Freedom for all

The JC leader - April 19 2019

April 18, 2019 12:53

There is something intrinsically uplifting about space travel. And although Beresheet’s mission did not finish with the planned moon landing, the very fact of an Israeli spacecraft reaching the moon’s orbit is itself a triumph.

But it says so much about Israel’s status a technological pioneer that there was more surprise that Beresheet did not land successfully than there would have been if it had.

The Israeli space programme is a striking example of the freedom that we celebrate at Pesach.

For Israel, a beacon of freedom in a region of tyrannies, a nation where existential threats are the bread and butter of political discussion, freedom is not just about the ballot box and the rule of law. It is also expressed in the Israeli character — inventive, entrepreneurial, problem solving and determined.

No wonder Israel, a tiny nation of less than nine million, is a global leader in technology.

As we gather for the Seder, we consider our own freedom. It is important to remember that there has been no point in our history, and no nation on earth, where Jews have been freer and safer than Britain in 2019.

But for all that, there will hardly be a table in the land where the question will not be discussed: What will happen if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister?

In our poll last month, 96 per cent of British Jews said that antisemitism would be a factor in how they voted — a response both entirely predictable and deeply shocking.

Labour’s tolerance of antisemitism has injected a poison into our national life that has been profoundly unsettling for our community. Next year in Jerusalem, perhaps. But most of us would be more than content with next year in Britain, if we are able to feel safe.

April 18, 2019 12:53

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