Letters

Thanking them all for their sacrifice

Dear Sir,

I read with great interest your letters column reacting to your columnist Lisa Sanders, who said she was relieved her son had not been admitted into the IDF.

My thoughts immediately turned to Auschwitz, most poignant with this year being the 70th anniversary of its liberation. Back then, who among the liberated would believe there would one day be an army of our own in a democratic country of our own that we can be truly proud of?

These dedicated and brave people who volunteer, whatever role they assume, deserve our highest praise for defending our right to exist against hostile neighbours. I for one thank them deeply for that.

Stephen Vishnick
Whetstone

Dear Sir,

As someone who served in an IDF Kravi unit, albeit many years ago, my heart went out to the parents of a lone soldier whose son, at the age of 22, made aliyah and enlisted for two years instead of the six months he could have taken.

In spite of comments by readers who do not know what they are talking about, the writer’s words touched me deeply.

Of course they would rather have their son at home in the bosom of his family and, of course, they have the absolute right to be extremely proud of him.

It is mainly due to the efforts and self-sacrifice of our wonderful young people that Israel can guarantee freedom to Jews all over the world. Bless them all.

Name withheld on request

Home truths for the misguided

Dear Sir,

I wish to share my views on two articles in your issue of 28 May. First, Jonathan Arkush, the new president of the Board of Deputies, mentioned that there is a small minority of British Muslims turning away from the path of integration.

This “small minority” appears much larger than Mr Arkush envisages. He wants us to demonstrate to Muslims that it is possible and admirable to mix British citizenship with adherence to their faith. I fear such wishful thinking will not help. Being told we are descended from pigs and apes shows the mentality of some who follow this ideology.

Second, your foreign editor Stephen Orzszczuk’s article attacking the Israeli government for allegedly wanting to hold onto “greater Israel from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan”.

This is no different to the Palestinians’ perfect map, yet he does not criticise this. Palestinians will not tolerate Jews in their midst. Where is the criticism?

Your foreign editor should realise that until the minds of ordinary Arabs change from hate to understanding and respect for the Jewish people, there can be no peace.

Martin Cohen
By email

The definition of modern liberty

Dear Sir,

Reading the article by your foreign editor, (Jewish News, 28 May), proved most enlightening. Under the authority of his job title, Stephen Oryszczuk made his political views and allegiances crystal clear, indicating we, as readers of Jewish News, should be aware he was expressing the editorial agenda of the newspaper.

In his opinion piece, he attempted to persuade British Jews there is a direct comparison between the 800-year-old Magna Carta and 21st century human rights act. As a few eminent law lords recently deigned to explain, both encompass the word “liberty”.

Assuredly, it would also figure prominently in any replacement Bill Of Rights, although this was not mentioned in the article. The implication in the foreign editor’s article is that the precious freedom and liberty of British Jews is about to be legally diminished in ways of which we are un-informed. In fact, he warns that if we do not adhere to his clarion call and “wake up”, we will suffer “the slow dissolution of our freedoms” and the loss of what he goes on to describe as “Western liberal values”.

Not just us. Apparently, Israeli Jews are already doomed. Sorry, foreign editor, but, seemingly, some of us readers have more confidence than you in British and Israeli Jews, demonstrating, once and for all, that there is no such thing as “the Jewish vote“.

Perhaps it’s not us who needs to wake up.

Harry Levy
Pinner

Dear Sir,

Unfortunately, Stephen Oryszczuk’s epitaph for liberalism in its current form is premature. The unelected liberal parts of the establishment will do their best to negate last month’s election result and impose their policies on a nation that has rejected them.

All the oy vey points Mr Oryszczuk raised about the supposed threat to civilisation by the Conservative government can be shown to be utter nonsense.
Take the BBC. It is an anti-democratic bloated behemoth that seeks to impose its “liberal” politically correct world view. Everyone in the country is forced to pay for its indoctrination and prolific payouts.
This is something out of the Middle Ages. It is something one would expect from a place like Iran or North Korea.

Not to mention that the BBC is anti-Israel, with output that provokes anti-Semitism in the UK.

It is not the government that is a threat to genuine liberalism, it is liberals who are the threat. Current liberalism is illiberal. Current liberalism
is no friend to Judaism and to Israel, or to a Jewish future.

Dr Levi Sokolic
Pinner

Rally has no place on our doorstep

Dear Sir,

Barnet Women’s Interfaith Network was appalled to learn that the neo-Nazi group New Dawn is planning to hold a demonstration against what it sees as Jewish privilege in Golders Green on 4 July, the Jewish Sabbath.

As an interfaith group which values and cherishes the rights of all people to practice their beliefs freely and without discrimination, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community in its abhorrence of such a provocative act.

