Claire Rayner: Jews have no right to Middle East land

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 19:43:41 +0100

Claire Rayner, Britain's best-known agony aunt, has outraged the Jewish
establishment by declaring a loathing of Israel and an apparent empathy
with Palestinian suicide bombers. 

Ms Rayner, 71, who was born Jewish but has long been a self-proclaimed
atheist, has said that the Jewish people's claim to a historic homeland
was "a load of crap". 

The comments from the "mother of all agony aunts" have infuriated the
Board of Deputies of British Jews. Only last week it castigated another
television personality, the poet and Oxford University don Tom Paulin,
for suggesting in an interview that American-born settlers in Israel
were like Nazis who should be "shot dead". Mr Paulin, in a letter to
today's Independent on Sunday, says his views have been distorted. 

Ms Rayner told this newspaper: "I have never had any attachment to
Israel. The only time I went there I loathed the country. People were
abominably rude. I am appalled by the right wing hawkishness of this
government. What upsets me even more is so many of the constituents seem
to approve of what Sharon is doing. 

"People say the Jews have a historic right to live on the land - how can
they? What a load of crap. You could also say Sephardic Jews have a
right to Spain." 

Ms Rayner, the president of the British Humanist Association declares a
firm preference for a world without national boundaries. She added: "If
you treat a group of people the way Palestinians have been treated they
will use the only weapon they have which is their individual lives. This
is why there are suicide bombers." 

Fiona Macaulay, public affairs director of Board of Deputies of British
Jews, said: "There can never be any justification for terrorism where
innocent civilians die for political ends. I am appalled that Claire
Rayner could believe otherwise." 

In his letter, Mr Paulin writes: "I have been and am a life-long
opponent of anti-Semitism and a consistent supporter of a Palestinian
state. I do not support attacks on Israeli civilians." 

Source:  Independent

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