Letters to the editor: ‘Your Shamima Begum cartoon was in poor taste’

Letters to the editor: ‘Your Shamima Begum cartoon was in poor taste’

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Your begum cartoon was in poor taste

The cartoon published in Jewish News last week concerning the case of Shamima Begum was in poor taste.

I’m aware a similar cartoon appeared in The Times with Jeremy Corbyn launched into space in Israel’s moon rocket. That could be considered fair game, since Mr Corbyn’s party’s antisemitism is a cause that directly concerns Israel.

Shamima Begum, on the other hand, is a young girl with a small baby in a hostile refugee camp.

Kay Bagon, Radlett

Sweet sound of our future

I applaud the Chief Rabbi‘s innovative idea to teach children a new melody for Lecha Dodi (Come My Beloved), uniting us in song for last weekend’s Shabbat UK.

Twenty-seven participating primary schools sang and danced happily and excitedly, meaningfully waving Israeli flags.

The pride in their heritage was evident on their young faces. One could not but be moved to witness the abundant joy, love and excitement in the various rooms with the Chief Rabbi taking centre stage, the catalyst, encouraging exuberance.

Furthermore, to see the children in action singing this catchy tune in our shul, Edgware United, on Friday night, touched our hearts and enhanced the evening service in an amazing manner.

They may be little children, but we all know seeds that are lovingly planted take root, yielding fruit, and therefore small beginnings can lead to great things.

Who knows what music – ochel nefesh (food for the soul) can achieve.

We are surely looking at our future communal leaders!

Flora Frank,  Edgware

Your columnist reveals a blind spot on Israel

I refer to the column published in Jewish News on 28 February by Noah Libson of Yachad regarding support for Israel.

This somewhat naïve article states that our backing for Israel should never be blind.

However, it is Yachad that has a blind spot because it cannot see, due to its self-righteousness, that it provides fuel for the enemies of Israel.

Criticism of the Israeli Government is alive and kicking in Israel, thank you very much. It does not need a boost by Jewish organisations outside Israel by hoodwinked individuals who do not lead their daily lives in the country. Such people do not know the full circumstances of politics, security and the many factors that shape Israeli life.

I suggest Mr Libson would do better to criticise governments of other regimes in the world, such as Syria, Iran, Yemen etc., which are far worse, or even, dare I say it, the UK Government.

As usual, the Yachad article was one sided. It mentioned groups such as Breaking the Silence, but omitted to mention Reservists on Duty or My Truth – groups with quite a different perspective on the issue.

Barry Maltz, Enfield

He’s up my street

I take issue with Alexander Sussman’s unjust criticism of Ilford North MP Wes Streeting for “not attending an important debate on antisemitism in the commons” (Jewish News, 28 February).

Since his election to Parliament in 2015, Mr Streeting has been an excellent MP for this area, speaking on many subjects, including Jewish affairs.

I am sure he had a perfectly valid reason for not being able to attend [Editor’s comment: He was on a foreign trip at the time of the debate].

As far as the comment that “residents will show their feelings at the ballot box” because Mr Streeting did not attend, it will make little difference in
Mr Sussman’s case. I’m willing to bet he’s never voted Labour.

Mike Gold, Barkingside

Let’s be more forgiving

Week after week, I read in Jewish News about antisemitism in Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party. I also read about Mr Netanyahu’s alleged corruption.

Mr Corbyn and his support of Hezbollah frightens me and many other Jews I have spoken to. Instead of criticising Israel, maybe we should be a little more forgiving, and a lot more supportive. I am not saying we should condone corruption anywhere, but perhaps Mr Netanyahu deserves a bit more consideration than Mr Corbyn.

Israel must be there should we ever feel the need to leave the UK. If that time comes, Mr Netanyahu or any other Israeli prime minister could easily
become my best friend, whatever might emerge from the present investigation.

Miriam Mordant, By email

Looking for Jewish women of the war

I’m gathering stories of Jewish women who served in the munitions, aircraft and tank factories and the Land Army during the Second World War.

I’d be grateful if any of your readers with relevant information or stories and photographs could please email me as below to discuss any contributions.

Martin Sugarman, AJEX Archivist


Let’s be unapologetic

What is it with Jews who constantly denigrate the world’s only Jewish state? Israel is central to our religion.

Israel is our historic homeland, our present homeland, and future homeland too.

The Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, and even (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) the Zionist Federation appear to have been infiltrated and subverted by the left.

I am fed up with the left being given a platform, while true unapologetic Zionism in the guise of Herut is denied a platform on campuses across our country.

Enough already. It is time for the vast silent majority of Jews, those of us who have Israel in our hearts, to loudly stand up and take back the ground lost to the left.

Let us proudly say that whether Israel elects a right-wing, a left-wing or a centrist government at the next election, we shall remain unapologetic Zionists.

Damon Lenszner, By email

The Hezbollah problem

We must, of course, welcome the decision by the UK’s home secretary to designate the entire Hezbollah organisation a terrorist entity

It was, of course, interesting to see the reaction of Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party to this long-overdue announcement.

However, it was tinged with disappointment, as owing to Mr Corbyn’s well-documented vocal and otherwise support of this entity, any punishment is unlikely to be levied retrospectively.

The possibility of Mr Corbyn having to languish in prison for up to 10 years conjures up an image well worth savouring.

Steven Vishnick, By email

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