Chief Rabbi Sacks: The Guardian Misrepresented My Views

British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks' views on Israel were badly misrepresented in an interview published in the British newspaper The Guardian on Tuesday, Sacks wrote Thursday in a letter to Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau.

In the interview, Sacks said that the conflict with the Palestinians "is forcing Israel into postures that are incompatible in the long run with [Judaism's] deepest ideals" and "generates hatreds and insensitivities that in the long run are corrupting to a culture." These comments created a storm both in Israel and in Britian, and rightist organizations in Britain even demanded that Sacks resign.

In his letter to Lau, Sacks wrote that the "sensationalist headlines" the paper gave the interview, which emphasized these statements, did not match the message he was trying to convey. He also protested the fact that these statements were "used to portray me as a critic of Israel."

"For the past two years, I have consistently supported Israel and made its case in the British media, with all the love I feel and all the power I have," he wrote. "To make Israel's case effectively, I have spoken not only to the media who support Israel, but also to Israel's critics. As anyone who has read The Guardian interview in full will see, it contains a strong defense of Israel, the strongest that this paper has printed."

Sacks ended the letter by pledging that he will continue to try to defend Israel before every possible audience.