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Innocuous to some but not to others
I thank Herbert Goldberg (“Prejudiced Charedi: set up on your own”, Jewish News, 30 October) for his “congratulations” on my proposed solution for “the problem of accommodating Orthodox men who fly El Al but don’t wish to sit next to women”, published in Jewish News.
However, he gives away his own intolerant attitude when he writes: “Charedim [should] set up their own airline, which would allow them to exercise all their antediluvian practices, prejudices and superstitions without bothering the majority of us who don’t mind whom they sit next to”.
So long as their seating arrangements are sorted out before boarding, there is no reason why any passengers should be unaware why they were allocated the seats they occupy – which was the whole point of my suggestion.
His latest diatribe: “An irrational long-haul flight of fancy”, in Jewish News on 4 December against your correspondent Joseph Cohen (Jewish News, 27 November), whom he accuses unfairly of being “devoid of any rational arguments”, would have been infinitely improved had he deployed any himself.
Still, I must thank him for writing of me that “he puts his arguments in a rational and coherent manner”, which was about the only non-abusive part of his latest scurrilous contribution. Just because Mr Goldberg finds something innocuous, why can’t he acknowledge others may not? Or is his motive to force everyone to adopt his lifestyle – shades of the Yevsektsia and the Inquisition?
Martin D. Stern
Lone voice of decency at board of deputies
Since my letter was published on these pages on 4 December, I have received calls from several people thanking me for my criticism of the Board of Deputies.
All said that I’d written the truth. There has been not one complaint. I have a feeling that this letter will arrive at the same time as one of “shock and outrage”, and probably insults, from our erstwhile “leaders”.
No doubt the letter will set about denouncing my actions, my lack of respect, how I don’t understand things, that they do a difficult job and all the usual clichés that are designed to shoot the messenger and close down the debate. But here’s the point – one of the calls was from a Deputy, who confirmed everything I’d written and more.
I was told that while this particular person was away, the board tried to remove them because, in this person’s words, “they don’t want people who ask awkward questions or rock the boat”. As I alluded to previously – a cosy ganser macher club. It also turns out that in the vote to recognise and get into bed with the hard-left leaning, apologist, Israel-hating Yachad, only one deputy voted against.
Step forward Jonathan Arkush, the lone voice of common decency and a man of principle; well done. So there you have it folks, straight from the horse’s mouth, first hand. I am sure that there will be much feigned outrage and more than a few political attacks and jibes from our “worthies”.
But I find that it is instructive that while my own party is unashamedly pro-Israel, as witnessed by your reporter, the same cannot be said for our Marx-worshipping deputies and those who purport to (mis)represent us.
Chairman, UKIP Harrow,
Why i, as a jew, back UKIP on immigration
We do not blame immigrants who come to our great country. We blame the system that allows this to happen. Letter writer Ms Frieze (4 December) obviously has not read the UKIP immigration policy.
If she had, she would not have made so many fundamental errors in her piece. Would you call the Australians “racist” and “anti-immigrant”? Certainly not.
They control their borders and have strict rules and regulations as to who is allowed to migrate to their country. UKIP immigration policy is actually built around this Australian model.
We recognise fully that this country does need migrant workers to fill certain posts; however, in all cases, the UK’s own population should be used first. As for her comments about migrant workers contributing more to the economy than they take out, this simply isn’t true.
Many big corporations deliberately employ migrant workers on minimum wage, which then entitles the workers to claim benefits to top up their incomes. Once on benefits, they can claim for their families as well. Another myth being spread by the left-wing parties is that we would be sending immigrants back to their countries of origin.
This is complete and utter nonsense. The only people who would be removed are those here illegally. This is only right and proper and would be done in any other civilised country in the world. I feel the real reason the Green Party is so anti-UKIP is that we do not buy into its philosophy, which would see British business dragged into draconian emission policies.
With the Greens so keen on open-door mass immigration and loathing power generation by any means other than renewables, I wonder how they plan to generate the energy the UK will require in the very near future? We live on a small island with a population density that is growing at a rate that is unsustainable.
