Take away the publicity!
Perhaps it is time to stop reporting on the anti-Israel musician Roger Waters.
You should no longer report on the latest act he’s attempted to bully into not performing in Israel – in this case, Radiohead, who are due to play in
Tel Aviv next month. Stop giving him the publicity.
Dan Weinberg, By email
Dweck is sparing people pain
Regarding Rabbi Joseph Dweck’s comments, which appear to encourage the acceptance of homosexuality in Judaism and Rabbi Aaron Bassous’ subsequent criticism, I hope to shine new perspective onto this matter (Jewish News, 2 June).
For most people, sexuality is simply the gender to which they are attracted. For many men struggling with same-sex attraction, it touches on something much deeper.
If we as a community can make sure that people don’t feel alienated when it comes to this matter, think of how much value we can add to their futures and how much pain we are potentially sparing them, simply by telling them they are equal.
Same-sex attraction should never evolve into emotional darkness. It’s dangerous in every sense.
Rabbi Dweck’s courage is removing from the community the sting of gay inadequacy, and replacing it with love, acceptance and equality, purely on a passionate human level.
He’s creating a safer environment for the next struggler in line, so they can have the shame-free freedom and emotional balance to take charge of their identity, one which is not just their sexuality. Rabbi Dweck is saving lives, not promoting sex.
Jon Holt, Golders Green
Cancelling the pro-Israel rally just plays into the hands of terrorists
We are constantly told that we need to send out a message to terrorists that they won’t change our way of life and we should continue with our lives regardless. So why was a major pro-Israel event set for Westminster cancelled over security fears? (Jewish News, 8 June).
Surely claiming “Islamic extremists have called for the specific targeting of Christians and Jews during the month of Ramadan” is stating the obvious. Surely from the moment the event was announced it was a target but tickets were still sold.
Cancelling such an event plays into the hands of terrorists. Des Starritt’s comment: “We are determined that the impact of Islamic extremism will not win” just proves they already have.
Russell Ballen, By email
Levi Eshkol was prime minister during war
Your article about the Six- Day War on 25 May stated “as well as then Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who visited the day after” [11 May]. Methinks you are wrong – Levi Eshkol was Prime Minister (1963-1969) at the time of the war. Ben-Gurion was Prime Minister from 1948 to 1953 and 1955 to 1963.
Geoffrey Pepper, By email
Rabbi Dweck was misguided
You report Rabbi Aaron Bassous, of Beth Hamedrash Knesset Yehezkel in Golders Green “called on the Beth Din to remove Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi of the S&P Sephardi Community” over his view that the “homosexual revolution is a fantastic development for humanity” (Jewish News, 2 June).
I agree with Rabbi Bassous’ general disquiet with Rabbi Dweck’s ill-advised comment even if the latter was correct that it “was based on traditional and widely accepted Torah and Talmudic sources”.
However to have “compared Rabbi Dweck with Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs, who caused a stir in the late 1950s by questioning the Orthodox understanding of revelation”, and call him “more poisonous”, is hyperbolic.
The latter attacked one of the fundamental underpinnings of Torah Judaism, whereas the former has, by using a misguided choice of phrase, ‘only’ appeared to go along with the PC culture on same-sex relationships. Perhaps Rabbi Dweck should have heeded Shimon ben Shetach’s admonition (Avot 1:9) to be “careful with your words lest through them others learn falsehood”.
Martin D. Stern, Salford
There’s No mandate for a Hard brexit
If there is one certainty that can be taken from the result of the election, it is that the ‘hard Brexit’ espoused by the Conservatives has been roundly rejected.
May made this election about Brexit and she lost. As she seeks to remain in Number 10 with the support of a deeply partisan, hardline and socially questionable DUP, May threatens the neutral position Westminster must take on Northern Irish issues to secure lasting peace.
May’s diabolical lack of judgement on both issues is a clear indication that neither she nor her Party are fit for purpose entering Brexit negotiations. The government must set up a cross-party Constitutional Convention of civil negotiators to secure a Brexit that is reflected by all society because there is no mandate for a Tory ‘hard Brexit’.
Alasdair Hill, Barnet Liberal Democrats
It’s time for more pride
Nina Morris-Evans writes how ashamed she was of the annual Jerusalem Day March of the Flags, which goes through Jerusalem and Hebron, as this conflates support for Israel with the ‘occupation’ (Jewish News, 25 May). I find this rather shocking.
These two cities are the birthplace of the Jewish nation and its heart and soul. If we have no historical right to Jerusalem – our capital, where an unbroken Jewish presence goes back centuries and the city that is central in our customs and prayers for two millennia – and Hebron – our forefathers’ burial place, which featured continued Jewish residence until 1929, when 67 Jews were butchered and the rest driven out – what right have we to Tel Aviv and Haifa?
Why are some Jews so guilt-ridden and ashamed at the miraculous return to their own land? Perhaps it is time to have less shame and more pride.
Dov Weller, NW4