Letters

Is this Reisel’s vision for the West Bank?

Dear Sir,

I write in response to Dan Reisel’s opinion piece attacking Netanyahu’s new government [‘Israel’s hard-right coalition is drilling an anti-democratic hole in our boat’, Jewish News, 14 May].

First, Reisel may wish to “distinguish between the policies of Israel’s government and Israel’s citizenry”, but it is the citizenry that voted for the government. Israel’s citizenry live in a different neighbourhood from Reisel. Second, it is wrong and highly offensive to invoke the “apartheid” smear used by Israel’s enemies. Third, he seems to object to spending “which funds infrastructure for West Bank settlements”. His Yachad organisation states on its website “we… do not support new investment inside the Israeli controlled West Bank, including East Jerusalem…”, which is a polite way of calling for a boycott of Israelis living in those places. Whether “settlements” are illegal or not, people still live there and need schools, shops, roads etc. Do children living on “settlements” need to suffer because Reisel objects to where they live?

Instead of criticising, maybe Reisel could tell us what he thinks Israel should do to help bring about peace.

Should Israel withdraw from the West Bank, leaving many more Israeli citizens vulnerable to Hamas the way those in the south now are? Also, Palestinians living on the West Bank would soon become captive to Hamas’ sickening oppression of women, gays and dissidents. Is that Reisel’s vision?

Richard Millett

By email

Jew hatred getting fashionable again

Dear Sir,

With the election finally over, there is a Conservative majority where at least we can be assured of a strong government and our MPs selected locally and voted for locally, not imposed from a central party list and not held to ransom by extremists such as the viciously anti-Israel nationalist socialist SNP or anti-Semitic Greens.

In Israel, the “proportional” system, which breaks any local link, has again doomed the country to horse-trading, dodgy deals and coalitions with ideologically disparate groups, leading to a weak government held to ransom by vested and sometimes odious political interests.

Here, as with Israel, the Left’s various pundits, media wonks and unrepresentative fringes are again complaining about unfairness but, note, only when they lose. Both here and in Israel we have apologist Jews, such as the ghastly quisling Gerald Kaufman selling us out to ingratiate themselves with those who hate us while they defame, smear and scapegoat supposedly fellow Jews who disagree and see the danger. Indeed, one member of the Board of Deputies’ executive is a prominent member of the rabidly anti-Israel Lib Dems.

It was their former Leader Nick Clegg who stated that Mahmoud Abbas, the man who praised the killing of Jews in Jerusalem, was a solid partner for peace (I have a letter from him). Go figure.

But despite this, in Israel, unlike here, apologist Jews and leftist “intelligentsia” are at the front line and actually understand the existential threat to the country and the need to defend Israel and their constitutional right to slate the very country that defends their constitutional right to slate them. Go figure again.

By contrast, a person living in any of Israel’s neighbours who criticises said countries doesn’t have that luxury, with many imprisoned, persecuted, tortured or killed, so it makes me wonder as to the real agenda of the Israel-bashers.

The only conclusion is that centuries of institutionalised Jew hatred is becoming acceptable again, but disguised as “anti-Zionism”, the apologist “intelligentsia” Jews seemingly hoping that they will escape, or be the last targeted. Once again, go figure.

For me and for Israel, the general election result is a curate’s egg – good in parts, but far better than the alternative.

Jeremy Zeid

Harrow

An outrageous claim about Freer

Dear Sir,

As an Orthodox Jew, I was outraged by the claim made in Pink News that Tory candidate Mike Freer was “outed” as gay in order to influence Orthodox Jewish voters not to vote for him [Jewish News, 7 May].

While it is quite true as Ann Cohen observes in that week’s letters column that “Torah forbids an LGBT relationship”, and this applies equally to non-Jews, the fact that Mr Freer “recently married his partner of over 20 years” is totally irrelevant to his standing for election. If two men share a flat in central London, one can assume they are doing so because of its exorbitant cost not that they are engaging in practices forbidden by the Torah. Furthermore, such a “marriage” might be seen as a useful loophole as regards inheritance tax, which might otherwise render one of them homeless after the other dies. Such canvassing tactics are the equivalent of a Conservative suggestion to voters that they should not vote for the Labour candidate, Sarah Sackman, because of her being Jewish.

I therefore entirely agree with what she told Jewish News: homophobia has no place in society or an election.

If Mike Freer has evidence he should refer it to the police. That is the proper way to deal with this.

Martin D. Stern

Salford

Divine justice from the election result

Dear Sir,

Perhaps the election was an example of divine justice. David Cameron supported Israel during the war with the Gaza terrorists last summer and has now been rewarded with an unexpected overall majority.

Ed Miliband had the nerve to condemn Israel for a disproportionate response to the 4,000-plus missiles aimed at her civilian population, and has been cast aside. The unions, which rejected David Miliband, despite his being the preferred Labour leader by the parliamentary party, have suffered likewise.

There is a wise old saying: “Everything comes to him who waits”!

Clive Rosen

N14

Repellent novels on the Holocaust

Dear Sir,

I write in response to the review of the film Phoenix in last week’s newspaper [Jewish News, 14 May]. As a survivor of six concentration camps, I am truly allergic to novels about the Holocaust. I prefer to deal with verifiable facts rather than invented tales. There are some repellent novels about the Holocaust. Number one on my list is The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. The purpose of this book is to make lots of money for the writer and the publisher – a task this fairytale handily accomplishes.

Peter Kubicek

jewishnews.co.uk

I understand this mother’s feelings

Dear Sir,

I appreciated Lisa Sanders’ column in last week’s paper [Jewish News, 14 May] about the mixed emotions of her son joining the IDF. My only son is 18 and will enter the army soon. I can relate to the unique position of being a UK mum with Israeli children.

Rachel Berman

jewishnews.co.uk

Shame on JFS muck up day students

Dear Sir,

I was shocked to read of the behaviour of some JFS students [Jewish News, 14 May]. I grew up in the 1960s and do not recall having study leave before GCE and A levels, and even if we did there was no such thing as a “muck-up day”.

What kind of enjoyment can be derived from such non-sensical and damaging activities? A minority of students have brought disrepute upon their school. Shame on these JFS students.

Estelle Salomon

Edgware