By Stanley Walinets
April 24, 2010
It's time the Board of Deputies grew up and stopped nit-picking at every perceived threat to our interests. The JC front-page report on April 9th is a case in point. "Election hate row explodes", screams the heading, "Board of Deputies asks Labour Party to withdraw conspiracy-theory MPs from poll". Doesn't the Board realise that if Labour actually submitted to such a demand, what better evidence would our enemies then have that a powerful pro-Israel lobby really does exist, here in the UK?
That aside, why did the Board explode in such knee-jerk fury at these two MPs, simply because they criticised house demolitions in East Jerusalem ? There are plenty of Jews who also feel unhappy about house demolitions. But the Board then went further. It rounds on Martin Linton for his phrase "the long tentacles of Israel". They assume Linton, who isn't a Jew, should have been so familiar with Jewish history as to know that 'tentacles' image has echoes of anti-Semitic writings in centuries past. Undoubtedly it does so echo. But come off it, chaverim of the Board -- ask any ten average Jews if they know of this historic but esoteric connection and nine of us will look at you blankly. Linton's later apology shows he didn't know that, and why should he?
And as to the Board's condemnation of Sir Gerald Kaufman -- get real, for goodness' sake. Kaufman's a Jew who doesn't subscribe to the belief that Israel can do no wrong. Why shouldn't he express that view -- there are many Jews who'd agree with him. Finally, I might point the finger here at a certain bias on the part of the JC, for its apparent selection of the most ugly photo of Kaufman they could find. He even has his hand raised as if about to shout Heil Hitler! But let that pass. My main message is for the Board of Deputies: You'll serve our cause better, chaps, if you think before you leap.