BBC did get facts straight
In response to your lead letter, in which Robin Blick stated that the 5pm news bulletin on Radio 3 failed to mention the word ‘Jew’ in connection with Holocaust Memorial Day, I’d like Mr Blick and other readers to know that the Radio 3 breakfast programme (6.30am to 9am) of 27 January made ample mention of the commemoration (Jewish News, 31 January 2020).
Every news item during the programme began with news of the memorial stating that the victims were mainly Jews. In addition, Petroc Trelawny, who presented the programme, featured several musical items relating to the commemoration e.g. Salomone Rossi’s Full Kaddish (requested by me), Hans Krasa’s Brundibar and Ravel’s
Kaddish were played.
Furthermore, on Thursday, 30 January, Mr Trelawny presented yet more items relating to the Holocaust, namely part of a symphony by Tyberg, who was murdered by the Nazis owing to his partly Jewish ancestry, and a piece by JS Bach played by the legendary keyboard player Zuzana Ruzickova, a Czech Jewish survivor of the death camps.
Evelyn Gottlieb, Harrow
Disinviting anyone is wrong
I’m responding to Shraga Stern, who defended the decision to disinvite the Chief Rabbi from a Torah celebration (Jewish News, 16 January 2020). To disinvite anyone is humiliating and inappropriate, let alone the Chief Rabbi.
To make a comparison with completing a Daf Yomi cycle and a booklet for the LGBT+ community highlights how narrow we have become in thinking and learning. The two are unconnected. I suggest to Mr Stern it is time to stop hiding behind the real issues and learn to work together to find a way to unite the whole of the Jewish community, whatever orientation.
Or maybe our lack of ability to work together to resolve complex issues requires us to push them under the carpet and let the judicial courts sort them out, as they have done with the recent agunah case.
Tova Hersh, By email
What’s welcome about bandy?
I was interested to read Barry Hyman’s letter in your edition of 27 January, in which he mentioned a vote for Lisa Nandy might refresh the Labour Party’s hopes. Nandy is the new chair of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, so be careful what you wish for.
Michael Ross, Cockfosters
watson showed no courage
I never thought I’d take your correspondent Jeremy Zeid to task for being too kind to a member of Labour’s shadow cabinet, but his observation that “Tom Watson had the courage to speak out” over antisemitism cannot go unchallenged (Jewish News, 31 January 2020).
In the words of Benjamin Franklin: “Well done is better than well said.” Neither Corbyn nor Watson did anything other than stand by while the process of dealing with antisemitic members and MPs was derailed by their henchmen. The courageous ones were the dozens of shadow ministers who resigned, sacrificing career for principle.
As Corbyn’s deputy throughout his putative leadership, Watson bears equal responsibility for bringing the party into disrepute and electoral catastrophe.
Tellingly, in an interview shortly after the election, Watson was pressed to
state which Labour leadership candidate he supported. He repeatedly declined.
Watson is no better than any of his colleagues and is fit only for being,
with them, a pall-bearer during Labour’s obsequies.
Herbert Goldberg, By email
A picture paints
Listening to Nick Ferrari on LBC Radio last week, I was struck that the majority of callers said awful pictures of Auschwitz liberation should be published. It is all fine to repeat “never again”, but without pictorial evidence, words could be lost on future generations, on whom we have a responsibility to pass these monstrous facts.
Martin Levin, By email
Lauder a leader
You can see the magnificent speech by Ronald S Lauder, of the World Jewish Congress, at the Auschwitz commemeration, on YouTube. It shows what should be said, hard-hitting to the many distinguished guests, including royalty. Lauder is a true leader, unlike the so-called leaders too scared of upsetting non-Jews.
Martin Cohen, By email