WHY CAN’T WE ELECT CHIEF?

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

Dr Lionel Kopelowitz is be­ing in­cred­i­bly pa­tro­n­is­ing when he asks “How do you ex­pect av­er­age shul mem­bers to de­cide be­tween can­di­dates”?

Things have changed greatly since 1964 and most “av­er­age shul mem­bers” are well ed­u­cated and quite ca­pa­ble of elect­ing a new Chief Rabbi. Af­ter all, it is we who pay the shul fees. Why should we not have a say in who is to be our spir­i­tual leader? Thea Val­man Bridge Lane, Lon­don, NW11

EVEN AT a time of global eco­nomic cri­sis, and with huge events seem­ingly tak­ing place ev­ery day this month, the rev­o­lu­tion against the Syr­ian Baathists ought to be at the top of any ed­i­tor’s news list. Let me count the ways in which the As­sad crime family is wor­thy of our at­ten­tion. Al­though ev­ery­one throws around ac­cu­sa­tions of racism, the Syr­ian state is an au­then­tic Apartheid regime. Mem­bers of the Alaw­ite sect, who make up 11 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion, mo­nop­o­lise power. They shut out the Sunni ma­jor­ity on sec­tar­ian grounds and sub­ju­gate the Kur­dish mi­nor­ity on racial grounds.

In terms of re­alpoli­tik, the West had noth­ing but a moral in­ter­est in see­ing the Egyp­tian or even the Libyan dic­ta­tor­ship fall. It has ev­ery in­ter­est in see­ing the fall of Syr­ian dic­ta­tor­ship, which is a sworn en­emy. Syria is col­lab­o­rat­ing with Iran, pro­mot­ing ter­ror­ism and look­ing to ac­quire nu­clear weapons. Its fall would make the West a lit­tle bit safer.

If you can see be­yond na­tional in­ter­ests to con­sider the suf­fer­ing of the pop­u­la­tion, then you will not find it hard to imag­ine Syr­i­ans’ fears of a wider mas­sacre. As well as the reg­u­lar army

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