Letters to the Editor: Poem as condolence to Tree of Life grief
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Letters to the Editor: Poem as condolence to Tree of Life grief

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People gather at the B'nai Aviv Synagogue in Weston, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, after Saturday's shooting that took place during worship services inside Tree of Life Synagogue in Pennsylvania. (Jennifer Lett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
People gather at the B'nai Aviv Synagogue in Weston, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, after Saturday's shooting that took place during worship services inside Tree of Life Synagogue in Pennsylvania. (Jennifer Lett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Poem as condolence to tree of life grief

In common with world Jewry, I was shocked and deeply distressed by the murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue. I hope my adaptation of John Donne’s poem might help in the communal grieving.

No man is an island entire of itself,

Each is a part of the diaspora,
a part of the heim. 

If a shul be blown away, if near
or far,

The schtiebel is the less,

As well as if an ancient temple were,

As well as if a shetl of your own

Or of anothers were. 

Every Jews death diminishes me

For I am involved in mankind. 

Therefore, never send to know for whom the clothes are rent. 

They rend for thee. 

  • Linda Goldman, By email

Giving plague victims aspirin

So, Rabbi Danny Rich believes ‘the Jewish community risks being accused of desiring regime change in the Labour Party’. Such blanket attributions to a whole nation, race or religious denomination are the stock-in-trade of racists and if anyone should seek to accuse all of us in this way. No doubt he will discover the evidence and share it.

That said, he is still wide of the mark. The time is long past since Jeremy Corbyn was seen as a lone Svengali casting his malevolent spell over a noble political party.

Labour has been infiltrated root and branch by the extreme left, and antisemitism is no longer the main issue. The disgusting baiting of Shaun Bailey, the Tory candidate for the 2020 London Mayoral elections, by some members of Momentum has shown them to be strident general-purpose racists.

The notion that regime change would cure Labour of racism is tantamount to giving a victim of bubonic plague an aspirin.

With two non-Jewish Labour MPs having quit because of infiltration and antisemitism, it beggars belief there are still Jewish MPs deluded enough to believe  they can clean out Labour’s Augean stables or that if they sit it out, the nightmare will end.

Labour can no longer function as an effective opposition to the Tories’ shambolic failures. The 172 MPs who in 2016 voted ‘no confidence’ in Corbyn should form an alliance, select a leader, set out a credible, relevant manifesto and stand against his apparatchiks sent in to replace them.

Herbert Goldberg, Pinner

Rabbi rich is totally wrong

Councillor and member of the Jewish Labour Movement Rabbi Danny Rich says
“Community must find a way to work with Labour” (Jewish News, 25 October).

But why? His allegiance and loyalties are clearly biased towards a Labour Party riddled from the very top to the very bottom with antisemites. His argument is “working closely with those that might form the next government does not mean that when ones sees antisemitism, it shouldn’t be called out”.

Where has Rabbi Rich been for the past three years? Acts of antisemitism have been called out far too regularly, but what has that achieved? When will he and all the other self-righteous Jewish appeasers accept that Comrade Corbyn isn’t for turning? He is neither interested in engaging with the Jewish community nor resolving the antisemitism that he accepts, turns a blind eye to or personally engages in when it suits.

The gullible public even accept his mixed explanations (lies and counterlies) for past misdemeanours that would have had any other self-respecting politician
resigning by lunchtime. But not so for our man who is against all forms of racism!

The community does not need to find a way of dealing with Labour other than exposing it for the antisemitic haven it has become. If Rabbi Rich says he is a religious
Zionist member of Labour, then he is in the wrong party.

Russell Ballen, By email.

‘Kosher’ Corbynistas

 Jewish News was right to warn of the “existential threat” to British Jewry a Corbyn-led government would pose. He speaks about the “abominable tragedy”of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but pointedly fails to condemn the knifing and hacking to death of worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue in 2014 – weeks after he met with the leader of the same terrorist group who carried it out.

Professor Alan Dershowitz, who is also a life-long Democrat, referred to Corbyn as a “virulent antisemite” [when interviewed on Channel 4 News]. Corbyn hasn’t done anything like enough to counteract these criticisms. Those Jewish Labour MPs who solicit our sympathy for the abuse directed at them by party activists should instead work to ensure a Labour government is not elected.

Yisroel Davis, By email

Offended by word ‘rabbi’

I take offence at the article entitled Rabbi: Close ties with Labour an obligation’ – not at the man’s opinion, which is his right, or your right as a newspaper to publicise it. However, this man is not “one of the UK’s most senior rabbis”.

Many of us would not consider him a rabbi with legitimate smicha.

Not only is this a misrepresentation, but to imply he’s up there as a senior UK rabbi, knowing he is a self-named rabbi by a fringe organisation is poor editorship.

H Sinclair, Finchley

Scottish footie fans very much enjoyed their Israel trip

It may be the case that some people called for Scottish football supporters not to go to the UEFA Nations League match in Israel, but I shared the return flight to Luton with many who did go, several of whom were still wearing their kilts (Opinion, Jewish News, 25 October).

Despite being a little disgruntled at losing 2-1 to Israel in Haifa (and the fact that the easyJet flight was an hour delayed and had run out of sandwiches), they were very friendly and chatty.

The group I spoke to  said they had visited several tourist sights in Israel and had very much enjoyed their stay.

Kay Bagon, Radlett

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