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  June 23, 2003

Mr. David Triesman
Secretary General
The Labour Party
16 Old Queen Street
London
SW1H 9HP

Dear Mr. Triesman:

We were deeply troubled by the comments made by Labour MP Oona King last week comparing the living conditions of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to those of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. We strongly urge the Labour Party to speak out against such an outrageous comparison.

The situation of the Palestinians is in no way comparable to the oppressive treatment of the Warsaw Jews by the Nazis. While Palestinians do face many hardships, Israelís actions in the West Bank and Gaza are solely intended to prevent the continuous onslaught of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. The Palestinians have indeed suffered, but unlike the Jews of Warsaw, they have a choice to live in peace and security with Israel.

Despite the horrors of suicide terrorism, opinion polls in Israel demonstrate that Israelis are still ready to offer the Palestinians the opportunity for an independent state, if the Palestinians truly recognize Israelís right to exist as a Jewish state and end its campaign of terror.

Prime Minister Blair has taken a public position on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. While the past few weeks have been extremely difficult, talks are taking place, and there is hope that the implementation of the roadmap may begin. Incendiary and ill-informed statements such as these serve only to undermine hopeful steps towards peace.
 
Sincerely,

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director

AHF:gr
cc: His Excellency Sir David Manning




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