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The JC Letters Page May 5 2017

Malvyn A Benjamin, Martin Sugarman, Kay Bagon, Stephen Collins, Karen Flaum, Charles Spungin, Daniel Cameron, Bruce A Fireman and Jeremy Shotts share their views with JC readers

    (Getty)

    In her eloquent and moderate article last week, Linda Grant explained why she still intends to vote Labour. As another long-standing supporter she has my sympathy. I am also a reader and admirer of her books.

    However, as a good author, she should be able to apply self criticism to all her writings. She writes of Jeremy Corbyn that she believes: “not that he’s antisemitic, but that antisemitism doesn’t much matter to him.”

    Surely it is exactly this downgrading of antisemitism to a Grade B racism that is the very essence of the new antisemitism? Jews are not to be provided the same protections as other minorities. Jews are labelled (pernicious in itself - as well as palpable nonsense regarding Israeli Jews in particular) as “white and privileged”.

    Therefore, abuse and oppression of Jews is of a lower order in the hierarchy of victimhood — perhaps the lowest. This view is widely held among the left today and is even espoused by left-leaning Jews of my acquaintance. 

    I really want to vote Labour. Initially, I even considered Linda’s own position of voting on the basis of the local candidate. 

    Someone needs to properly challenge the Tory incumbents. But with this dangerous ideological sophistry in ascendancy in the Party —- I simply cannot do it.

    Jeremy Shotts, 
    London N20

    So Linda Grant, despite never having been under any illusions about Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to lead the Labour Party” will be voting again for her Labour candidate, Catherine West, because “on the issues that matter to me”, they are on the same side.  Not quite.  

    Catherine West was one of the 35 Labour MPs who nominated Corbyn as leader on 11 June 2015 and she was one of only 40 who supported him in the no-confidence vote on 28 June 2016, when 172 Labour MPs voted against him.

    Bruce A Fireman, 
    London N6

    I agree with everything in Linda Grant’s article on why she is still voting Labour—except her conclusion that we should still vote Labour this time round.
    As a lifelong Labour voter I find myself in the uncomfortable position for the first time of not feeling able to vote Labour. I am old enough to remember when Labour was infiltrated by Militant Tendency in the 1980s.

    The current Momentum/Corbyn situation feels very much the same sort of thing. Militant were only dealt with after Labour had suffered its most humiliating defeat in the 1983 General Election and a further two electoral defeats.

    I understand that it is a great shame that good Labour MPs such as Catherine West may lose their seats — but the only way Labour is going to be persuaded to deal with Momentum and its divisive leader is by suffering another humiliating defeat, or several.

    The loss of Labour seats such as Hornsey and Wood Green is the price the party will have to pay if it is going to learn its lesson (again) and regain its appeal to the centre ground.

    Daniel Cameron, 
    Reading RG4

    I am sure many among our community would welcome the Chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement as a member of parliament but I was incredulous to hear Mr Newmark chose to fight the Finchley and Golders Green seat in the forthcoming general election. Putting the Chairman of the JLM forward for the seat with the largest Jewish population is a brazen attempt to convince the community that antisemitism is not a problem in the Labour Party. 

    While the Jewish Labour Movement has done its best, often as a lone voice, to stand up to the leadership of the Labour Party and antisemitic members, the fact that Mr Newmark would choose to stand against one of our community’s strongest advocates shows he is driven purely by self-promotion.

    If he wanted to continue his fight for our community and against antisemitism and add to the cross-party support for our community’s concerns and support of Israel there are 649 other constituencies he could have chosen ahead of Mike Freer in Finchley and Golders Green.

    I am sure many will agree. 

    Charles Spungin, 
    London N3

    In your report, “Could ‘the Jewish vote’ be the key?’ as usual it seems that the JC has ignored Brent.  Time and again, Brent seems to be the forgotten borough in your articles.  It is a big borough with Jewish schools  including  Sinai and JFS, and the communities of Brondesbury Park, Wembley and Kenton.  

    Three of Brent’s shuls are within walking distance of the Stadium.  Next time, let’s read all about it.

    Karen Flaum,
    Wembley, Middlesex, HA9

    So congratulations to Gerald Jacobs on his extremely perceptive article, So what have they done to our Yiddish so?, 21 April).

    My experience is that the virus is particularly prevalent among economists, among whom I have spent my professional career, and was probably, like many mutations of Yiddish, imported from New York. Economics involves logical deductions that are often linked by a “so” meaning “therefore”.

    Now, however, it is as if the first half of the thought process is not articulated out loud, so the second half begins with what appears to be a meaningless conjunction.

    Of course, the virus is no longer confined to economists: any old so-and-so now pops up the Today programme and begins answers similarly. What worries me is that I might be suffering from the virus myself.

    Stephen Collins, 
    Pinner, Middlesex

    I mentioned to one of the staff in our local supermarket that I’d be away the following week so I wouldn’t be popping in. He asked me where I was going. “Israel” I replied. He inquired: “Oh, are you a Christian?” I said that I wasn’t, and he replied: “Oh well, you won’t be visiting all the biblical sights then!”

    Kay Bagon, 
    Radlett, Herts WD7

    We are searching for relatives of Lt Edgar Finzi, RAF, killed in Greece in 1918, in WW1. If anyone knows of surviving family, or is related, please contact me as soon as possible by email 

    Martin Sugarman (AJEX Archivist)

    In her excellent article on bigotry, Melanie Phillips makes  reference to an organisation called Jews for Justice for Palestinians. When can we expect an organisation to be established called Palestinians for Justice for Jews?

    Malvyn A Benjamin, 
    London NW4

     

     

     

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