Home Opinions Letters Week of June 2, 2016

Week of June 2, 2016

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Letters to the Editor THE CJN PHOTO
Letters to the Editor THE CJN PHOTO

Where’s the beef?

Thank you, thank you Hilary Edwards for putting into words what has been bothering me for so long (“Where’s the kosher organic beef?”). I also searched  for a better source of kosher meat for my family. When I investigated, I was not happy with what was being fed to these animals. It’s become a struggle to remain kosher knowing my meat source may have an effect on my family’s health.

At the moment, we have turned to eating less meat while we solve this dilemma. Perhaps if we consume less meat, our kosher suppliers may change their supply chain and offer viable and affordable alternatives. I feel this is a serious problem that should be discussed by our community.

Stan Salsberg

Toronto 


A proposal for day schools 

All Jewish day schools are crying about the lack of funding. Meanwhile, many families are thinking twice before sending their children to a Jewish school. A column by Jeffrey Stutz (April 28) suggested that grandparents help pay for their grandchildren’s Jewish education.

I also just read the letter by Shira Muller complaining that UJA Federation of Greater Toronto allocated only 26 per cent of its 2015 funds to Jewish education. Why not request that UJA transfer the funds to the school chosen by a grandparent donor and then give grandparents a charitable tax receipt?

Daniel Chai

Thornhill, Ont.


Re-thinking Hatikvah

By quoting without qualification MK Yousef Jabareen who, like a small minority of other Israelis, is agitating to have Hatikvah sanitized of all Jewishness and Zionism, Mira Sucharov propagates a dangerous historical untruth (“Making Hatikvah an anthem for all of Israel’s citizens”). Jabareen says, “The Arab minority are not just another minority. They are a native minority.”

This is patently untrue. There has been a continuous Jewish presence in the Land of Israel for 3,300 years. There is no older ethnic group in the country, let alone one that has established sovereignty there three times. The Arabs only migrated to the area from Arabia after the birth of Islam in the seventh century CE, making them relatively recent arrivals.

In light of these well-known historical facts, perhaps we should ask Sucharov, “Who are the natives, again?”

Steve Mitchell

Toronto 


It is disheartening to read how Mira Sucharov wants to alter the Israeli anthem, removing anything Jewish in order to appease the Arab citizens of Israel.

Israel is a Jewish country and the first modern indigenous state in human history. Has she no issue about the overtly militaristic tones or explicit mentions of “vendetta” in the anthem of the Palestinians?

Willem Hart

Toronto 


Anti-BDS bill irrational

This bill introduced in the Ontario legislature opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) was so irrational and contrary to Canadian law regarding freedom of speech that one of my friends thought it was all a hoax
(“Anti-BDS bill defeated in vote at Queen’s Park”).

It certainly would not have survived a court challenge, and no doubt its framers realized that. So it has to be seen in this light, as a mere diversion, a red herring in the serious matter of what is going on in Israel’s control of the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The United Church of Canada and many other church and civil rights groups around the world have invoked a targeted BDS, a boycott of all products and services produced in or with materials from the settlements, which are in violation of international law (per the 2012 opinion of the International Court of Justice, and numerous UN Security Council resolutions).

The more general BDS has a lot of cracks in it, not the least being a serious concern for favouring the entire demise of Israel.

Bernard Katz

Toronto 

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  • Borukh

    What on earth does William Hart mean when he calls Israel “the first modern indigenous state in human history”? What about Ireland, which gained its independence from Great Britain on Dec. 6, 1922 when the Irish Free State was created. That was followed in Dec. 29, 1937 with a new constitution which broke Ireland away from having dominion status, that had required the British monarch also to be the constitutional monarch of Ireland, and Ireland became a republic. And there are other examples. Hart’s chauvinism does him no credit!

    Steve Mitchell’s comments are also highly questionable. What does the “continuous Jewish presence in the Land of Israel for 3,300 years” actually amount to? Arab rule in Palestine started in 636 CE, was abrogated by the Crusaders’ capture of Jerusalem in in 1099, and began again when Saladin triumphed over them in 1187. From then until 1917-18, the Holy Land was ruled by the Mameluks (Muslims) and then by the Ottomans (Muslims). When the latter conquered the land in 1517, only about 1,000 Jewish families lived there. The Jewish popuilation waxed and waned over the next 400 years ranging from as low as 1.7% of the population (1800) to about 5% (1880’s) and 11% in 1922 (1st census under the British). Even by the time of the UN General Assembly’s vote in support of UNSCOP’s partition plan in late Nov., 1947, Jews only amounted to 1`/3 of the total population. The data can be found in the sections about Israel, in Vol. 9 of the Encyclopedia Juidaica. Therefore Jews were a distinct minority in the Holy Land until well after WW1, and today Israel notes that about 3/4 of its citizens are Jewish, while 1/4 are not – they are Muslims, Christians, Druze, etc.

    Mitchell’s dismissal of Israels’ Arab citizens with a mere wave of his “relatively recent arrivals” hand is at best disingenuous and at worst jingoistic. Mira Sucharov’s highly thoughtful column deals with a serious matter that should be considered, whether or not one accepts MK Yousef Jabareen’s comment about Palestinian Arabs being “a native minority”, based on over 800 years of continual Muslim rule. By the way, there also were Palestinian Jews – my grandparents were among them!