No need to write a letter to The Guardian in opposition to the piece written by Henry Grunwald QC, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
His "We all deserve an apology" article (Wed March 2) aimed at Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, while purporting to be an attack on anti-Semitism was in fact an ill-advised exercise in the competition of the oppressed; that foolish game that says, "our suffering, torture and horrible death was worse than your suffering, torture and horrible death".
I believe the dead of the Holocaust, the dead of Pol Pot's Cambodian killing fields and the dead of the Rwanda and Australian genocides would stand shoulder to shoulder in their opposition to racism, ethnic cleansing and social engineering through state endorsed mass murder. They would not be vying for gold on the top step of the winners podium. I believe Jo Slovo, a Jew and chief of staff of the African National Congress's armed wing, shoulder to shoulder with Nelson Mandela in the struggle against apartheid, would have understood this in a way that Henry Grunwald appears incapable of doing.
Ken Livingstone's measured response in today's Guardian, "This is about Israel, not anti-Semitism” says most of what I would have said and more; and yes, Ariel Sharon is a war criminal.
As for the origins of the furore, Ken Livingstone’s likening a Jewish reporter from the London Evening Standard to a Nazi Concentration Camp Guard - and appropriately not apologising: Any member of an ethnic minority knowingly working for Associated Newspapers (or for Rupert Murdoch’s News International) should realise they are working for organisations with a long history of promoting, feeding and nurturing racism. Such people should consider carefully before accusing anyone of being racist. Those attempting to make this an issue of anti-Semitism have a dishonest agenda of their own.
In addition, apologising to people merely because they feel offended is absurd.
I am offended, for example, by the Pope's lying, murderous policy on condoms & HIV / AIDS, Tony Blair's lethal lies about the reasons for the war in Iraq and by the current meaningless, craven philosophy of "closure" / putting it behind you / and moving on. I am not holding my breath waiting for apologies from the culprits. Incidentally, Arabs also are Semitic.