Letters to the Editor: Declaration a reward for effort

Letters to the Editor: Declaration a reward for effort

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Teenagers taking part in last year's hackathon, organised by Jewish Interactive
Teenagers taking part in last year's hackathon, organised by Jewish Interactive

Declaration a reward for effort

I was most interested in your report regarding a group of young people visiting Weizmann House in Tel Aviv and delighted that, in this centenary year of the issuing of the historic Balfour Declaration, you featured it so prominently in the pages of your newspaper (Jewish News, 31 August).
Allow me to note that although Arthur James Balfour was indeed eventually ennobled, at the time of the issuing of the declaration he was still simply known informally as Mr Balfour.

Further, your newspaper did what many do and linked the issuing of the Declaration as some sort of reward for Chaim Weizmann’s scientific work in support of the British cause in the First World War. In his biography of Balfour, published in 1963, biographer Kenneth Young specifically denies any such link.

The Declaration was the culmination of a year of effort following meetings between Weizmann and Balfour [and others] going back to their initial meeting way back in 1906 – a point I was able to make just last week when speaking on the subject at Bromley Reform Synagogue.

Rabbi Charles Wallach, By email

Rumours of demise greatly exaggerated

Naturally, my staff believe what they read in Jewish News. So I wonder if you could help persuade them to keep working hard preparing Tribe’s 2018 camps (Jewish News, 7 September).

I fear they may have lost some momentum when they read the title of your report last week: “Kids in Kent For Tribe’s Final Summer Camp”. Rest assured, there are many more camps, tours and trips on the way.

David Collins, Director of Jewish Living

Sickening abuse of female politicians

A report conducted by Amnesty International showed Diane Abbott was the most abused female MP during the last general election. Where was this bastion of freedom when female Jewish MPs, long before the election, were receiving unacceptable abuse including death threats? 

Russell Ballen, By email

Chasing Muslim votes

Watching the political scene in recent months, one thing is stark – the Labour Party’s remarkable change in fortunes, to the point it almost won the last election.

Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, is no longer worried about the Jewish vote, as in the past. It has a new very powerful ally helping to prop it up above other parties: the Muslim vote.

Just look at Corbyn’s record in befriending this community and remarkable words about Hamas as “friends”. It is the Muslim vote that keeps and will continue keeping Labour buoyant, not the Jewish vote.

The increase in the Muslim population in this country is the reason for Labour’s successes, and it could very easily win the next general election.

The more Muslims come to these shores and the rest of Europe, the worse the lot of the Jews will be. This sad trend is now unstoppable.

Isaac Cohen, Bushey

Thanks from a bad apple

I really enjoyed your bumper Rosh Hashanah issue and was pleased to see no one was left out [Jewish News, 14 September].

The IDF, gay couples with kids, the Charedim were all there and my wife appreciated the lifestyle. Plus it was free – who knew?

I’ll start the new year offering to volunteer if Jewish Care needs me as, according to your mensch quiz, I’m borderline bad apple. Happy new year!

Morris Shaw, By email

Hard left should stop hiding behind its own hypocrisy

I find it deeply worrying that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party seems unwilling to condemn without reservation the anti-Jewish views in his party. 

Criticism of Israel may not be the same as hatred of Jews, but the former often disguises the latter.

The hard left pretends its support for the Palestinians is its aim – although what precisely the hard left has actually done to benefit the Palestinians is hard to see.

But boycotting of Jewish businesses and claims that Jews “are the ugly face of capitalism”are no different to claims made in the 1930s by the Nazis.

Let the Jew-haters show their true colours and stop hiding behind the hypocrisy that defines them.

Brydon Nash, West Sussex

Blaming those responsible

Save the Children reports that Gaza is unliveable for one million children
in Hamas-controlled Gaza, owing to Israel’s reduction of power to the area (Jewish News, 7 September). 

As is usual in these accounts, it is not what is said, but left unsaid. Save the Children would have us believe Israel is responsible.

Yet Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas instructed Israel to cut back on the electricy supply to Gaza because Hamas has not paid its bills to the Palestinian Authority for its delivery.

Do these two powers truly care about the suffering? Save the Children should be clear on where blame lies.

Leila Cumber, Finchley

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