We have a crumbling infrastructure; we cannot produce enough food; we have a serious energy-generation situation looming; we do not have enough schools or hospitals. None of these issues has been taken into account when looking at uncontrolled immigration into this country.
Ms Frieze’s comments are nothing more than scaremongering and it is comments like these that cause misunderstandings about UKIP. I am a second-generation Jew, my grandparents having escaped the Holocaust.
I can assure you that I would not be involved with a political party that could be holding the balance of power after the next election if I thought for one moment that there was anything sinister in its policies.
Dr Howard Koch, Prospective Parliamentary candidate UKIP Hemel Hempstead
Why the proposed Jewish State Law is so necessary
That liberals, leftists and Europeans are having apoplexy about the proposed Jewish state law in Israel shows just how important and necessary passing such a law is.
Why should Israel being a Jewish state bother them? Does it bother them that virtually every Muslim country declares itself to be Muslim and that the Palestinian state they long for would do the same?
To claim that Israel being a Jewish state and a democratic state are mutually exclusive is false and racist, no more than in Britain where Christianity is established undemocratically. The very people moaning that declaring Israel a Jewish state is undemocratic are the same people who attempt continually to suppress democracy in Israel, such as with the Israel HaYom law.
To these people “democracy” means their liberal/leftist values and world view, with everything else being “undemocratic”. This is not even to mention the EU, which is anti-democratic and tries its best to suppress democracy. More importantly, the legitimacy of Israel as a nation is in its being a Jewish state. Without this, who needs it, who needs another gentile state? The foundation of its existence and its strength is not in its army or in secularism, but in the Judaism that gave birth to Israel and the Jewish people 3,200 years ago and which has sustained us as a nation ever since. Take this away and Israel will disappear. It used to be that Jews fought for secularism because they were afraid of being made Christians. Now it seems many Jews fight for secularism because they are afraid of being made Jewish.
Sitting together and the dictum of ma’alin b’kodesh
It’s regrettable that I still have great trouble understanding the intolerant attitudes of those who cannot accept or appreciate the social etiquette and cultural mores, which consider inappropriate the act of sitting next to the opposite gender.
The advantages of such behaviour should be evident in the face of society’s continuing moral decline, which engulfs us all, challenging our values and perceptions. From princes to presidents to prime ministers, none of us is immune to temptation wherever it may present itself. The revelation of scandals involving otherwise trusted individuals is becoming increasingly common. Who among us can claim we are totally “in control”?
Many destructive relationships start innocently in a controlled and congenial manner, often without those involved realising until it’s too late. Those who do take steps to prevent the grief and misery that result from family breakup are scoffed at and demonised. Refraining from intermingling is a perfectly rational practice, which hardly requires explanation, as it unquestionably negates the risk of infidelity.
As Jews, we should be encouraging any measures which reinforce stronger matrimonial commitment. So long as separate seating on flights can be accommodated through appropriate channels so as not to inconvenience anyone, God forbid, the principled stance of the scrupulously faithful Chassidic husband (or wife for that matter) should be praised, not castigated.
Solutions can be found that are acceptable to everyone, as was the case in the discrimination lawsuit filed against British Airways for its policy of preventing men sitting next to unaccompanied children. During Chanukah, we should consider the halachic dictum of Ma’alin B’kodesh when taking to the skies to and from the Holy Land.
Gaucher’s is not exclusive to the jewish community
We noted with dismay the scaremongering advertisement (Jewish News, 4 December) relating to the rare genetic Gaucher’s disease commissioned by Shire pharmaceuticals and advising the Jewish community to test for this disorder.
Gaucher’s is not an exclusively Jewish genetic disorder, as it also afflicts the general population, although the carrier frequency is higher in Ashkenazi individuals in comparison to the general population. The medical fraternity does not recommend routine screening for Gaucher’s disease. People who present to a physician with the clinical manifestations of the disease would instinctively be referred to a consultant for the relevant examinations and tests. Incidentally, Shire pharmaceuticals manufactures VPRIV, a long-term enzyme replacement therapy for patients with type 1 Gaucher disease. Rabbi J J Rosner Chairman, Association for the Prevention Of Jewish Genetic Diseases