The Board of Deputies (BOD) are about to commission a survey of British Jewish attitudes. Let me save them their money. Their survey will confirm that British Jews identify with Israel, are shy to call themselves ‘Zionist’, are in favour of a ‘two-state solution’ and hate ‘settlements’. In fact, it will say everything that the designers will want it – and will design it – to say.
Not only is the project in its suggested form a complete waste of money – it is a political stunt – and they are therefore intending to use the funds of the BOD to push a redundant pro-Oslo political paradigm. The BOD are unforgivably even turning to the same consultants who designed Yachad’s 2015 pro-Oslo survey to create it.
A good idea BOD, but in the wrong hands
There is every reason to conduct a survey of British Jewish attitudes – not least of all because the last attempt in 2015 – was heavily skewed to the left. The Yachad survey loaded questions with a heavy pro-Oslo bias – used a dodgy sample – and was therefore only ever going to produce a result highly critical of Israel and in line with the political preferences of those that designed it.
It would be good to know where British Jewish opinion sits and look for societal trends – but this can only be done by those who are not trying to reinforce confirmation bias. Oslo is dead. It has been since 2000 despite serious attempts by Israeli officials such as Olmert to breathe life back into it. I have no idea what the changing geo-political environment will bring and remain personally agnostic on legitimate solutions. Those pushing a simple solution based on two-states and the 1967 lines – including the survey’s designers – are part of a delusional Oslo paradigm.
In a brutal world where Israel needs to contemplate losing soldiers to invade Gaza just to hand it back to the PA – those who maintained support for those saying Kaddish for Hamas terrorists – are in no place to ask questions of the rest of the community. The west is waking up. It has woken up to the BDS as antisemitic, it is recognising that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are Siamese twins – and it is pushing back against the poison that anti-Israel activism has placed into society. Those that flirted with anti-Israel forces for so long should just shut up and let everyone who wasn’t so foolish take the lead. You cannot make peace with those that simply do not want to make peace with you. If you didn’t already understand it before – just stop talking now.
We don’t want a divide between Israel and the Diaspora
Slowly but surely the BOD is being eaten by these Osloites. Israelis live with the daily threat of war. It is their children they send to the army. They have experience and live in the environment. Brits who – without meaning offence – consider hardship as not having the latest version of the I-Phone – are not best placed to dictate to other British Jews who they should or should not listen to on the subject of Israeli security.
These people are responsible for creating a tragic divide between Israel and British Jews. This bridge has expanded over the last twenty years, as Israel has shifted to the new realities of its environment. Whereas in the 1990’s Israeli politics and British Jewish politics were far more in tune- in the UK we stagnated as reality changed. We refused to budge, and parts of our leadership have continued to support a notion that is no longer tied to reality. The centre and centre-left in Israel are not pro-Oslo. In fact, all that is left in the redundant paradigm is an ever-decreasing fringe on the far-left of Israeli politics. Which means this resembles Corbynism. A small group of self-titled ‘do-gooders’ telling everyone else who they can and cannot talk to. They are dictating what is ‘moral’ and ‘right’.
They tell us that the only people we can talk to are those they agree with – those that criticise Israel. What on earth are we doing teaching our children to oppose Israel by default? Stop trying to divide us!
Questions for any BOD survey
For anyone looking to commission a serious survey – one of the major focuses must surely be on education and influence. In addition to asking about support for ‘settlements’ – add a question asking if British Jews can actually name a ‘settlement’. Check for a correlation between knowledge and response. Ask if they know what areas ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’ represent because only in the terminology of the Zionist hard-left are ‘settlements’ an indivisible unit.
The entire point of the Yachad survey – and the upcoming BOD one is to blur these lines. If you want to understand the absurdity of their position add a question to the survey asking if British Jews think Jerusalem is a ‘settlement’ – because the inevitable overwhelming negative response to such a question obliterates the position that British Jews think Israel should ‘stop expanding settlements’.
Ask questions about whether British Jews feel its own leadership leans too far to the left. Ask about whether they are comfortable that Zionist groups from Israel are no-platformed and demonised by our own leadership. Most importantly perhaps, ask if British Jews feel let down by their own leadership – who clearly went to sleep at the wheel and allowed Corbynism to rise. In other words bodies such as the BOD are the last people on earth that should be entrusted with commissioning such a survey – unless they are willing to put themselves to the sword and have it built by people who do not exist within the same far-left paradigm that has rendered them virtually redundant – and even self-harming.
