Tipping the trike

Sir, – I’m greatly upset about “Tricycle Theater cancels plans to host UK Jewish Film Festival” (Arts & Entertainment, August 7). The London theater was willing to provide “alternative funding” in place of Israeli funding, but I feel that this is an attempt at a boycott.

The theater has held this film festival for the past eight years, so I am wondering why now? Yes, I understand the pain and the death toll in Gaza, but this is not the first time there has been a Palestinian- Israeli conflict. Now that the act of boycotting Israel is within the mainstream, is the Tricycle merely trying to keep up with appearances? In 2012 pro-Palestinian protesters attempted to disrupt performances of Israel’s Batsheva dance troupe. I support protests outside the theater; this raises awareness. But to disturb a performance is a step too far.

Why don’t we in the UK not feel the same about our own government? On estimate, 21,000 Afghanistan civilians have been killed because of British and American government decisions. Or even, as written by Guardian writer Jackie Kemp: “Surely it would make as much sense to blame the ballerinas of the Mariinsky (formerly the Kirov) for Putin’s human rights abuses.”

I was fortunate to spend a year dancing in Israel and discovering a whole new dance world. I am from a poor background and without Israeli funding I would have not been able to afford this. Does this mean my students should boycott me?

VICTORIA DREW
Leeds, UK The writer is a university dance lecturer, freelance dance artist and dance writer

Shabby treatment


Sir, – I’ve never been a big fan of Shimon Peres, but a president is a president and if The Jerusalem Post’s Grapevine column opened with his latest handshake or plaudit nearly every time, who was I to protest? Why, though, when the new president celebrates his 75th birthday does the occasion wind up as the very last item in Grapevine (“The extraordinary long arm of coincidence,” August 6)? Is it because Reuven Rivlin didn’t invite movie stars and supermodels to come congratulate him? Or is it the political difference between him and Peres?

MARK L. LEVINSON Herzliya

Abusive treatment

Sir, – Regarding “Rabbi demands apology for slight at Auschwitz” (August 5), Rabbi Rafi Ostroff not only deserves an apology for the crude manner in which he was treated by the Polish authorities, he should be compensated for the ludicrous and disgraceful $350 fine they levied against him.

From the ugly reaction of the Auschwitz guards we learned that Poland wants to turn Auschwitz into an exclusive museum experience where silence rules the environment.

But the Bnei Akiva youth who broke into spontaneous song with the words and melody of “Ani Ma’amin” were truly internalizing the Shoah’s meaning and message.

Rabbi Ostroff was not slighted in Auschwitz. He was abused and the concentration camp was desecrated by its Polish management.

MORDECHAI SPIEGELMAN
Jerusalem

White powder

Sir, – Isn’t it time Israeli supermarkets and the country’s dairy industry did something to ease the burden on the aged, handicapped and the poor by making it possible to buy powdered milk? Apart from the cost of fresh milk, one liter weighs one kilo whereas one kilo of powdered milk makes five or six liters of quality milk.

In most countries every supermarket stocks powdered milk at a reasonable price. What is the problem here in Israel that we are deprived of the opportunity to save ourselves the burden of having to carry heavy loads of fresh milk when shopping? In these hot and hard times it would be a blessing to many people if they could buy powdered milk.

LORRAINE MELZER
Ramat Hasharon

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger