Photo Credit: Jewish Press

A strange thing happened the other day. I was preparing a shiur about Avraham Avinu and how he stood up to the entire world rejecting their beliefs, despite threats and intimidation. Strangely, I began thinking about J.K. Rowling.

It was the day Warner Bros. released one of the most highly anticipated video games ever. It’s based on her widely successful Harry Potter books.


There have been video games based in Hogwarts before of course, but this one is altogether new. It received “state of the art” treatment by Warner Bros. and apparently looks and feels more like a movie than a video game.

It also faced a call from “trans activists” for people to boycott it. They accuse J.K. Rowling of being “transphobic.”

Now, when the “trans” movement gets you in their crosshairs, you really have something to be worried about.

Trans activists have sent Rowling countless death threats. She has suffered “doxing” where they stood outside her Edinburgh home to take selfies and posted them online. That’s an invitation for someone to note the address and come and break a window… or worse.

She has suffered other kinds of attacks for her views with erstwhile friends, like the BBC (woke central!) give her the cold shoulder.

And if all of that was meant to send her running to a PR firm for advice on how to pretend that she “misspoke” and did not mean what she said, they picked the wrong woman.

In an interview she gave some years ago, J.K. Rowling stated that the character trait she admires most of all is courage.

Her courage meant and means she is not pretending that the whole thing was a mistake and a misunderstanding. J.K. Rowling has stood firmly by her beliefs and her values. As she wrote in a 3,000-word essay on gender issues, she refused to…

“Bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm to women.”

Let’s consider why she has become so vilified by the woke left, particularly as that she is most decidedly a Liberal on such matters.

She revealed that her Albus Dumbledore character’s relationship with Gellert Grindelwald was a homosexual one. (Harry Potter fans with traditional values were upset by this revelation too, but none to my knowledge threatened to kill her or revealed her address online.) She is also on record as supporting trans rights.

What she is not prepared to do (or pretend to do) is accept that with a mere, self-declaration, that a man is a woman, he can walk into a woman’s restroom or school dressing room.

That is her crime and her “transphobia.”

But her real crime is her unwillingness to fall on her hands and knees and bow at the altar of the Trans movement. She must recant and accept its claims, even when they are patently risible.

Her truly remarkable past philanthropy and support for left-wing causes counts for nothing. Like Stalin or Mao’s purges, only total submission and complete capitulation will do.

I’ve followed with great admiration, her standing up to threat and intimidation. I have also watched with disgust, those she has stood up to defend, abandon her and close their eyes and ears to what she has had to endure.

The gay movement she has supported and helped advance throughout the years, has recast her as a pariah. The mighty feminist movement has thrown in the towel to trans activists. It has leapt onto a chair pulling its skirts above its ankles and screaming like a woman in a Victorian cartoon, while the teeny rodents of trans activism eat Rowling alive. Two of the young actors who played the main protagonists in the Harry Potter films (and who owe their careers to her) enthusiastically joined in the attacks.

This is something I saw myself over decades as a campus rabbi in England.

A very nasty anti-Israel motion was about to be debated and voted on at some university. With so many Muslim students on UK campuses, Jewish students were hopelessly outnumbered.

The UK’s Union of Jewish Students strategy, (remarkably naive and ineffective) was to reach out to other student groups that they thought would come to their aid in a mutual defense pact.

If the gays, the Hindus, the feminists or several other groups were to find themselves under attack, Jewish students would lend their support and their votes to protect them.

Time after time and year after year, this tactic was tried and always failed. The day of the motion would arrive and the “allies” failed to turn up.

This left many Jewish students genuinely upset and baffled. They really did support these other groups. The state of Israel was not tying the hands of gays behind their backs and throwing them off roofs. Jewish women in Israel could vote in elections and were as liberated as those in the west. Why were we abandoned?

A cursory glance at our history provides the answer, no one stands up to defend Jews.

Just look at Barcelona’s recent severing of ties with “twin” city Tel Aviv. The reason? Israel’s “apartheid” treatment of the Palestinians.

Ada Colau, the city’s left-wing mayor, said: “More than 100 organizations and over 4,000 citizens have demanded that we defend the human rights of Palestinians…”

Ms. Colau is obviously not worried then about the human rights of Palestinian gays or women, which are very, very hard to locate in Gaza or the West Bank.

Oh! and a double standard Ms. Rowling will recognize; the proposal to end the twinning was put forward by a group called “End Complicity with Israel.” It claims the support of 112 social entities, among them feminist and LGBTQ+ organizations.

So, while preparing that shiur about Avraham it struck me that maybe, by refusing to capitulate to the left’s intimidation, J.K. Rowling is now suspected by them as being some kind of Jew!

That would certainly explain why they hate her so much and why her erstwhile friends refuse to stand by her side.


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Rabbi Y Y Rubinstein is a popular international lecturer. He was a regular Broadcaster on BBC Radio and TV but resigned in 2022 over what he saw as its institutional anti-Semitism. He is the author of fourteen books including most recently, "Never Alone...The book for teens and young adults who've lost a parent."