Len says one thing, does another
Well dearie me. Len McCluskey appears to be on a charm offensive to persuade Jews to return to their natural home – the Labour Party (Jewish News, 15 December). As far as I and my family are concerned, we are a lost cause.
His missive is full of contradictions; one minute he is a sort of Zionist, and says he did not say there was no anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, just that he had never seen any (presumably he’s blind and deaf). Then he praises Chakrabarti report as “first class”.
His continuing mantra that evil forces were instrumental in undermining his mate Jeremy Corbyn by using anti-Semitism against him is disingenuous in the extreme, as were many of his other feeble utterances, such as that he did not think Jeremy was anti-Israel. Recent absences at various events, and the company he keeps, prove otherwise.
Your journalist Stephen Oryszczuk said he proved himself “prepared, logical and unruffled”, but methinks Len McCuskey speaks with forked tongue. He is the leader of one of the most virulent anti-Israel unions, who readily supports boycotts, although supposedly in general he does not. Words are one thing; deeds are another.
We should heed the soothsayer’s words in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar when he said to the emperor: “Beware the Ides of March.” As far as the Jewish community is concerned, we should beware the Ides of Momentum, the shadowy ultra-left wing grouping that pulls Corbyn’s strings, and I am sure has the favour of Mr McCluskey and his ilk.
Robert Dulin, Winchmore Hill
McCluskey interview was a whitewash
More than 4,000 Labour members have been reported for anti-Semitism in the past year and Ken Livingstone has not been expelled. Yet you published the long whitewash interview with Len McCluskey, in which he repeats the falsehood that complaints about anti-Semitism in Labour are motivated by the wish to undermine Corbyn. He also endorses Jewish Voice for Labour, Soviet-style anti-Semites hiding behind a transparent veneer of anti-Zionism.
The rampant anti-Semitism in Labour has prompted a backlash. See Labour Against Antisemitism and JVL Watch (on Twitter and Facebook). You’d have hoped the Jewish press would be on their side…
Jonathan Hoffman, By email
Do chasidim care for others?
Did the great commentator Rashi know something in the 11th century that we still do not know 1,000 years later? He commented that the reason the other birds shunned the stork was that it cared only for its own and paid no attention to the needs of any other creature. Incidentally, the Hebrew for stork is Chasdah. Chesed is kindness, but what does the word Chasid mean?
Norman Bright, Stamford Hill
So, next year in Tel Aviv?
Reading Jenni Frazer (Jewish News, 15 December), I have to believe that, in our deep-felt love of Jerusalem, for which we have prayed for so long, we are being too fussy. Should I now say, “Next year in Tel Aviv”, shall we change the many times we speak of Jerusalem in the Torah, and instead claim Tel Aviv as our holy city, and pray towards it, as we have done for thousands of years with Jerusalem?
The Arabs now claim it, even though they pray toward Mecca and Medina, which are their holy cities. Their call that Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital is purely political’ even when they call it their third holy city.
For Jerusalem not to be the capital of Israel is akin to saying that Brighton should now be the capital of England, and now that the Palestinians have declared that the US will no longer be part of any talks,
I assume they will also reject the millions of dollars given to them… or will they?
Sidney Sands, N12
Just another tissue of lies
You have to hand it to the Labour Party in general and Len McCluskey in particular – they’ve done it again.
McCluskey’s Jewish News “interview” is the latest example of how these people use words not to inform but to obfuscate. The audience ends up completely confused and people who should know better are lulled into believing the lies thus spread.
Myrna Schalk, By email
Jew have always lived in the whole city of Jerusalem
Your columnist Jenni Frazer, in her article “Whole lot of fuss over holy city of two halves” (Jewish News, 15 December), is perpetuating the myth that East Jerusalem is not a Jewish city. There has been an almost continuous Jewish presence in the whole of Jerusalem since 1004 BCE.
The only reason there were no Jews in East Jerusalem between 1948 and the Six-Day War in 1967 is because of their expulsion by Jordan following the Israeli war of independence in 1948.
A blip of 19 years between the forced expulsion of the Jews by Jordan and the Six-Day War does not make East Jerusalem a non-Jewish city.
Fred Weil, Potters Bar
Why are women exempt?
I will not comment on the contents of Noach Bright’s letter regarding the so-called utra-Orthodox Jews of Stamford Hill (Jewish News, 15 December). I find their obsession in dressing as medieval Polish Christian aristocrats so ridiculous that I cannot view them seriously.
What I do find disturbing is the fact that I see women dressed as Orthodox, complete with wigs, eating bread and other foods on buses, and encouraging their offspring to participate.
Are women and children deemed so inferior that they do not have to wash their hands and make a blessing before partaking of food? Are only men obliged to perform these rituals?
Washing hands is not only a religious duty, but also a very sensible idea concerning hygiene. But then can we expect logical thought from such characters?
AW Kaye, Stamford Hill