Letter: Ashamed to be Jewish

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The Independent Online
Sir: I heard on the BBC news today that all the people killed in the Israeli bombing of South Lebanon, the 'surgical strike', were civilians - about 100 people. I find it hard to bear that Israel is yet again killing and maiming children, babies, women and old men.

Later an Israeli government spokesman said that it was his country's policy to create a great movement of refugees in the Lebanon. What a grotesque ambition for a country whose population is made up of refugees.

I was myself a Jewish child refugee persecuted by the Nazis in the last European war, and many members of my family died in the camps. I well remember the brutality and contempt with which Jews were treated and I find it chilling to recognise a similar attitude among the Israeli army towards Palestinian civilians. Even if one accepts that the recent bombings were to prevent attacks against Israel from bases in South Lebanon, what possible justification can there be for the killing and wounding of children, women and old people?

I am sad to have to say that Israeli policy has succeeded in making me ashamed of being Jewish - a feat not achieved by all the anti- Semitism of the Third Reich.

Yours sincerely,

KATHARINA WOLPE

London, NW3

1 August

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