Recorder letters: antisemitism meeting, fulfilling potential of young, environmental charter and celebrating Royal Mail

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 October 2018

The meeting to discuss antisemitism was helt at Redbridge Central Library. Picture: STEVE POSTON

The meeting to discuss antisemitism was helt at Redbridge Central Library. Picture: STEVE POSTON


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Jews not ‘barred’ from meeting

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, media officer, Jewish Voice for Labour, and vice-chairman, Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party, full address supplied, writes:

As the Jewish person who chaired the discussion about antisemitism in the central library on October 4, I was baffled to read a letter from Ze’ev Gee alleging that “Jewish members of the Redbridge community” had been barred from attending.

I do know that the council faced demands that they should ban the meeting, on the basis that it was going to be violent and antisemitic.

In fact it was a thoughtful, positive discussion between people from different local communities, addressed by two Jewish experts in our people’s history and culture, talking about the diversity of views among Jews about how to fight antisemitism.

It was a meeting for members and friends of Redbridge Momentum and Jewish Voice for Labour, of which I and both speakers are members.

The only people denied entry were those with a history of trying to ban or disrupt meetings by supporters of Palestine.

Having failed to halt the meeting in advance, they then staged an aggressive picket trying to prevent Muslim, Jewish and other members of the community from entering.

Thankfully, local police and library staff helped the organisers ensure that the meeting went ahead uninterrupted.

It was much appreciated by those attending.

It is unfortunate that Mr Gee, some members of the council and even a local MP chose to attack the organisers of the meeting without taking note of the facts of the case.

I’m Jewish and I was invited

Deborah Fink, co-founder, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, full address supplied, writes:

Ze’ev Gee alleges that the Redbridge Momentum meeting on antisemitism was for members only and barred Jewish residents (Recorder letters).

It is strange then that I, who am Jewish and not a member of Momentum or the Labour Party, was invited to the meeting. Several people in the audience were Jewish, as were both speakers and the chairman, but maybe Gee does not see us as Jews or thinks we are the ‘wrong sort’?

The meeting was partly about the IHRA definition of antisemitism which is a reincarnation of the EUMC definition which we were told, was pushed by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs in Israel in response to the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) campaign.

People discussed how antisemitism has been weaponised to stifle criticsm of Israel and undermine Jeremy Corbyn and how even Jews have been suspended from the Labour Party for so called antisemitism.

The latter should be enough proof that this manufactured crisis is not really about Jew hatred, but Israel. The IHRA defintion actually renders some Jews and even some Holocaust survivers, antisemitic.

Opportunities are crucial for young

Keith Prince AM , London Assembly Member for Havering and Redbridge, writes:

I wanted to express my thanks to all those who attended last week’s ward panel meeting on crime and policing, which took place in Clayhall.

A good number of residents attended along with Redbridge councillors and local police officers.

The issues raised ranged from burglary and police priorities to young criminals and the exploitation of children by hardened criminal gangs.

To prevent young Londoners in Havering and Redbridge from turning to a life of crime, it is crucial that the opportunities are there for young people to fulfil their potential.

I am passionate about this and at the meeting I said that I would look into utilising any funding streams available to help young people in our two boroughs.

The Mayor’s Young Londoner’s Fund is currently closed, and the government’s £200million youth endowment fund has yet to be launched. However, once they open or re-open I will certainly be looking at how we can apply for additional funding.

Environmental charter plans

Paul Donovan, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:

Wanstead councillors are committed to creating an environmental charter for our area. This would seek to create the first part of a framework for living in a more sustainable earth friendly way.

Wanstead is already a green area but more can be done, particularly to address issues like pollution and emissions.

On Thursday, October 25, there will be a public meeting at Wanstead Library, when people will have the chance to hear some of the ideas for an environmental charter, as well as why we need to act now to address the ongoing environmental destruction.

Speakers will include Shirley Rodrigues, London’s deputy mayor for the environment and energy, John Howard, Redbridge Council cabinet member for civic pride, Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer, Samantha Mason, author of Just Transition and Energy Democracy, Susie Knox from Wild Wanstead and myself.

All are welcome to contribute to this vital debate and help shape the new environmental charter.

Royal Mail always transforming

Timothy Jones, delivery leader, Royal Mail, South East, writes:

This month marks five years since Royal Mail became a listed company. It is a good time to reflect on some of the changes for customers over the past five years, and set out some of our key new initiatives for your readers.

We have invested £1.8billion in our UK business since privatisation.

Five years ago, we had little ability to track or scan parcels. Today, when a postman or woman knocks on your door they will be probably scan the parcel and record your signature electronically – vital in these days of online shopping.

We now sort 90per cent of letters automatically (up from just 8pc in 2010). And we’re pleased to have made these improvements at the same time as seeing a reduction in complaints, and increases in customer satisfaction.

None of this could have happened without the dedication of all our Royal Mail people. They are Royal Mail.

We keep transforming our business. In the last few months alone, we have launched, a new consumer app, electronic “Something for You” cards and our first electric-only vans. I hope your readers are seeing the benefits.

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