Not in our name

Last week we expressed our disquiet at the new legislation passed by the Knesset which, in effect, makes it illegal to call for a boycott of Israel.

Repellent as the idea of a boycott is, and those that propose it are, that law must be changed. But there have been few more preposterous responses than the intervention this week by Sir Gerald Kaufman in the House of Commons. Sir Gerald is a visceral opponent of Israel, who seems to relish allying with some of the most unpleasant anti-Israel campaigners.

The Manchester MP takes every conceivable opportunity to attack the Jewish state. Only a few months ago he was forced to apologise after muttering "here we are, the Jews again" when a fellow Jewish Labour MP rose to speak in the Commons. So the word chutzpah now has a new definition, because this week Sir Gerald had the gall to claim to speak on behalf of Jews across the planet in calling for the British government to express its opposition to the boycott law.

Like many others across the political spectrum, we oppose the law. But there is no figure less qualified to claim to speak on our, or any other Jew's behalf, than Sir Gerald Kaufman.

    Last updated: 10:25am, July 21 2011