Stephen, your columnist, need more than love

Your foreign editor is surely in the wrong job. Stephen Oryszczuk proudly states [in his opinion piece recently] he is a non-Jew and thinks he gets the bigger picture of the Gaza crisis, but in fact he is an ignoramus in Israeli affairs. His arguments are those of an uneducated child, who makes simplistic comments and thinks the answer to everything is easy. In his world, all you need is love!

Most people in Gaza voted for Hamas, so claiming they are innocent bystanders is fanciful. The situation is Gaza is solely the responsibility of the Palestinians and, more particularly, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

What sort of a leader orders his enemy, Israel, to cut electricity to four hours a day to his own people to make them suffer? Answer: Mahmoud Abbas.

Stephen’s cynical comment, “When… a human catastrophe unfolds just a few miles from the boutiques and bars of Tel Aviv, will Jewish people be there to add their voice and push Israel to help?” is so wide of the facts he has a long way to go before being worthy of his title.

Perhaps he should be moved to work on the Jewish charities sector and he can see what being Jewish is really about.

Daniel Baum, W1H

Going to synagogue once a year will not give children understanding of heritage

Your columnist Lauren Hamburger says some parents wonder whether, by taking their children to synagogue once a year they are fulfilling their duties in teaching them Jewish heritage and tradition and mitzvot (Jewish News, 3 August).

Let me ask them this: if their children’s schools taught maths by giving pupils just one lesson a year, would they consider that to be sufficient?

Ann Cohen, Golders Green

Torah rules do leave room for ‘liberal’ thinking – it’s the talmud that does not

The editing of my letter obscured the point I was endeavouring to make, which was that contrary to Geoffrey Niman’s claim, Torah rules do indeed leave room for ‘liberal’ thinking (Jewish News, 27 July).

As Rabbi Mark Goldsmith points out in his article on the stoning of a rebellious child, the Written Torah (Deut 21) requires it but the Oral Torah, as codified in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 68ff), makes it impossible.

Marylou Grimberg, Harpenden

Thanks for the telling off

It is interesting that Jewish News has a foreign editor who describes himself as “a non-Jew feeling my way around in the Jewish world” (Jewish News, 27 July).

Clearly, Stephen Oryszczuk is held in high enough esteem, professionally, to hold such a prestigious job and is relied on to take an objective view on all matters foreign.

Yet in his highly-charged article about the dreadful conditions in Gaza, he makes a strong case about what “being Jewish is all about” before castigating Jews across the world, especially those in Israel, for not doing more to help Palestinians suffering in Gaza. Very commendable and, in many ways, unarguable.

He goes on to criticise Israeli politics but never suggests that, perhaps, the Palestinians, who have received more financial aid in the past 40 years than all other people in total, might consider publicly declaring they are no longer at war with Israel and will cease killing Jews at every opportunity.

It might just help.

Harry Levy, Pinner

CAA overstepping the mark

The Campaign Against Antisemitism – a UK not Irish group – demanded The Sunday Times instantly fire Irish journalist Kevin Myers owing to part of his column, and also have him blacklisted.

Disturbing questions now deserve public answers from CAA. Does it reject the duty of any employer to grant due process and a prior hearing to any staff before they may be dismissed? Since when did CAA extend its UK remit to publications appearing only in the separate sovereign jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland? Did the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland seek CAA intervention?

Tom Carew, Dublin

Myers’ article more than just an ‘error’

Did I fall asleep and wake up in Corbyn’s Momentum Land when I read The Sunday Times column “Sorry ladies – equal pay has to be earned” by Kevin Myers? This specifically referred to Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz in blatant and completely unacceptable anti-Semitic terms that no
national publication would dare to write about any other race or religion.

For The Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens to say they were unacceptable and should not have been published merely shows his own incompetence and by describing it as an “error of judgement” just proves he initially saw nothing wrong with it. This type of throwaway article is fast becoming the norm in mainstream journalism and the publicity surrounding its removal does as much damage as the original content.

Russell Ballen, By email

Israeli taxpayers help Gaza

Stephen Oryszczuk must live in a parallel universe to accuse Jews of not caring about Gaza suffering [in his column last month].

Israel supplies Gaza with more than 800 trucks daily with food, medicines and household goods across the Keren Shalom crossing… that is when Hamas doesn’t attack it. Israel supplies power from its own grid, telephone communications and fuel, largely courtesy of the Israeli taxpayer. It sends across materials for construction of new homes, etc, much of which Hamas illegally diverts for weapons manufacture and tunnel construction to attack Israel.

Where else in the history of armed conflict has the attacked side looked after its enemy and sustained it to enable its aggression?

Roslyn Pine, N3