Letters to the editor: ‘The polarising Mr Liddle’

Letters to the editor: ‘The polarising Mr Liddle’

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Rod Liddle
Rod Liddle

The polarising Mr Liddle

Rod Liddle’s Jewish News column, My journey into the darkest depths of British antisemitism (8 November), risks stoking the fire of another form of racism, namely anti-Muslim hatred.

As Jewish and Muslim women, leaders and now close friends, we acknowledge
there is antisemitism in Muslim communities.

However, not all antisemitism is found there and not all Muslims are antisemitic.

The article’s implication that antisemitism is universal among all or most Muslims is simplistic, polarising and harmful.

There is little doubt antisemitic tropes are as alive as they have ever been and the toxic environment, particularly on campus, is problematic and deeply concerning for everyone.

Much more work is needed and we welcome people to come on board and work with us on this.

But both by equating antisemitism in Muslim communities to Islamism and through his use of extremely offensive language, Mr Liddle marginalises the problem.

Rather than fuelling fear, we need to work together and explain to people, Muslims and others, what antisemitism is in a way that develops a deeper understanding rather than more confrontation.

Rod Liddle is not the person to do this.


  • Julie Siddiqi, co-founder 
  • Laura Marks, co-founder 
  • Akeela Ahmed, trustee
  • Judith Flacks, trustee 
  • Miriam Gitlin, trustee 
  • Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal, trustee
  • Denise Joseph, trustee 
  • Ahmereen Reza, trustee

This time we have a choice

The Kristallnacht anniversary reminded us of one of the major evils ever to have befallen the Jews.

Living in Israel in 2018, it is sombre to reflect what would have happened if only Jews had had a country of their own and could have dealt with their own fate.

It is a reminder after Pittsburgh and antisemitic incidents round the world that being in control of one’s own destiny should be paramount. This is never more so than in what might play out in the UK.

The disastrous Brexit decision and the less-than-efficient but well-meaning handling of same by Theresa May means the possibility of the Labour Party headed by the antisemitic, anti-Israel Jeremy Corbyn returning to government is a distinct and very disturbing one.

Thank God it will not be a Kristallnacht-like warning but from Mr Corbyn’s blatant rhetoric and the party’s less-than-enthusiastic handling of antisemitic complaints, it will no doubt be a very uncomfortable future for UK Jews should the above nightmare scenario come about.

It will certainly be decision time for many and, unlike 80 years ago, Jews now have the ultimate choice of choosing to come to a country of their own.

Stephen Vishnick, Tel Aviv

Charedim and Church

As a member of Muswell Hill Synagogue, I was privileged to attend the service at Westminster Abbey to mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

It was a pleasure to see so many of all faiths and the service being led by many faiths. In reaching out to the Jewish community as a whole, the Abbey displayed great compassion, courtesy and kindness.

But where were the leadersof the Orthodox section of the Jewish faith?

What were they doing in failing to honour those who suffered and survived the Second World War?

Why do the leaders of a major section of British Jewry feel unable to attend a service for Jewish victims of the Holocaust if it is held in a church?

Ros Goldfarb, N2

Odious view of Pittsburgh shul

You can be sure the predictable Martin Stern (Letters, 8 November)will be first out of the traps to condemn any interpretation of Judaism other than one.

The view of Israeli rabbis that the Pittsburgh shul is not a synagogue is odious. Like we don’t have enough external enemies.

They all need reminding that ‘synagogue’ means just house of assembly.

The memory of those killed is traduced by this nitpicking and offensive dismissal of them as second-rate, or even non-Jews.

Barry Hyman, Bushey Heath

Your photos and stories needed for AJEX museum

As we near the end of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, I am appealing to members of the Jewish community for photos and stories for our museum archives of relatives who served in that or the Second World War.

Label them and send to martin.sugarman@yahoo.co.uk

We have received much material over the years but we know there is more out there and it is the duty of all of us to participate in ensuring these memories are not lost but kept for posterity in a safe institution.

If you wish to send hard copies, please email or call on 07806 656756 and I can arrange for you to send material to me in the post

Martin Sugarman, AJEX

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