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Attacks On Shechita Seem So Misguided

Dear Sir
I wish to restate that shechita is more humane than the stunning process advocated by misguided animal welfare activists.
First, it is a matter of dispute whether stunning renders the animal unconscious or merely paralyses it. Even in the former case, this would only happen if the stunning were carried out perfectly.
Unfortunately, under the conditions prevalent in abattoirs, it fails to work about 20 percent of the time and has to be repeated. I have personally witnessed several such cases.
Anyone who has suffered an electric shock will know that it is painful and
distressing.
The electric stunning method used is essentially the same as that in electro-
convulsive therapy, which has been banned unless the patient is first anaesthetised for this very reason.
Second, in shechita, the animal's throat is cut with an extremely sharp knife. Those who have cut themselves with a sheet of paper will know that they only became aware of the cut when they saw the bleeding, not having felt anything at the time.
Even the slightest nick in the knife that might catch on the throat tissues renders the process invalid and the slaughterer is obliged to check his knife regularly to ensure that none are present.
As a result of the cut, the blood flows out so rapidly that the flow to the brain is reduced to such a low level that unconsciousness sets in within seconds, certainly long before the animal could feel any pain from the incision.
It is because of these facts that those concerned with animal welfare should reconsider their campaign to enforce the dubious 'merits' of pre-stunning and, dare I make the suggestion, they, whatever their religion, should insist on only eating meat produced by shechita, the most humane method available.
Martin D Stern


The Net Gains To Be Made From Olympics

Dear Sir
As a partner of the Jewish Committee for the London Games (JCLG), the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN) has been responsible for establishing and maintaining the website www.visitjewishlondon.com through a dedicated volunteering team.
The website is proving a tremendous success, attracting thousands of potential Jewish visitors from around the world coming to the UK for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
It lists synagogues, restaurants, hotels, shops, museums and cultural centres together with historical information about London and the UK, Jewish Olympians and the 40th anniversary of the Munich Games massacre in 1972.
We urge all those who share our goal of promoting hospitality and volunteering to take advantage of this free service by clicking on the icon on the right-hand side of the homepage.
With the community gearing itself up to play an active role in the Games, we are aware that many individuals have volunteered to become "Games Makers" or have been honoured to act as Torchbearers, and we are eager to document your achievements and share experiences during the Games. Please contact us at JVN with your London 2012
stories by emailing the website.
Esmond Rosen
Jewish Volunteering Network


Jewish Critics Of Israel Are Clueless

Dear Sir
It is, of course, our duty to teach subsequent generations about the fate of Europe's Jews during the Holocaust. As a Auschwitz survivor, I visit schools to share my experiences with students. But it is surely time to broaden this out so we also actively remind older members of society about these basic historical facts.
Perhaps this would prevent some individuals, including many well-known Jews, from criticising Israeli policies. What do they really want? Do they wish to see Israel reduced in size and land handed over to the Palestinians?
It is hurtful when Zionists, those who have the Jewish state in their hearts, are branded "misguided". This accusation comes from the mouths of prominent Jews. Are they simply unaware of the key historical facts behind the creation of the state of Israel?
Will these Jews will only be happy if Israel is no more? God forbid.
Clare Gold
Golders Green


100 Reasons To Give Thanks To Yogi Mayer

Dear Sir
I would like to give thanks to the life of Yogi Mayer, MBE, who passed away last year. He would have reached his 100th birthday this September. His family, members of Brady clubs, the '45 Aid Society and friends will be holding an afternoon tea to celebrate his remarkable life at Finchley Reform Synagogue on 9 September. If Jewish News readers wish to attend they can contact me, via the newspaper, for an invitation by 31 July. Places are limited.
Leon Rogers
By email


send us your letter
  • Misguided criticism of UJIA's efforts - Dear Sir
    While your letter writer Adrian Korsner is clearly free to direct his charitable donations in whichever way he pleases, I believe he is misguided in his objections to causes supported by UJIA (Jewish News, 12 October). - Wednesday 19th 2011f October 2011
  • Pure nostalgia cut short by criticism - Dear Sir
    Reading councillor Brian Gordon's column (The United Synagogue should stop flapping, Jewish News, 22 September), brought back happy memories of my childhood at South West London District Synagogue in the 1950s, when the honorary officers did indeed wear pin-stripe trousers and top hats.
    - Thursday 6th 2011f October 2011
  • Status quo is the only option left for israel - Dear Sir
    Sir Malcolm Rifkind's comments (Jewish News, 15 September) regarding the Palestinian Authority's attempt to gain UN membership status, appear to be incredibly naive and superficial - most disturbing when coming from an eminent politician who has held senior ministerial rank. - Tuesday 27th 2011f September 2011
  • Divided Libya is set to repeat history - I fear Raphael Luzon ('Go Back to Libya? Why Not?', Jewish News, 25 August.) is over-optimistic in his hopes for the future of Libya. - Thursday 22nd 2011f September 2011
  • Students facing a holy day clash - Dear Sir
    This summer saw a record number of students missing out on university places, in addition to a significant rise in university fees. - Thursday 15th 2011f September 2011
  • Thanks For Helping Me Fight Cancer - Dear Sir
    I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphona. With no family to depend on I put an appeal for support on the Edgware community website. - Thursday 14th 2011f July 2011
  • Rabbi Mirvisís Gift of the Blarney - Dear Sir
    Your columnist Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Jewish News, 23 June) has the gift of the blarney to claim Ireland has provided a benign environment for Jews. I write this as a non-Jewish Irishman who has lived in north-west London for more than 30 years.
    During the Nazi period, the Irish Free State slammed its doors shut on Jewish refugees. According to a history of the Jews in 20th-century Ireland by Professor Dermot Keogh, fewer than 100 were all-owed to enter the "friendly Emerald Isle". Irish civil servants feared providing Jews with a safe haven would inflame the anti-Semitic prejudices of the general population.
    In 1945, Eamon de Valera, the Irish President, offered condolences to the German people on the death of Hitler. I believe the Jewish people are overdue an apology for that, but am afraid there are still Irish people who believe it was an essential expression of Irish neutrality and independence.
    Viewed in this context, is it surprising Ireland was the last European democracy to recognise Israel? It led the way in hailing the PLO as the "sole representative of the Palestinian people", at a time when it openly called for the Jewish state's destruction.
    According to my family and friends in Dublin, and what I saw myself during my last visit, Rabbi Mirvis is sadly correct to say the urge to boycott Israel is infecting Irish civil society. But cold indifference and outright hostility to Jewish interests has been firmly established on Irish soil for many generations.
    I am no self-hating Irishman and acknowledge with pride those few Irish individuals who have stood beside the Jews, particularly in times of need.
    However, far from being uniquely benign, it is my view the Irish Republic offers a chilling example of how anti-Semitism can exist at the highest levels of a state without that many Jews.
    C Brookes
    By email - Thursday 7th 2011f July 2011
  • - Thursday 30th 2011f June 2011
  • - Thursday 23rd 2011f June 2011