Here's to an apolitical Chanucah

By Orlando Radice
December 16, 2011

Today I am feeling light and serene. No, I haven’t just finished a course of acupuncture. It’s that I think I have been ideologically de-tethered. And it feels good.

Let me declare an interest. Before I worked at the JC, I voted Labour. That was before I began to understand the pet passions of my local MP, Jeremy Corbyn. That’s right, the one who went to a jamboree in Beirut this summer with George Galloway and representatives of Hamas and Hizbollah.

Over the past couple of years, Cameron jumped into a European Parliament alliance with a man with an allegedly antisemitic past, and the Lib Dems have been, well, the Lib Dems (Jenny Tonge. ’Nuff said).

It has become ever more obvious that there aren’t any parties that are anywhere near ‘getting’ the Jewish point of view, and there are few politicians who do. Denis MacShane, Robert Halfon and Michael Gove are among the notable exceptions.

Over the past two weeks we have seen two MPs, one Tory, Aidan Burley, and one Labour, Paul Flynn, demonstrating how far politicians from both sides of the fence can be from understanding the nature of antisemitism or why Jews are so sensitive about it.

So I’d like, in an ironic kind of way, to raise my Chanucah glass to Burley and Flynn for highlighting, in two consecutive weeks, why being Jewish is not party political. It’s bigger, and better, than that.


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