April 15: Rich reading

Everyone privileged to read "Liberated, once and again" (April 14) about freedom by Liat Collins will be enriched in every way.

letters 88 (photo credit: )
letters 88
(photo credit: )
Rich reading... Sir, - Everyone privileged to read "Liberated, once and again" (April 14) about freedom by Liat Collins will be enriched in every way. Deep thanks for this moving column. HANOCH & ESTER ZEITLIN Jerusalem ...and coy avoidance,/b> Sir, - I'm with you, Liat, having been a Zionist for all of my over 70 years. We came on aliya 36 years ago, six "souls," which, thank God, have burgeoned into beautiful grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Then I read "Terror threat is getting worse in Britain, top security official warns" (April 14), with no mention of who the terrorists might be. Britain doesn't want to prejudice the world against Arab or Muslim populations. Dream on, world, you're backing the wrong horse when you negate everything Israel stands for. RUTH RACKOVSKY Jerusalem Hurrah for Israel Sir, - I would just like to say I have a lot of respect for the nation of Israel because its people have stood together to protect what is rightfully theirs. With all the persecution they have endured, I really admire that. MICHELLE TYRRELL St. Catherines, Ontario No anti-Semitism... Sir, - In reply to Yisrael Last's letter ("Free from fear?" April 11) I made aliya from the UK in 1968 and have never had any problems with anti-Semitism. The last time I went back was five or six years ago. I spent a few days in Birmingham, which has a large Muslim community. The hotel ordered me a minicab. The driver, a Muslim, knew I was Jewish and from Israel. He gave me his card and became my private driver. No problems. I noticed Mr. Last seemed to be attacked in predominantly Jewish areas. I am sorry he had such a bad time of it. MARY SHERMAN Tel Aviv ...nor anti-Israelism Sir, - It may be interesting to note that in a recent Doha Debate shown on the BBC and chaired by Tim Sebastian, its motion - "This House believes the Palestinians risk becoming their own worst enemy," which entailed looking at the divisions between Hamas and Fatah - resulted in 73% of people voting for it, despite the question of occupation looming throughout. The audience even clapped when a contrast was made with Israel's achievements, against all odds. RACHEL BIRATI Melbourne You must be kidding Sir, - Yisrael Last's points were spot-on. In "We're alright, Professor Wistrich" (April 3), president of the Board of Deputies Henry Grunwald was clearly attempting damage control. If all is fine for Jews in the UK, why is it necessary for communal events, Jewish schools and synagogues to have volunteer security teams? What other country has Jewish schools protected by CCTV and barbed wire? Even in highly populated Jewish areas of London such as Edgware, Jews are attacked at night when they walk the streets. A recent incident, at 9 o'clock one Friday night, resulted in significant injuries including broken hips. On the day of Mr. Grunwald's article there was news of yet another act of desecration at a London Jewish cemetery. It is time UK Jewish communal leaders stopped burying their heads in the sand. COLIN L LECI Jerusalem Sir, - With great respect, British Ambassador Tom Phillips ("British Jews are free from fear," April 3) is not in any position to disagree with Prof. Wistrich's assertions about anti-Semitism in the UK. How can he? He is not a Jew, so he has not experienced it firsthand. I am, and I have. What can he know about walking to shul in the respectable, leafy London suburb where I live and receiving abuse from passing cars; about having a grandchild's school bus attacked by brick-throwing yobs because it has Jewish children on board attending the Jewish schools that need reinforced windows and guards at the gate? About the fear and intimidation of Jewish students like my granddaughter that goes on in our universities? JANET CLIFFORD London Sir, - Yes, Prof. Robert S. Wistrich is right about anti-Semitism in the UK ("UK has become European center of anti-Semitism, historian says," April 1). But we are lucky at the moment because the British hate the Muslims even more than they hate the Jews. A bigger problem are those British Jews who are effectively "anti-Semitic" through their antipathy to Israel. It is a varied dislike, ranging from the downright condemnation of Israel by Gerald Kaufman MP to the vapidity of the chief rabbi, who insists against clear fact that only a few extreme Islamists hate Jews and we must be pals with the rest. Also, the media gives coverage only to Jews who are prepared to make a case for the rights of Islam. Not enough Jews in Britain are prepared to condemn radical Islam for its philosophy of hatred and its belief that it has a right to bomb, kidnap and murder. How can one dissuade Britons away from anti-Semitism when there are Jews telling them, in effect, that there is good reason for it? DOV AARONS London Hidden face of evil Sir, - The whole country has been horrified by the unspeakable cruelty inflicted on innocent children in the child abuse cases uncovered in two haredi-cult families. In the case of the mother covered in layers of clothing for "religious" reasons, the judge requested that she uncover her face. She refused. Just as the law is intended to reveal criminal activity, so should the judge have required this monster-woman to remove the covering over her head and reveal the face of evil ("Mothers from hell," April 4). MITZI KLEIN Jerusalem Sir, - There are people in the world who yearn for children but for one reason or another are denied. Yet the abusers currently detained - entrusted with precious, living gifts from God who are totally dependent on them - subjected them to inhumane indignities. Anyone who fears that all is not as it should be in the house next door, across the road, down the street or around the corner, and does nothing to save the abused, shame on them. HELENA ORENSTEIN Elazar Sir, - Calev Ben-David's "Breaking the haredi 'conspiracy of silence' on domestic abuse" (April 11) was interesting but missed an important point. The perpetrators of the child abuse have been described as haredi, while the protestations of the haredi community that these villains are not part of that community have been viewed as pathetic attempts at self-justification. Not so. These abusers are not and never have been haredim. They were not born in the community, did not grow up in it, and were not educated in it. Until recently, they were members of secular society and absorbed its mores. If in the past few years they have changed their dress and supposedly their lifestyle, well, that doesn't make them haredi, or their actions a reflection of haredi society. Using the media's logic, shouldn't acts of terror committed by Arabs dressed as Israeli soldiers be attributed to the IDF? SARAH ELIAS Zurich