Letters to the Editor: ‘Arkush ignores a dirty secret with Interfaith’

Letters to the Editor: ‘Arkush ignores a dirty secret with Interfaith’

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Jonathan Arkush, former President of the Board of Deputies
Jonathan Arkush, former President of the Board of Deputies

Arkush ignores a dirty secret

Implicit in the laudable idea of interfaith initiatives must be the acceptance of equality and repricocity between faiths, otherwise it becomes a farce.

Yet Jonathan Arkush studiously avoids the elephant in the room when he writes in Jewish News that “British Muslims and Jews have different perspectives on issues between Israel and her Arab neighbours but we should not view each other through that prism”… code that many UK Muslims don’t accept Israel’s right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Such acceptance of Israel must be the sine qua non of interfaith dialogue.

Jews do not deny the right to exist of any of the world’s 22 Arab sovereign states, from which their Jews have been ethnically cleansed.

Mr Arkush’s article leads us to believe we are living in the 1930s when anti-Semitism came primarily from the fascist far right. It ignores the left’s anti-Semitism, unashamedly practised in today’s Labour Party, and that Muslim anti-Semitism is not confined to a minority of extremists.

Where Mr Arkush is squeamish about the reality, asserting “the moderate majority of Muslims are our most powerful ally”, it’s worth recalling the words of Mehdi Hasan, former editor of The New Statesman, who wrote in 2013: “The sorry truth is that the virus of anti Semitism has infected the British Muslim community. It isn’t just tolerated in sections of it. It’s routine and commonplace. It’s our dirty little secret.”

Deputies Peter Baum, Roslyn Pine and Martin Rankoff

Israeli government is discriminating against jews – what an irony!

The disgraceful decision by the Netanyahu government to renege on the Western Wall deal places Israel in the dubious position of being the only democracy that discriminates against Jews. Oh the irony.

The U-turn on a deal that itself was very thin gruel is only the latest in a long line of decisions by Israeli governments that discriminate against the non-Orthodox. So much for Israel being the national homeland for the Jewish people.

Joe Millis, By email

True judaism is incompatible with Reform

Reform’s campaign for access to the Wall is incongruous. All the revered associations with the Wall are founded in authentic Judaism.

The Temple functioned via male Cohanim and Levites in accordance with strict compliance with detailed Torah rules that left no room for ‘liberal’ thinking and the Sanhedrin administered Orthodox Torah Law.

This appears a crude attempt to hijack the sacred Jewish past so as to falsely suggest it is compatible with reform ideology.

Geoffrey Niman, By email

Election result is complex

Owing to editing, parts of my previous letter didn’t make sense (Jewish News, 7 July).

I agree with Dr Allington that, when looking at certain constituencies (in particular, those with a high concentration of Jews), there is a negative relationship between the proportion of the population which is Jewish and the increase in the Labour vote in the General Election.

However, this doesn’t hold true if all constituencies across England and Wales are taken into account. In fact, using the same methodology as employed by Dr Allington (linear regression analysis) there is actually an increase in the swing to Labour (that is, the average of the increase in the Labour vote and the decrease in the Conservative vote) as the
proportion of Jews increases.

Such a “straight line” model is perhaps not the most appropriate though. It is very clear that what is happening is more complicated than that, with the swing towards Labour increasing initially as the proportion of Jews increases, but tailing off in the handful of most Jewish constituencies.

It is important to remember that other factors are also relevant. The affluence of a constituency (as measured, for example, by the proportion of people who own their own homes) appears to be a more important predictor of the way it votes than the relative size of the Jewish population.

Daniel Vulkan, N2

They come to violate

You report Anat Hoffman, Women of the Wall chair, called the Kotel decision “shameful to the government and its women ministers who were exposed using their vote against women… [by] kowtowing to a handful of religious extremists, who want to enforce their religious customs while intentionally violating the rights of the majority of the Jewish world – 51 percent being women”. She speak as if her group represents Jewish women in general rather than the 100-odd who cause a disturbance once a month (Jewish News, 29 June).

They were opposed by “Orthodox women and girls who whistled, shouted and banged to silence the prayer”. The latter, who come regularly, are more representative and are affronted by this small group of exhibitionists who come to desecrate the Kotel’s holiness to further their political agenda.

Martin D. Stern, Salford

Trump is our true friend

Jerry Springer says Donald Trump has no right to be President of the USA (Jewish News, 28 June).

This from a man who has made a large fortune by exploiting the demented, the deviant and the degenerate.

The problem with the liberal left in the US and here is they cannot accept the fact Barack Obama is no longer the president and that Hillary Clinton never will be. Both are no friend of Israel and by definition the Jewish people.

Trump has shown to be our true friend and champion.

As Jews we cannot afford to turn away his goodwill.

Martin Greenberg, Redbridge

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