29/8/14 UPDATE EXCLUSIVE: New statement of reconciliation now issued by the Board.
The Board of Deputies - and in particular its inept Chairman Vivian Wineman - is under fire today for signing a ludicrous joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain (a Muslim Brotherhood organisation). The statement not only treats antisemitism and 'Islamaphobia' as equal in seriousness but also suggests that Israel is equally at fault as Hamas in 'deliberately targeting civilians'. Of course Wineman has denied that this was his understanding of the statement, but that simply confirms his naivety and ignorance.
The Jewish Community of the UK has been demanding its 'leaders' show forceful support for Israel in the light of the hysterical anti-Israel hatred and bigotry that has engulfed the country, Much of that hatred has actually been vigorously promoted by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) who have sponsored all of the major anti-Israel demonstrations that have taken place. We expected our 'leaders' not only to challenge the false narrative about Israel presented by the media and politicians but also to make clear to the public that the totally unjustified singling out and delegitimisation of the Jewish State for daring to defend itself from terrorists was, by definition, an act of antisemitism that must not be accepted. Calls to destroy Israel (which includes MCB 'Free Palestine' placards and chants of 'From the river to the sea Palestine will be free') are acts of antisemitism that must be challenged, as are boycott protests against the Jewish state and its citizens. The fact that physical antisemitic attacks have followed directly from the anti-Israel narrative only proves the importance of tackling the root cause of the problem: irrational hatred - and demonization - of Israel.
Yet, instead our 'leaders' have chosen to side with one of the majon organisations promoting deligitimization of Israel. That our 'leaders' failed to grasp the message was first evident at the Tricyle Theatre demonstration when all the pre-prepared signs said "Don't punish London Jews" (with the clear unwritten message that "we are not to blame for Israel's crimes"). Supporters were even told 'not to bring Israeli flags'. So, instead of sending the message 'we stand with Israel who is simply defending herself against evil', our community leaders were saying 'we sort of admit that Israel is in the wrong but there is no need to punish non-Israeli Jews for it'.
And that is precisely the kind of message (protesting about the current wave of antisemitism without calling out the Israel hatred root cause) that has been repeated by our 'leaders' ever since. Astonishingly it is the same message presented in the extremely weak article in today's Telegraph by the Chief Rabbi. Like the BoD statement (and similar ones by CST) this article provides comfort for anti-Israel bigots. The Chief Rabbi says that antisemitism "is often confused with anti-Zionism. Israel as a subject will always lead to impassioned debate." What he should have said was the reason Israel is the focus of "impassionate debate" is precisely because of antisemitism. People who single out the Jewish state for their anger are, by definition, antisemites. The Chief Rabbi's remarks simply provide comfort and cover for ignorant bigots like George Galloway and Russell Brand who claim that they are not antisemities because they only demand the destruction of the Jewish State and not the destruction of all Jews. The Chief Rabbi also inexplicably whitewashed the Jihad motives behind the Jewish school killings in Toulouse in his article. He is presumably being advised by the BoD.
Instead of penning statements with the message "it is antisemitic to take take your anger at Israel out on non-Israeli Jews" it is about time our leaders hammered home the message that "your anger at Israel is antisemitic". For while the media, academics, and politicians are to blame for having propagated the big lie about Israel for so long, people who are so brainwashed by this lie to take to the streets and demand the destruction of Israel must still have been inherently antisemitic.