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Israel is for cooperation and peace

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LettersIsrael is for cooperation and peace

Readers discuss Israel’s cooperation with countries, labour force participation in Hong Kong, and how to help older menIsraelLettersPublished: 11:30am, 3 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

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The idea of political Zionism was established at the end of the 19th century by a Jewish journalist from the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Theodor Herzl, who witnessed in Paris the conviction for treason of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. The trial was a farce with strong elements of antisemitism against the Jewish captain.

Herzl’s conclusion was simple: the Jewish people had a right and even a duty to define themselves politically and culturally as a nation state in the historic cradle of the Jewish people – which is known now as the state of Israel. A state that will serve as a safe asylum for Jews from all around the world. The holocaust in Europe less than 50 years later was another horrific illustration of that need, till the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 as the only Jewish state in the world.

I was hence saddened to read the August 28 column by Alex Lo mentioning that the identity of Israel is defined by “fighting and repressing the Other”, a twisted statement in a column that is not only a review of a former Al Jazeera journalist’s book, but also reflects the writer’s unfortunate lack of knowledge of Israeli and Jewish history.

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