Spat misrepresents community

The real shame in the drama between the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) is that it misrepresents our community. It shows us in a bitter light to the wider public, unwilling to lend our ears to opposing views.

To call Simon Johnson’s comments “irresponsible” is not particularly responsible in itself. 

A number of leading academic experts have said the CAA’s statistics were skewed and self-serving. Johnson was not highlighting separations in our community in his video.

On the contrary, he called for us all to come together and look at the findings as a community, celebrating the many strengths of and contributions by communal organisations.

The CAA research was one piece in a sea of many. Whether ‘vital’ or not, any research that publicly makes such bold claims must be scrutinised to the very last.

I believe this was Johnson’s point.

Raymond Simonson, CEO, JW3

Ridiculous squabble helped no one

Your editorial put into perspective the ridiculous squabble between the CAA and JLC regarding anti-Semitism in Britain (Jewish News, 31 August).

Let’s be clear. Jewish people do not run away from anti-Semites. We confront – and defeat – them. Jewish people are not fearful of anti-Semites – it is they who fear us. My family and friends know of no Jewish relative or friend, who is even considering “running“ from Britain because of real, or supposed, anti-Semitism. The row between organisations is unfortunate and both are at fault, despite having the best intentions.    

I’m cautious about basing anything on opinion polls. 

Harry Levy, Pinner

In anger is broygez, not broigus

You referred to a “broigus” within the Jewish community between the JLC and CAA (Jewish News, 31 August).

That Yiddish word is a corruption of the Hebrew, b’rogez, meaning “in anger.”

Yiddish speakers pronounce the word broygez not broigus.

Leon Poddebsky, By email

Don’t smear the CAA

In the dispute between the JLC and the CAA, I am reminded of the Palestinians and Israelis. The CAA came up with innovative and sound research on anti-Semitism, which it released in a very measured manner, as evidenced by CAA chairman Gideon Falter’s practical and understated column last week.

Unprovoked, the JLC’s chief executive, Simon Johnson, made a video in which he tried to savage the CAA for doing the research at all, berating Jews for saying they are afraid, and smearing CAA’s volunteers for being motivated, claims Johnson, by a mad craving to be on TV.

CAA remained silent for days, working behind the scenes to convince the JLC to take the video down, which the JLC did, but then they said they stood by the video and started taking shots at the CAA again.

Finally, the CAA reacted publicly but with great restraint and put the JLC in its place.

And who in your editorial did you tell to “calm down, dear”? Why, CAA of course, like some well-meaning European diplomat claiming that Israel should react less effectively
to attacks.

Daniel Kagan, Edgware

A lone and wise voice

We are fortunate to have a Muslim friend in Maajid Nawaz. His is a  lone voice on radio and in Jewish News, and is clear in contrasting the India/Pakistan dilemma with the anti-Israel stance in the UN (Jewish News, 24 August). Let’s hope his views are replicated by more of his faith.

Sydney Sands, By email

It seems you can argue with stats

If the Campaign Against Antisemitism is right and one in three Jews are looking to leave the UK, can someone explain why you’re as likely to hear Ivrit spoken by Israelis in Stamford Hill and Golders Green as to hear English in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem?

It seems English Jews enjoy living in poverty in Kiryat Sefer, whereas Israelis prefer jobs in London.

One in three? You can’t argue with statistics – apparently you can.

Noam Bright, Stamford Hill

Myth of Palestinian refugees 

Martin Stern is spot on when he says the Israel-Palestine question
is a “playground fight” compared to the India-Pakistan problem (Jewish News, 31 August).

He further points out the Arab world being allowed to get away with the myth of their ‘Nakba’ and their hereditary refugee status.

Why has Israel not emphasised the fact that more than 800,000 Jews were displaced from their homes in Arab countries, yet one does not hear of them as refugees.

They have been absorbed into the countries they made their homes and, in most cases, have become upright citizens contributing in no small way to their adopted countries.

It really is time this myth of the so-called Palestinian refugees was blown away.

David Kanareck, Mill Hill