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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 26 June 2008
Problem pre-dates the state of Israel

• OH dear! Oh dear! Ruth Tenne, (Truth about the Gaza Strip, Letters June 19), a witness to the development of the state of Israel, really should know better.
Comparing the Gaza Strip to a concentration camp reminiscent of the Nazi era is insulting to the memory of the 12 million victims of the Nazis.
The situation of Palestinians is in no way comparable to the suffering of Jews and others targeted, discriminated against, persecuted, tortured, experimented upon and killed by the Nazis.
After the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of homeless and stateless persons who were not wanted in western European countries, the eastern bloc or the United States found shelter in a country, many of whose rulers, inhabitants and neighbours, pre-1948, had made it clear that they were not wanted there either.
Furthermore, many of those in Palestine and in Arab countries adjoining Palestine, had been pro-Nazi before and during the war. One courageous Algerian novelist, banned in his home country, compares the Arab administration of Algeria today with the mentality of the Nazis.
The situation of the Palestinians is a consequence of the very complex development of the Middle East since the 19th century and pre-dates Israel’s inception in 1948.
The sort of rhetoric that Ruth Tenne espouses is not just naive, simplistic and unhelpful in resolving the Palestinian/Israeli situation, but dangerous.
As a historian who is publishing a Dutch Holocaust diary next year, I have now read many first-hand accounts of life in Nazi concentration camps; camp residents could not escape and did not have access to the postal service, telephones, guns or rockets.
A comparison of Gaza with the Warsaw ghetto might have been a better analogy.
Elm Village, NW1

Arab and Jew

• ONCE more Ruth Tenne comes out of the woodwork to praise anybody who denigrates the state of Israel (Truth about the Gaza Strip, Letters June 19).
She claims her parents went to Israel to create an equitable society.
Yet in her earlier letters she says they went there in the 1930s and then the country was Palestine.
In fact the only people who called themselves Palestinians were the Jews; the indigenous population called themselves the “Arabs of Palestine”.
Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi a local Arab leader made the following statement to the Peel Commission, 1937: “There is no such country (as Palestine) Palestine is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country for centuries was part of Syria.”
If Gaza is a concentration camp, which it is not, why has the population trebled since Israel took Gaza in 1967? Why is Gaza still existing? Where is the starvation? Where are people dying of malnutrition in the streets? They are not.
Are things tough for the inhabitants. Yes!
Nazi concentration camps were set up for extermination. So how is it Gaza still exists?
Let us hope the present ceasefire lasts and Hamas agrees to the reality of the state of Israel.
Grove End Road, NW8

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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