Letters to the Editor: ‘Such attack a badge of honour’

Letters to the Editor: ‘Such attack a badge of honour’

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A Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East meeting
A Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East meeting

Such attack a badge of honour

Glyn Secker from Jews for Justice for Palestinians launched a basless attack on Richard Millett and I in last week’s edition (Jewish News, 16 October). We sat silently through 50 minutes of speeches at the recent Mend even in Parliament.

In the Q&A Richard asked the first question: why no mention of Hamas? I asked the second, pointing out that it’s the PA – not Israel – restricting the supply of medicines to Gaza.

Israel-hating organisations hold meetings in committee rooms in Parliament where known anti-Semites are present. Inevitably the chair is biased. At this meeting speakers criticised Israel for granting insufficient permits for patients to leave Gaza for treatment, without mentioning that Hamas exploits cancer patients to smuggle money and information to terrorists.

Dr Phillipa Whitford said, of breast cancer sufferers in Gaza, “only 45 percent of patients are allowed to travel to Jerusalem” for radiotherapy. I asked for a source for this figure and followed up on Twitter. I still have had no satisfactory response.

Secker has said Israel has become “a pariah country internationally… Israel doesn’t know how to make peace, it only knows how to make wars.”

Attacked by him? It’s a badge of honour.

Jonathan Hoffman, Barnet

Shock repeat of blood libel 

My jaw dropped when I saw you had seen fit to publish in your newspaper a letter from Glyn Secker from Jews for Justice for Palestinians [Jewish News, 16 November].

It was not just the personalisation of his attack on two individuals without the benefit of context or comment having been sought from them, or the headlining of such ad hominem attacks by you.

It was the repetition of a modern day “blood libel” that will now be quoted with authority.

The lack of any context to the letter gives oxygen to those who use their hate meetings to spread vitriol and lies.

Those lies need challenging whenever the opportunity, not endorsement by Jewish News.

Freedom of the press does not mean that you are free to carry irresponsible journalism.

If provocative allegations are to be made, then the people at whom they are aimed must be allowed to comment before publication.

That is the difference between journalism and propaganda.

What you have done is to print false propaganda that cannot be undone just by printing subsequent responses.

Mandy Blumenthal, N6

Headlines that say it all

Regarding Nasreen Khan’s reprehensible post “What have the Jews done good in this world?” (Jewish News, 16 November), it would take volumes to catalogue our contributions to science, art, technology and other fields of human endeavour. Or, pluck two examples from headlines in last week’s Jewish News: “Iran and Iraq reject Israeli earthquake aid” and “Veteran to stand at Cenotaph thanks to Israeli robotic suit.” In a word, “humanity”.

Barry Borman, By email

A misquote on Balfour

Alex Brummer’s article (Jewish News, 9 November) was mainly supportive of Israel’s achievements since Balfour. I take issue with him on what appears to be his misquotation of the declaration.

Mr Brummer comments on the “second half”, with its emphasis on protecting the rights of the indigenous Arab population”. Having studied the declaration, I cannot see a “second half”.  There is clearly only one intention, to “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.

This one objective was conditional upon “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” – no mention of “the indigenous Arab population”  and the “rights” are limited to civil and religious rights.

Brummer’s reference to “rights” as a general term is too wide and open to many interpretations, particularly if applied to “human rights”.

Much has changed politically and otherwise, but surely accuracy should be maintained when referring to the contents of another document.

Alan Cooper, By email


GG hippodrome is meant to benefit entire community

Golders Green Hippodrome was listed as a Grade II building with criteria for its use clearly defined for arts events of benefit to the entire community. Clearly a mosque cannot offer this very important requirement.

I understand an informal approach by a Jewish organisation with a view to using the site as a synagogue was quite rightly rejected.

The same criteria still stand and planning permission should be rejected on the same grounds. It’s the responsibility of the council to continue to make available arts and performance for the entire community.

There is no objection for a more modest mosque more appropriate to its local community to be built elsewhere in the area.

Vicki York, N20

Remembering kitchener camp

Francine Wolfisz’s piece “A Very Filling Sandwich” (Jewish News, 9 November) was fine but I was disappointed she gave a mere six lines to Richborough and the Kitchener Camp. This sheltered 4,000 Jewish men fleeing the Nazis; without it, these men, one of them my 19-year-old father and another his 16-year-old brother, would have been yet further victims of the Holocaust.

This was a major rescue, an adult parallel of the Kindertransport. To glide over it so cursorily is to relegate a highly-significant event in Jewish history almost to the level of a footnote, an insult to the memory of those who lived at Kitchener and those far-sighted members of the Anglo-Jewish community who created it.

A Kitchener Camp descendants group has been formed – you may find a visit to its website (www.kitchenercamp.co.uk) enlightening.

Vivien Harris, By email

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