The JC

Letters to the editor, November 10 2023

Stop with the fear


LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 4: Royal British Legion poppy sellers look on as they are surrounded by people staging a sit-in inside Charing Cross train station during a pro-Palestinian demonstration on November 4, 2023 in London, United Kingdom. The action is being held to call for a ceasefire in the Hamas-Israel conflict. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

November 09, 2023 11:41

Stop with the fear

There is one aspect of the current, horrendous situation in Gaza that causes me great concern. Notwithstanding the daily sacrifices of young male and female Israeli soldiers, my fear is the reaction to this crisis by Jewish communities around the world.  None more so than the response by our own leaders through newspaper articles and media interviews.

The word I hear most bandied about is “fear”. They promulgate the illusion that we are a fearful, soft community. When the anti-Israel brigade read how our gentle approach to the crisis is cloaked in fear and uncertainty, they gain strength from our distress and anxiety. Haven’t we learned from the carnage of history that attempts to appease our enemies, always or nearly always resulted in the death or expulsion of hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of Jews? To paint us as a frightened community does us an immense disservice.

Is it beyond reason that our brave Jewish students could be supported on campus physically when the occasion arises? I’m not a Chabadnik but I came across a talk given by the Lubavitcher Rebbe (z’’l) in 1969 which appears as relevant today as when he gave it: When someone comes to kill you it’s no time for debate. You can send delegates; you can talk endlessly. All of these methods have been tried at the expense of so many lives. Not only did they not remedy the situation. They exacerbated it. They see that they can strike once, twice, three times, four times, even a fifth and nothing happens. Thankfully, Israel learned this lesson long ago. It’s time we caught up with a more robust response to existential threats to our community.

Jeffrey Leader MBE

Good for Craig and Linda Bryan (Expressing support, Letters, 27 October).The last thing British (or other) Jews need is to allow ourselves to be pushed by the tragic events in Israel into a state of cowering self-effacement.

They understand things better than Jacob Lyons (Pointless multifaith, Letters, 27 October) bewailing our supposed complete lack of friends in this country. You would think that it was the Hamas flag which was projected onto 10 Downing Street rather than that of the State of Israel.

Jeff Lewis

Betrayal of the left

Re your reports on the scale of hostage poster destruction (Half of all hostage posters are ripped down in 48 hours, 3 November), Left-wing demonstrators stayed silent as Muslims were killed in their hundreds of thousands in Chechnya and Syria. Now, though, they scream, vandalise, and thrust up abhorrent banners as Israel dares to protect its people from a barbaric terrorist government in Gaza.

Hamas, who have just killed or kidnapped more than 1,600 people, are dead-set on the destruction of Israel, and the termination on Jewish life on earth. Israel must respond and rid the region of this existential threat to Jewish life in the world — and yet much of the global left has, by and large, eaten up Hamas’ propaganda that Israel is uniquely evil and, in so doing, they are terrifying Jews in Britain, France, Argentina and elsewhere.

They are aiding and abetting fascistic terror. As someone with a left-leaning and socially “progressive” philosophy, I am appalled that swathes of the international left have been so subsumed by a powerful and influential hatred where, owing to years of antisemitic libel, Jews don’t count. This 21st-century antisemitism proves how utterly essential the State of Israel is.

Sebastian Monblat

Time to stop objections

Having in the past had firm doubts about the creation of a Holocaust Memorial in the Victoria Gardens for various reasons, now that its presence at that site has been confirmed by the government, together with provisions for the importance of educational facilities, I would urge those influential members of the community who shared my doubts, to now cast those doubts aside, and instead both support, and contribute materially to the success of this project, and be thankful we live in a country where monarch, government and responsible politicians are so favourably inclined.

Barrington Black,
London NW3

A huge contribution

As a founder member and President of Jami I believe I am in the best position to comment on the invaluable work of Laurie Rackind, CEO of Jami for the past 17 years.

He has taken the charity from being little known to the foremost mental health charity in the community. His charisma, dynamism and innovative personality is second to none, and most importantly he has that great caring capacity that is always a requirement when supporting service users, carers, volunteers and staff His presence will be sorely missed, as Jami’s brand and strategy is continued under the integration with Jewish Care and the team he has established

Alan B Lazarus MBE
London NW7

Classic comedy

Seeing the picture of George C Scott as Abraham pleading with God (Abraham the activist, who challenged God, Judaism,  3 November), I was reminded of the passage from the comedy album You Don’t Have to Be Jewish where Mr Cohen is in a conversation with God and  asks “Is it true God, that we are the chosen people?”

“Yes Mr Cohen, you are the chosen people”.

“Well…would you mind very much choosing somebody else?”

Peter Fineman

November 09, 2023 11:41

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