Letters to the Editor: Ken’s words were chosen to offend
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Letters to the Editor: Ken’s words were chosen to offend

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Ken Livingstone . (Photo credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire)
Ken Livingstone . (Photo credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire)

Words were chosen to offend

I have no idea what a “Freudian parapraxis” is (‘Ken’s Zionist remarks were correct, in context’, Jewish News, 10 May), but its purpose according to columnist  David Wolchover is to excuse Ken Livingstone for committing grotesque slurs, i.e. placing in the public’s minds an association between Zionists and Nazis, just as others have sought to associate Israel with apartheid South Africa.

A more blatant example of anti-Semitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – which the Labour party that cannot bring itself to expel Livingstone refuses to endorse – is hard to imagine.

Livingstone, who claims to speak truth about the role of Zionists, conveniently ignores these facts, with the casual throwaway that Hitler supported the Zionist endeavour until he went mad, changed his policy and went for mass murder.

His words were not, as Wolchover claims, a complete non sequitur. They looked deliberately chosen to fan the flames that have enveloped Labour ever since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader.

And if Livingstone expects us all to believe Nazi policy only changed in 1942 with the Final Solution, he needs to find a more reliable source upon which to base his suspect history lectures, starting with a reading of Mein Kampf, published in 1925.

David Levenson, Stanmore

It’s good that Barnet voted blue

It is good that Barnet voted Conservative – maybe at last the Jewish community is coming to its senses.

The Labour Party is rife with anti-Semitism and the problem facing it is that the leader and most of his front bench and many of  their followers have hatred towards Israel.

Jeremy Corbyn will never change as long as he has his Labour army.

Victor Rones, Berkshire

Corbyn’s two-handed juggling

Am I missing something? For months, we hear that Jeremy Corbyn “does not tolerate racism or anti-Semitism”.

On the one hand, he states he is not anti-Semitic. I am sure many of his best friends are also Jewish.

On the other hand, he supports the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, some of whose supporters advocate the destruction of Israel.

How can Corbyn call himself intolerant of racism/anti-Semitism and support a campaign, some of whose supporters want a Jew-free Middle East?

Confused? Well, I certainly am.

Ann Cohen, Golders Green

Negotiation is not the same as collaboration

David Wolchover’s excellent article (Ken’s Zionist remarks were correct, in context, Jewish News, 10 May) addressing the pejorative of a given word was most welcome.

Other than Livingstone being totally bereft of historical facts, typically the plan to ship German Jews to places as far away as Uganda, Argentina and Madagascar, what was omitted was the source of Livingstone’s faux pas.

A left-wing, second-rate historian called Lenni Brenner was
the author of much of Livingstone’s information.

There is a plethora of history books relating to the period of 1933-1945 written by hundreds of reliable historians, and Livingstone picks Brenner ‘because of his left-wing angle’?

This to me is pure ignorance, implying that Livingstone only reads writers who are left-wing. However, to the point.

The word ‘collaborate’ implies a degree of sleaziness being attributed to the brave Zionists in Nazi Germany. Substitute ‘collaborate’ with ‘negotiate’ and now we have context.

If only Livingstone had the depth to realise this, he may still be in politics now.

But who’d want him anyway?

Mike Abramov, By email

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Calling the alumni of Hillel House at Leeds uni

I’m organising a 50th anniversary reunion for alumni of Leeds University Hillel House to be held later this year, specifically for those of us who were resident during the year from 1968-69.

We’re planning to hold the gathering at Leeds Hillel in October.

We’ve managed to account for all but three of those of us who were there and I would like your readers help in tracking down the others on the list.

They are Philip Rosen, Morris Newman and Dave Gold. If anyone has any information regarding any of the three, please contact me on markless@blueyonder.co.uk

Robert Markless, Kingston

Rabbinical oxymoron

Your headline, ‘Dina becomes UK’s first female Orthodox rabbi’, was misleading to say the least. Indeed, it was an oxymoron.

While women can hold many senior positions in Orthodoxy, a rabbi is not one of them, as a woman cannot receive semicha.

Any organisation purporting to give a woman semicha is not Orthodox by definition.

Dina Brawer may well wish to be called ‘rabbi’, but she will know that this will neither be recognised, nor accepted in the Orthodox world.

Simon Braun, Edgware

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