The hope behind trump election

I recoiled in horror at the toxic headline in the 10 November edition of Jewish News. “Heaven help US” the headline screamed.

What on earth had happened? Had Iran suddenly declared war on Israel? Had Jeremy Corbyn been elected prime minister?

No, it turned out millions of Americans had elected Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

Community leader Jonathan Arkush was castigated for sending his congratulations. Labour MP Wes Streeting declared: “It is frightening for us who care about Palestine.” Masorti Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg lamented that it was an “American tragedy”. What? Trump is 70 years old. He didn’t have to do this. He had a wonderful life, a marvellous family, riches beyond compare. He did it for love of country. It proved that after eight years of the disastrous leadership of Barack Hussein Obama, millions upon millions of Americans voted for someone who will hopefully make America great again.

Judith Roth

By email

Breath of fresh air after Obama

I can’t come to terms with the negativity displayed towards Donald Trump’s election victory. At last we now have one of the most pro-Jewish leaders ever. The reaction of liberal Jews in the UK and US, celebrities and, most surprisingly, the Chief Rabbi, is shocking. Coming from a secular background, I seem to be in the minority of western Jews who see Mr Trump as a breath of fresh air.

Stephen H Conrad

Edgware

Saying no to god has no place here

Reading Rabbi Danny Rich’s comments on the akedah (binding) of Isaac, I ask: “Whose side is he on?” It was once man’s enemy disguised as a serpent who encouraged disobedience to God, and what a mess that got us in. Saying no to God has no place in Judaism or Christianity, which acknowledges Abraham had such faith he believed God would raise Isaac from death. However, the mention of the testing of Isaac was interesting – a young man on his way to be sacrificed voluntarily, foreshadowing another occasion when a life was voluntarily laid down in obedience to God.

Michael Harris

Epping

Alternative to Zac in Richmond is Lib Dems

I read with interest Alex Brummer’s recent article in your paper (Jewish News, 10 November) about the Richmond Park Parliamentary by-election coming up on 1 December. Brummer’s contention is that only Zac Goldsmith can be trusted with the Jewish communities’ vote. How wrong he is.

Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat and the only candidate who can beat Goldsmith supports a two-state solution in the Middle East, comes from the mainstream of our party and would make an excellent MP.

Not just that, but she is pro-remaining in the EU (Goldsmith is a passionate Brexiteer) which, by extension, is good for Israel and her relationship with the UK in terms of trade and diplomacy.

Alex Brummer talks of previous Lib Dem MPs for Richmond Park and somehow infers that means all future contenders are not fit for office, but conveniently forgets to mention that before Zac Goldsmith arrived in Richmond Park, the area was represented by Susan Kramer, a Jewish, pro-Israel/pro-two state Liberal Democrat MP.

The only way to hold this government to account on Heathrow and Brexit, as well as to give that local area an MP friendly to Israel and the Jewish community, is to vote Liberal Democrat on 1 December.

Gavin Stollar

Chairman, Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel

Arkush was simply doing the right thing

I refer to the angry letter by young British Jews to Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush expressing concern at the congratulatory message to US president-elect Trump (Jewish News, 10 November). Surely it is correct and rightfully expected of one representing the best interests of British Jewry to do so!

Arkush’s sentiments that he hoped after a divisive campaign Trump would build bridges and ensure America’s standing as a beacon of progress, tolerance and free-thinking remains strong, if nothing else, are urging Trump to rethink any untoward behaviour regarding home and international policy.

As a proud deputy for British Emunah, which cares for, supports and protects vulnerable children and families in Israel, I attest that Jonathan Arkush is a staunch and outspoken defender of Israel, with her interests and safety his main concern. He would not tolerate or overlook any racist or fascist remarks.

Flora Frank

Edgware

A subversion of democratic rule

Joseph Cohen (Letters, 10 November) confuses criticism with subversion. I have never said one may criticise Israel only if one lives there.

Yachad, by contrast, seeks to subvert the democratic process from afar by organising petitions to British MPs to exert pressure on Israel to reverse decisions it doesn’t agree with, as in the case of the high court’s ruling in the Susiya case.

And Cohen is on weak ground for blaming “Israel’s actions” for anti-Semitism, a condition present for 2,000 years.

Roslyn Pine

N3

Uni in a nutshell: do not join any unions

Each week it seems we hear about problems with students, universities and campuses. In America, according to the media, it is even worse than here. Most families now include young people who are either at uni, or on their way. Often they are drowning under waves of advice coming at them from all directions. Here’s my two-pennies’ worth.

Remember you are there mostly because taxpayers over the decades have made it possible. You are there for educational purposes and to attain levels of knowledge and understanding to qualify you to follow a career. You should also be able to improve your ability and add to your experience in sports, performing arts, other interests, by taking advantage of the unique opportunities offered by your university.

Avoid joining any unions or organisations, never attend any political “debates” or so-called “discussions”, do not make “demands“, nor become involved in “demonstrations”. Remember you are young and, at this stage of your life, forming opinions and views, even ideals, which may change, or strengthen, as you grow older and find other people entering your life. As for being Jewish, be proud that it is your religion and, as always, never allow anybody to undermine it. The rest is nonsense.

Harry Levy

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