The Board of Deputies has betrayed the victims of antisemitic abuse

By inviting a Shadow Cabinet member to speak at its Chanukah reception, the Board has made a shameful mistake

November 16, 2018 14:45

I don’t have much hair left. But what little I do have I now want to tear out.

I want to tear it out in frustration at the idiotic, craven and deeply counter-productive decision by the Board of Deputies to cosy up, yet again, to the Corbyn-led Labour Party.

Next month, the Board will host its annual Westminster Chanukah reception. Guess who it has asked to speak? Go on, guess.

Here’s a clue: a Labour MP.

Now, given  what we know about Labour under Mr Corbyn – and really, I don’t have to repeat it here – and given what we were told was the community leadership’s joint response in March, which was to say loudly, proudly and in large numbers that Enough Is Enough, who do you think they have invited to speak?

One of those Labour MPs who has put their head above the parapet and fought antisemitism in the party? One of those Labour MPs who has put decency above personal ambition, and refused to serve on Mr Corbyn’s front bench?

Margaret Hodge?  Liz Kendall? Pat McFadden? Luciana Berger? Ruth Smeeth? Ian Austin?

You must be joking.

No, in their wisdom, the Board of Deputies, which has the now oh-so-ironic slogan “advocacy for the community” as part of its logo, has offered a platform to Angela Rayner, Shadow Cabinet member, key Corbyn ally and an MP who has lifted not a finger in support for and said not a word in solidarity with her fellow Labour MPs battling antisemitic abuse - beyond mouthing the usual platitudes.

So on 3rd December, we are expected to stand around with our latkes and doughnuts listening to one of Mr Corbyn’s enablers share her thoughts.

I’d say it was beyond belief, except it isn’t. This is the organisation which invited Emily Thornberry to be an honoured guest at its annual dinner earlier this month.

It’s just about – just about – excusable to say that she was merely invited to eat, not to speak.

But at its Chanukah reception, the Board has decided to honour Ms Rayner, and the Corbyn Labour Party, with a platform. Instead of saying ‘Enough Is Enough’ and meaning it, the Board of Deputies is saying 'Enough Is Enough To Get Us To Kosher You'.

What do they expect to achieve? That Ms Rayner will go back and tell her boss that, you know what, those Jews were jolly nice to me?

This invitation is a disgrace. It is a betrayal of every one of the victims of Corbynite abuse. It is a betrayal of our community’s stand against Labour antisemitism. And it is a damning indictment of the Board of Deputies leadership.

November 16, 2018 14:45

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