana and Dvořák (“Bohemian Rhapsodies”TNE #382). 

But Peter’s knowledge of Czech geography doesn’t seem to be quite as sound! The Vltava joins the Elbe (Czech Labe) just north of Prague (not Hamburg), and Ostrava is not in Bohemia! It’s in the far east of the Czech Republic, in the small part of Silesia that is Czech.
Malcolm Haslett

Channel crossing
In “The English language doesn’t exist” (TNE #381), Marie Le Conte writes: “There are many Brits who’ve crossed the Channel, either temporarily or to start a wholly new life, and many French people who’ve done the opposite – this one included.”

I’m not sure English usage allows the derivation “this one” [herself] directly from the noun “people” in this way; perhaps it’s more like a French usage. Thus neatly underlining Marie’s theme!
Colin Clarke 
Eastbourne, Sussex

Comments, conversation and correspondence from our online subscribers 

A big problem with the civil service (“Why I love the deep state”, TNE #382) is how to recruit more talented people into it. When I was at Oxford in the 1960s most of the brightest graduates went into public service and they were responsible for the successful administrations of both Thatcher and Blair. But their talented children were tempted by organisations with promises of instant riches and only the second raters were left to run the country.
George Emerson

There are still talented individuals being recruited into and working at all levels of the civil service. I work alongside them. It requires talent, and a more diverse view of what talent is, to keep the show on the road during the particular events of the last decade, as Matthew d’Ancona’s article describes. For that we need talent of all backgrounds.
Joanna Butler

Re: Nigel Warburton on Jonathan Glazer and the subject of authorship (Everyday PhilosophyTNE #382). Surely the whole point of words is to communicate facts, ideas, or feelings. If we break that link, what’s the point of words at all? And where does that leave law, or philosophy?
Tony Jones 

“Can Britain be honest with itself?” asks Patience Wheatcroft (TNE #382). The answer is no. The great Thatcher experiment failed – but no one will admit it. Brexit has failed – but no one will admit it. Austerity has failed.

The only thing that has succeeded is that the rich have got richer , but at the expense of everyone else.
Roger Steer 

Subscribe and download our free new app to comment and chat with our writers

Hello. It looks like you’re using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best experience possible, please make sure any ad blockers are switched off, or add to your trusted sites, and refresh the page.

If you have any questions or need help you can email us.

See inside the How to fix Britain edition

Image: The New European

The twisted morality of the Daily Mail

The paper’s attacks on Angela Rayner are yet another example of its rank hypocrisy

Credit: Tim Bradford

Cartoon: Why does Sunak laugh so much?