There could hardly be a clearer demonstration of the hypocrisy of the BDS movement than the decision of singer-songwriter Lorde to pull out of a concert in Tel Aviv next year. Leave aside the fundamentally racist nature of BDS, that singles out the Jewish state for boycott. Focus instead on one issue that Lorde claims matters deeply to her: LGBT rights. The singer says she prides herself on being an “informed young citizen” and that she “had done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions” around Israel and the Middle East. Clearly not enough, since she has decided to boycott the only country in the Middle East where LGBT people can live freely and proudly assert their sexuality. And then, with the shamelessness of the true hypocrite, while boycotting Israel she will happily perform in Russia on the same tour — where the human rights of LGBT citizens are treated with contempt. Lorde is free to act as she wishes. But the rest of us are equally free to judge those actions.
Last week the JC called for the removal of Mary Hassell, after her contemptuous treatment of the family of Barry Davis. Ms Hassell has a long and shameful history of such behaviour towards Jews and Muslims. Now further cases have emerged, each of which is in its own way equally appalling. The most disturbing aspect of her behaviour is that it is intentional; she cannot plead ignorance. Her actions are taken in the full knowledge of the devastating impact they will have on grieving families. She cannot be allowed to remain in office.