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You are here News Human Rights Denouncing critics of Israel as ‘un-Jews’ or antisemites is a perversion of history

Denouncing critics of Israel as ‘un-Jews’ or antisemites is a perversion of history

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Denouncing critics of IsraelWilliam Zuckerman was born in 1885 in the Pale of Settlement, that part of the Russian empire to which Jews were largely confined, a place of poverty and pogroms. His family managed to escape, emigrating to America in 1900.

During the First World War, Zuckerman returned to Europe to work with a charity aiding American Jewish soldiers. Later, he settled in London, establishing the European bureau of Der Morgen zshurnal, an influential American Yiddish newspaper. In 1948, having returned to America, he founded the Jewish Newsletter, just as the new state of Israel was born. Zuckerman’s columns were syndicated in dozens of Jewish newspapers and he became the New York correspondent of the British Jewish Chronicle.

Zuckerman might have been embraced by the Jewish establishment as a model public figure but for one problem. He was critical of the policies of the newly created Jewish state, especially towards Palestinian refugees, hundreds of thousands of whom had fled or been driven out and were now barred from returning. “The land now called Israel,” Zuckerman wrote, “belongs to the Arab refugees no less than to any Israeli.”

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