The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment&analysis -

In his pre­dom­i­nately sym­pa­thetic re­view of A Time to Speak Out: In­de­pen­dent Jewish Voices on Is­rael, Zion­ism and Jewish Iden­tity, Michael Pin­toDuschin­sky is stretch­ing the reader’s credulity too far ( JC, Septem­ber 19).

He writes that most of the es­say­ists “have a strong Jewish iden­tity which they ex­press in dif­fer­ent ways” and that the book’s leit­mo­tif is the right of Bri­tish Jews to dis­agree pub­licly with Is­rael’s ac­tions, as well as dis­sat­is­fac­tion for in­sti­tu­tions such as the Board of Deputies for be­ing “overly pre­scrip­tive”.

The harsh truth is that here is a group of peo­ple whose Jewish iden­tity is de­fined by their dis­like of Is­rael, and whose com­plaint that they are si­lenced is a just a cam­ou­flage for their frus­tra­tion at their in­abil­ity to win over the ma­jor­ity view.

It is their fury that they are chal­lenged suc­cess­fully in the pub­lic do­main by the Bri­tish Jewish es­tab­lish­ment which drives them to ever new ini­tia­tives in their determination to re­main in the pub­lic eye. As far as they are con­cerned, free­dom of speech is a one-way street. Roslyn Pine Up­per Park Road, Manch­ester

Could some­one in­volved with the Aviv Gef­fen Lon­don show please ex­plain the thought process and ra­tio­nale of pro­mot­ing a show by “Is­rael’s Shin­ing Star for One Night Only” on a Fri­day night? Surely even the more tra­di­tional within our com­mu­nity would want to at­tend on this evening? And surely our com­mu­nity would make up a large per­cent­age of his au­di­ence? As a Jew in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, I am puz­zled. Steven Howard steven­howard@tcb­

I stood in the crowd wait­ing for Paul McCart­ney af­ter his suc­cess­ful and wel­come con­cert in Tel Aviv. As he got into the car, some­one in the crowd shouted, “Thank you Paul, you are a true hero”. And that is just what he is. It takes courage not to jump on the cur­rent band­wagon that seeks to de­monise and dele­git­imise Is­rael. It takes courage to stand up to in­tim­i­da­tion and to visit a coun­try when there are those who threaten to kill you merely for do­ing so. So thank you, Sir Paul, you re­ally are a true hero. Ruth Leve­son Flam­stead, Hert­ford­shire AL3

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