Give trump a chance

Whether we like the situation or loathe it, Donald Trump seems set to be with us for a while yet, so it’s probably wise to stop hurling all those bouquets or brickbats until we see what he actually achieves after he takes office.

One is tempted to observe he can hardly achieve less than the outgoing president and, as far as Israel and Jews are concerned, he has already set things on an apparently steadier course.

Words are cheap and not always a reliable indicator of future actions but Trump, a man with a Jewish son-in-law, has been consistent in his criticism of Obama’s Iran deal and his pledge to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, which, as even The Guardian notes, would be an act of ‘huge symbolic importance’.

American Jewish Congress president Jack Rosen said: “I expect Trump to be a strong supporter of Israel and to understand Israel’s security concerns. I think he’ll be a good friend.”

He added that, despite anxieties over Trump’s policies and appointments, “we need to give him a chance”. That sounds about right.

Marcus Reshman

Ilford

It’s time for israel – and diaspora Jews –to show we are a sovereign nation

In light of the comments by US Secretary of State John Kerry regarding his failed attempts to formulate a so-called ‘Peace treaty’ between Israel and non-indigenous Arabs and the abhorrent UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which he instigated, the Israeli government has to be resolute and remove the UN from its illegal occupation of Government House in Jerusalem.

It has to be re-established as the official seat of the president of Israel.

In addition, it is incumbent upon the Jerusalem Municipality and the utility companies to withdraw services they provide to the complex for which the UN does not pay, such as the council tax.

It is now time for Israel and American and diaspora world Jewry to be resilient and show the world we are once again a sovereign power in our historic ancient homeland and that we are not to be dictated to.

Dr Colin L Leci

By email

Board must rectify mistake and expel yachad

I hope readers appreciate the irony of Hannah Weisfeld’s column (Jewish News, 5 January) about her fears for Israel’s democracy. It is Yachad itself that seeks to violate democracy, by attempting to impose policies contrary to the will of the elected government.

The latest reprehensible example was Yachad’s urging of the UK foreign minister to accept UN Security Council Resolution 2334. I attended the Zionist Federation’s demo against 2334 and the UK’s approval of it. That event was co-sponsored by the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies.

What better example does the Board need that its admission of Yachad in 2014 was a mistake?

Yachad belongs on the fringe, as the ZF realised when it rejected its application. The Board must now rectify its mistake and expel Yachad.

Jonathan Hoffman

EN5

The only way to beat terrorism is through the full force of the law

The judiciary can continue to say the rule of law is paramount in a democracy, but our enemies play by a different set of rules – a plan of non-recognition and a wish to annihilate.

I hope, therefore, every act by terrorists against us and any assistance given to them in any way (supplying mobile phones, for example)will be dealt with by the full force of the law, and the continual bleating from the left will fall on deaf ears.

These enemies will be defeated only from strength not weakness, no matter how loud we scream democracy.

Stephen Vishnick

Tel Aviv

Regal recognition for Anglo-Jewry

It was a joy and source of pride to read about the amazing contributions of community members in the UK recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Linda Lukom

By email

Wycombe dream has come true!

I was pleased to see my letter about Wycombe Wanderers’ two Jewish players in last week’s issue, in which I hoped my team might draw Spurs in the the FA Cup. Well, my dream came true!

Laurence Garber

By email

Political events about Israel make me despair

An Israeli diplomat is caught on camera plotting to “take down” an MP, while over in Israel Benjamin Netanyahu accepts free cigars. These are not just headlines that will just be tomorrow’s bin liners.

There is no carpet big enough to brush all our sins under.
I am proud of Israel. I have been proud to call myself an Israeli since I made aliyah at the age of 22, but today I am distraught.

Everyone knows that the road to perdition is paved with good intentions. Not here, not in Israel, not Israelis.

I am sick to my stomach to admit I find some consolation in the thought that maybe Donald Trump might be the man to make an impotent change.

Israel – my love – stop the flow of constant drivel and listen for a moment. I know it’s difficult but, who knows? You may actually hear something. Pay attention Israel – this is a wake-up call.

Howard Burns

Haifa, Israel

British foreign office has form on anti-semitism

Justin Cohen reports that that the UK Government was blindsided by the Foreign Office over the vote at the UN (Jewish News,
5 January). Certainly the FO has a long and nasty history concerning Jews.

My brother-in-law (in his 80s) tells the story of the applicant for a position there who, when filling in the part of the form that asked for religion wrote ‘anti-Semite’ and got the job. Clearly apocryphal but demonstrates the reputation the UK’s FO has long had.

I want to know who the architect at the FO was for this anti-Semitism and what is being done about them?

That should surely be the next project for Mr Cohen or some Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein-type journalist to expose.

Rabbi Y Y Rubinstein

By email

We must be role models

I commend Rabbi Natan Levy [pictured] on his opinion piece ‘We no longer have the right to preach our ways’ (Jewish News, 29 December).

No one can accuse the Jewish community of failing to be charitable in any way, however we need to do more, be seen to support our surrounding neighbourhood and non-Jewish communities more on a daily basis in any way we can. I see an irony in the fact Rabbi Levy’s article appeared opposite the leader on the secretary of state’s refusal to approve the application for a new Jewish free school in north London.

The government sees faith schools as a threat to society. As a community, we need to engage more and socialise not just within our own communities. As Rabbi Levy says, we need to be role models for wider society.

Kate Schoub

By email

A bewildering debate

Your article ‘Ireland gives Israel debate go-ahead’ in last week’s issue left me thinking. Why should any university entertain the notion of holding a debate about the legal legitimacy of a country and particularly one that is a fully-fledged democracy and member of the UN? In the interests of “equality”, I trust the organiser will hold, and UCC agree to staging, debates on Northern Ireland, Tibet, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Jordan…

JD Milaric

By email