A “race war” has broken out at the Board of Deputies ahead of its May 9 election of honorary officers.
Last week, the Board, under its current president Marie van der Zyl, published a “Commission on Racial Inclusivity in the Jewish Community,” in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Recommendations in it include incorporating black history, slavery, and the legacy of colonialism in Jewish schools’ secular curricula and commemorating Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Yemenite festivals such as the Day to Mark the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from the Arab Countries and Iran and the Ethiopian festival of Sigd. Another recommendation is that rabbis, educators, and security guards receive racial-sensitivity training.
A member of the BoD Caucus group which is backing presidential candidate Jonathan Neumann, who is seeking to oust van der Zyl – has blasted the report. Anthony Bolchover said, “I am not against racial inclusivity in the Jewish community. However, the commission itself was a strategic own goal and completely unnecessary.”
He added: “Many Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews I know of feel patronized by woke middle-class and predominantly Ashkenazi lefties who think they are there to save them.”
Neumann, who authored the book, How to Heal the World? How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel, has been branded, together with the Caucus group, as “far right” by Board deputy Andrew Gilbert.
Corbyn Loses Appeal in Libel Case
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn lost his appeal against a High Court ruling in a libel case.
Pro-Israel activist blogger Richard Millett is taking action against Corbyn for remarks he made during a BBC Andrew Marr interview in 2018 when the Labour leader was asked whether he was an anti-Semite considering that he had said in 2013 that Zionists “don’t understand English irony.”
Corbyn defended himself to Marr by claiming that two pro-Israel citizens had been “incredibly disruptive” at a House of Commons meeting with Manuel Hassassian, then Palestinian ambassador to the UK. Millett’s legal action is based on the fact, that though he was not named by Corbyn, national media made him identifiable as one of those referred to.
Former Labour MP Ivan Lewis told The Jewish Press, “It is good news that the courts have once again rejected Corbyn’s bogus attempt to justify his anti-Semitic statement that ‘Zionists don’t understand English irony.’
“These comments were a graphic illustration of Corbyn’s true views.”
UK Officials Visit Israel
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam were in Israel last week to discuss and learn about vaccine passports, with a view to emulating Israel’s “green pass” system in the UK.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkanazi asked Gove to thank Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his opposition to the International Criminal Court’s investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes.
Protesters Use Holocaust Imagery
Some anti-lockdown protestors at London’s Hyde Park on Sunday wore yellow stars and carried banners with the words “Vaccine Holocaust.”
Chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust Karen Pollock called for an end to the “use and abuse of Holocaust language and imagery.”