Letter : Phrase chosen for a reason The grapes of propaganda

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The Independent Online
Discussion of the precise biblical origin of the "Grapes of Wrath" title given Israel's latest Lebanon operation (Letters, 26 May) is surely a side issue beside the name's two most direct references: Steinbeck's compassionate novel, and the "Battle Hymn of the American Republic", familiar to most Americans and sung by Protestant congregations, usually to the tune we know as "John Brown's Body". It is difficult to believe that the name was chosen without a thought for its association in American minds with "the glory of the coming of the Lord", to quote the hymn's first line.

Incidentally, if your correspondent is inclined to think Robert Fisk likely to spread anti-semitic cliches, she should ponder the account of his visit to Auschwitz with which he opens his book Pity the Nation.

Bernard Noble

The Hague, Netherlands