Baddiel’s one rule for anti-Semitism at Chelsea, another for Tottenham

Where is the reaction from Chelsea supporting David Baddiel, who recently proclaimed his strong dislike for anti-Semitism, to the story about the video showing vile Chelsea fans singing an anti-Semitic song? Presumably he is in the same place when he admitted doing nothing about anti-Semitic comments by Chelsea supporters at a home game. Yet he could not wait to go on national TV to condemn Tottenham supporters for using the “Y” word. If not for the “semite” investment by Mr. Abramovitch, Chelsea would be a mid-table club.

Russell Ballen, By email

Role of women in the community

Flo Kaufmann’s disparaging comments on my article on the role of women (Jewish News, 13 April) did not contain a single argument on the subject itself.

All she does is to question my research on the issue, accuse me of writing “drivel”, emphasise the “educated, capable” credentials of United Synagogue ladies (something I have never doubted for a moment) , and tell me I belong “back in the 18th century”. Hardly intelligent observations.

Mrs Kaufmann expresses the curious objection I am not an elected spokesman for the United Synagogue. To the extent this has any relevance, I would say as a lifelong member and lay officiant of that organisation, who served for many years on a synagogue board, as its representative on the Board of Deputies and on the US Council, I think I am as eligible as anyone could be to express an informed view regarding the policies the US pursues.

However, what is Mrs Kaufmann’s problem?

She wants more rabbis to enter “into dialogue” with women so some of the issues “would be resolved” . Precisely what issues? I challenge her to cite two examples of things she would like to be able to do within the US “within halacha” (to quote her words) which she is currently unable to do.

Brian Gordon, Barnet

 

Change, or am I just an eternal optimist?

All in last week’s Jewish News: Liberal Democrats finally put ‘unfit’ David Ward to the sword; Jewish students heartened by Bouattia NUS election defeat; Khan tells hate crime meeting Livingstone must go.

Do I detect a sea change in attitudes towards anti-Semitism or is it just the eternal optimist in me?

Barry Borman, Edgware

Survivors’ asset limits raised

Following your story on Shoah survivors receiving more money for increasing needs, readers might be interested to know that, acting on behalf of the UK Umbrella Group (Agudas Israel Community Services, Bikur Cholim, Jewish Care (Shalvata) and North London Bikur Cholim), the AJR disbursed homecare assistance to some 350 people and made hundreds of emergency assistance awards to Holocaust survivors and refugees last year.

The group has now raised the asset limit for eligibility from the previous £50,000 to £328,000 (disregarding home and car) and income of less than £16,000 (disregarding pensions).

To qualify, a person must also be verified by the Claims Conference as a Jewish victim of Nazi oppression. For details, contact any agency in the group or the AJR on 020 8385 3070.

Michael Newman, Chief executive, The Association
of Jewish Refugees

Thanks Clive & Monty

May I take this opportunity to congratulate Jewish News on its 1,000th issue. It truly is a magnificent achievement and I extend sincerest mazeltov to all the staff who help produce this excellent publication.
I thought Richard Ferrer’s article ‘A Grand Occasion’ was good but it was a mistake to thank various colleagues and predecessors by name as it was inevitable some would be forgotten. I want to mention Clive Garsin who back in 1993 started Shalom. It evolved into London Jewish News in 1997 but if it wasn’t for Clive and his father, Monty, there is a possibility we wouldn’t be toasting the success of Jewish News. So thank you Clive and all who worked on Shalom, London Jewish News and Jewish News.

Laurence Stein, NW4

Israel deserves to be recognised with a royal visit

J D Milaric (Letters, 4 June) is right about a Royal visit to Israel. In international matters, you can’t always choose your associates based on their democratic practices.

We fought along with the tyrannical USSR in the Second World War, despite the earlier loathsome pact with the Nazis.

Now, in fighting terrorism, we have no choice but to be friends with Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive regimes around where,
regardless of its bad human rights and treatment of women, the Prince of Wales has danced with its warriors while waving a sword.

Notwithstanding the long-festering Israel-Palestine dispute, it truly is time to recognise the equally long overdue acknowledgement of Israel with both a prime ministerial and State royal visit.

Barry Hyman, Bushey Heath

Study here? Forget it

As an Israeli university graduate who later worked in higher education in Israel and the UK, I found your article on the fall in Israelis studying in the UK interesting. Rather than mourning the lack of Israelis studying here, I find it surprising any do.

Apart from the hateful boycotts, and the prevalent atmosphere of outright anti-Semitism, the academic advantages of studying in the UK are non-existent. Israeli higher education is of a superior level. UK universities charge higher fees, are financially strapped, and cannot afford the excellent tutorials available to Israeli students. Basic housing is expensive and the cost of living is prohibitive.

Britain’s ambassador to Israel is keen to promote good relations between the two countries, but this is not a viable solution. Israeli universities have excellent programmes tailored for overseas students.

A W Kaye, Stamford Hill