WIN will join with the Barnet Multi Faith Forum and all people of faith or no faith in Barnet to display our disgust with New Dawn or any far-right group that attempts to sow the seeds of hatred, contempt and intolerance in our borough.

Lady Levy, Jacqueline Goymeur and Kate Salinger
Barnet Women’s Interfaith Network

Belz should ignore the meddling zealots

Dear Sir,

While the diktat issued by the Belz community regarding women driving is ludicrous, the motives of those who leaked it are rather more disturbing; with the reaction by the mainstream media, various talking heads and especially Education Secretary Nicky Morgan even more so.

The ire at this Stone Age attitude to women, especially with the ever more esoteric and convoluted interpretations of modesty, is entirely understandable; modesty, as in not flaunting oneself is likewise. How this can translate in any way into driving a car is beyond me, and I suspect also the Almighty, who has probably given up on the convolutions, coruscations and contortions of the ultra-religious mind.

The reactions of the media, and in particular the politicians, have been disgraceful and opportunistic; the latter in particular saying little regarding the treatment of women in such oil and gas rich, moneyed, apartheid, utopian ‘paradises’ as ISIS, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan etc, the hangings, stonings, beatings, ‘honour’ killings, female genital mutilation… the list goes on. And let’s not forget the wiping out of Christians, Yazidis and the ‘wrong sort’ of Muslims, men slaughtered, boys given guns, women and girls sold into slavery, raped, mutilated and murdered, even statues beheaded.

The actions of Belz and their stupid letter are small beer by comparison, with members free to leave. I am sure that leaving is not made pleasant, but unlike with the ‘Religion of Peace’, there are no death threats for apostasy, no stonings, no acid throwings and no ‘honour’ murders.

This is lazy politics; the minister and others scoring a few politically correct brownie points by going after a soft target minor Jewish sect; no blowback, no riots, no threats, no demonstrations, an intellectually bankrupt, easy option for a headline and a scapegoat, while kheffiyah- wearing lefties, fake feminists and the usual talking heads – while positively fuelling fashionable anti-Semitism in our increasingly toxic universities and elsewhere – are strangely silent on the previously mentioned real issues.

I do not condone the Belz community’s ridiculous actions, but it is down to its members to ignore the pathetic, inadequate zealots who seem to have far too much time on their underemployed hands.

For the politicians, this is one time where their attention would be better directed elsewhere.

Jeremy Zeid
Harrow

What’s labour’s issue with Londoners?

Dear Sir,
Labour’s problem with the London mayoralty, as far as the Jewish community was concerned, began when it refused to back Oona [now Baroness] King for mayor.

The black Jewish MP for Tower Hamlets had been ousted from there by the actions of George Galloway, persuading less educated voters to reject her.

Of course, Labour then chickened out of opposing Ken Livingstone, who broke his promise to Labour by standing against his own party. As a result there was rejoicing among Jewish voters, Tory or not, when Boris won.

So what about next year? Sadiq Khan’s recent intelligent article in Jewish News shows him to be a candidate from a minority community whom Jews could trust. Ditto David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, who knows the Jewish community in his area extremely well.

Whoever the Conservatives choose as their candidate remains to be seen, but for Jews to see a member of a minority community succeed should be special. Reform Jews, a minority within a minority albeit growing, should welcome that.

Who knows? There might even be a successful Jewish prime minister lurking somewhere, without a big brother or a stone tablet.

Barry Hyman
Bushey Heath

I find Kosher is far from egg-cellent

Dear Sir,

I’m writing to ask Jewish News readers if, like me, they find that the kosher white eggs they purchase at kosher outlets are often stale when they are broken open.

Every time I buy six to 12 white eggs at a kosher store and take them home, I invariably find they look marvellous outwardly but, on cracking them, they prove to be old and smelly!

Eighty-five percent of these eggs at any given time are very old.

One can easily tell this because as the yolk and whites emerge from the shell, they do so very slowly, plopping into the receptacle looking cloudy with the yellow yolk wrinkled and already broken.

This indicates the egg is very old, although the sell-by date printed on the box clearly states otherwise.

The other 15 percent of the eggs are reasonably fresh, although they rarely compare in overall quality to so-called non-kosher supermarket brown eggs that 99 percent of the time are thoroughly fresh with bright shiny yolks, whites and spring out of their respective shells with gusto.

I have thrown out so many of these white eggs that I now purchase only non-kosher brown ones from supermarkets and have never looked back.

I do realise these brown eggs sometimes have a very small brown speck in them, which renders them unfit. But these can easily be removed with a teaspoon.

I would be interested to hear other readers’ experiences and comments on this important issue.

Isaac Cohen
Bushey