Challenge our BOD leaders
If this blog sounds like it is written in anger – it is probably because it was. Along with others, I have spent 4 long years – battling back against a tsunami. Corbyn didn’t happen without warning.
Some bodies are paid to look after us. They are there explicitly to make sure that disaster never strikes. The rise of Corbynism is not the result of a 2015 leadership election, but rather born of a complacent community leadership that wants to be liked more than it wants to protect. The hierarchy won’t place the dinner invites at risk.
The contribution to the BOD is a voluntary part of synagogue membership. If you want to save the BOD – you should think about cancelling your subscription. Nobody I am in close contact with pays it anymore. You should also approach your synagogue and ask them why they continue to support an organisation that has been corrupted from within. This BOD hard-left leaning bias is evident everywhere you look. Recently the BOD organised the guest list for the event at the Palace. At least one of the people who had advertised the ‘Kaddish for Hamas’ event was invited. At what point did our leadership become so utterly disconnected from the community itself? Do people allied to the United Synagogues really want to be associated with the Kaddish for Hamas mentality? Ask your synagogue that question.
I am even aware of emails being sent from the BOD questioning people’s membership of Jewish Facebook groups. Apparently, you are not allowed to be a member of a FB group unless it is PC friendly and ‘of the left.’ Those outside of the ‘Oslo’ paradigm are being cut off and demonised.
On Melanie P and Richard K
Radical Left-wing ideologies like ‘Corbynism’ work by shutting out dissenting voices – no platforming those that they don’t like. They seek to control the narrative. They use terms like ‘racist’ at anything they don’t like. Salami tactics- each time shifting the pendulum further to the left. They are intolerant and because we tolerate them, they eventually consume us. This is what happened to the Labour party. It tolerated the intolerant, it was overrun and eventually consumed.
A similar mindset has taken over the ‘Jewish mainstream’ and is driven by far-left elements within. We see legitimate Zionist organisations no-platformed in the UK. It has been going on for years. British Jewry doesn’t have many Israelis over on speaking tours anymore- because there is nobody the far-left CONSIDER suitable for an invite. We have allowed ourselves to be completely disconnected from reality. By absorbing this no-platforming, the BOD and other bodies like it – are handing the education of British Jews over to Yachad and the BBC. Which in some ways makes the intended survey a case of them checking to see how well they have managed to spread the disinformation amongst us.
Both Richard Kemp and Melanie Phillips – who was lynched following her article in the JC – are victims of such a mentality. I do not have to agree with everything they say or write to understand the difference between ‘offensive’ and ‘racist’. I have spoken to many community leaders who hate the term ‘Islamophobia’ and like Maajid Nawaz prefer to use ‘anti-Muslim bigotry’. Unlike Nawaz they never say so publicly. Utter cowards the lot of them. The attack on Phillips following her article and the pressure that forced JC editor Pollard to issue a response – effectively proves much of what Phillips was trying to say.
I also openly challenge anyone criticising Kemp to name people they respect who have saved as many Muslim lives as Richard Kemp has. Turning our back on him after all the support he has given us was simply unforgivable.
We can be offensive
There is a huge difference between being offensive and being racist. People are allowed to be offensive. At times being offensive is even the right thing to do. You can’t no platform people just because they ‘offend’ others – it is not a good enough reason to interfere with free speech. We are a community under attack and some of our enemies deserve to be offended. It horrifies me that some in my own community use it as a casual weapon against parts of the Zionist spectrum they do not agree with.
Put it this way. Melanie opposes using the term ‘islamophobia’ to describe anti-Muslim bigotry because of misuse. For this she is lynched. Some British Jews promote saying Kaddish for Hamas terrorists and get invited to the Palace by the BOD. You tell me that isn’t messed up.
We are now at the point that anyone who identifies with Israel is no-platformed and the only people who can gain platforms are those that constantly criticise Israel. Anyone critical of the influence of radical Islam is also no-platformed. On its current path, the only thing the organisations will do BOD is oversee the disintegration of the British Jewish community. Staying quiet doesn’t always save us. Sometimes it is the cause of our destruction. We were lucky that Corbyn lost – and make no mistake he did not lose because of antisemitism. Rather than attack those who were warning it was coming – perhaps we should turn our questions to those who stayed silent as it approached. Questions for a survey perhaps.
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