July 23: True protectors
Surely now, most if not all of these Jews will realize that they can no longer afford to entrust themselves to the tender mercies, protection or goodwill of their friends.
Sir, – Regarding “PM says Hezbollah, Tehran behind Burgas bus
bombing” (April 20), the terrorist bombing of a busload of Israeli tourists in
Bulgaria will probably do more to further the Zionist cause than any other
This outrage is the latest wakeup call about the perilous plight
of all Jews in the Diaspora. Surely now, most if not all of these Jews will
realize that they can no longer afford to entrust themselves to the tender
mercies, protection or goodwill of their friends.
The Burgas attack will
shock them into the knowledge that their only true protectors are the government
and armaments of the State of Israel.
What should be?
Sir, – Okay, I’m convinced: No two state solution (“Mad hatters, flat-earthers
and two staters,” Into the Fray, July 20).
Martin Sherman convincingly
writes about what should not be.
But how about what should be? Should
Israel co-opt the West Bank and make all or some of the people there citizens of
Israel? What about the Palestinians living there – will they become Israeli
citizens with the right to vote or should we make the West Bank palestinianrien
and force them to leave for other parts? If so, how can we do that? Then there's
the small problem of an international backlash.
How would we deal with
it? Please, Mr. Sherman, give us your insights on what will lay ahead for the
non-two-state Greater Israel?
Only three needed
Sir, – Uri
Savir (“Turkey first!,” Savir’s Corner, July 20) suggests eight actions to
resolve our differences with Turkey. I suggest only three:
1. Turkey should
undertake not to facilitate any future anti-Israel activities.
should promise to intervene against and hinder any future anti-Israel
3. Israel should then apologize for the rather harsh
treatment that befell the Turkish hooligans aboard the Mavi Marmara.
to think of it, I have not heard recently of any more flotillas coming our way!
Scandal or not
Sir, – Regarding “New scandal on
Anglo-Jewry” (Candidly Speaking, April 19), Mick Davis has an outstanding record
of support for Israel and for the Jewish people. Isi Leibler also has devoted
his considerable talents to defending Israel and the Jewish people, but he does
a disservice when he attacks others who do so.
The Jewish Leadership
Council, as it acknowledges, does not purport to speak on behalf of the British
Jewish community. That role belongs to the Board of Deputies, with which the JLC
continues to work closely, as it does with other organizations working to turn
the UK Jewish community into a powerful voice for fighting the assault upon
Other Diaspora communities and the government of
Israel itself regularly consult us for input and expertise. It is unfortunate,
therefore, that Leibler finds scandal where there is none.
At a time when
Diaspora communities face growing challenges in the form of attacks on Israel
from so many directions we should not waste energy fighting among
The writer is president of the Board of
Deputies of British Jews
Sir, – Isi Leibler’s “New scandal on Anglo-Jewry” is
both alarming and scandalous.
If Leibler had taken the time to call me I
could have furnished him with accurate information, but as the old saying goes,
why let facts stand in the way of a good story? There is a great deal in his
column that I take issue with but I would like to highlight the following in
1. I have never met Joe Millis before. I certainly was not
involved in his appointment, which was carried out following due process by
senior UJIA professionals.
2. Neither I, the chief executive of the JLC,
nor its staff was ever approached by Ken Livingstone to assist in drafting a
letter from him to “placate the Jewish community,” and we did no such thing.
This claim is totally wrong and inaccurate.
3. I stand by my record of
support for Israel, the Zionist cause and Diaspora Jewry. I have devoted my life
and talents to serving the Jewish people. My views on the need to conduct
ourselves in accordance with Jewish values both in the Diaspora and in Israel
have been well set out in the many articles I have written for the Jewish media
and on the occasions I have spoken both in Israel and the Diaspora. It is very
sad that someone like Leibler, who has also dedicated his life to the cause of
the Jewish people, should tarnish his reputation with offensive and false
attacks on a fellow Jew and Zionist.
4. Finally, the JLC does not
“purport to speak on behalf of the Anglo-Jewish community” and the claim that it
is made up of “wealthy Jews” is both wrong and offensive. The JLC is comprised
of the heads of our member organizations, including the Board of Deputies and
other representative bodies, all the major synagogue movements, welfare
charities, cultural and youth representatives, and Zionist
Our role is a simple one, supported by over 25 of the
leading communal bodies, to provide greater coordination and strategic
leadership to the work of the community.
I agree with Leibler’s concern
about recent comments from the Archbishop of Canterbury with regard to Israel.
Had Leibler taken the time to read our recent newsletter he would have seen the
article written by the JLC’s chief executive on this very issue, which sets out
Furthermore, while it is right to praise the Board
of Deputies’ response to the EAPPI Resolution passed by the Synod, Leibler fails
to acknowledge the decisive role played by the JLC in facilitating that response
in accordance with our mandate to support the work of member
It saddens me that articles based not on facts but on
gossip and misinformation paint a picture of communal life in the UK that
attempts to stain the work and reputation of so many individuals and
MICK L. DAVIS
Isi Leibler responds: Alas,
“trembling Israelites” still applies.
Would Mr. Wineman employ a person
supporting BDS against settlements and comparing Israel to Syria and Iran as PR
director of the principal Israeli fundraising charity? As for Mr. Davis, he
conveniently ignores the central issue raised in my column – the UJIA’s
employment of Joe Millis.
Now that he can no longer claim he is unaware
of Millis’s views, what is he going to do about it?
Don’t dwell on guilt
I agree wholeheartedly with “The breast-feeding wars” (Comment & Features,
July 17), by Alissa Quart, who says there is often little support in the
workplace for breast-feeding mothers.
I do object to her quoting a single
outdated 2008 study in the journal Pediatrics, brought by an “expert” with
dubious credentials and which concludes that there was no “evidence of risks or
benefits of prolonged and exclusive breast-feeding for child and maternal
There are hundreds of articles in the pediatric, obstetrical
and medical literature in general showing multiple benefits of breast-feeding
for both mother and child. What is important is not to focus on guilt, with its
negative implications, but to empower and support the new mother during her
pregnancy, continuing through birth, breastfeeding and
Fortunately, there is now an awareness in the Health Ministry
(“Health Ministry encourages breast-feeding, abolishes baby formula exclusivity
in hospitals,” July 2). In addition, there are many certified lactation
consultants available to guide, educate and support the nursing
The writer is a physician and lactation