Jewdas condemned for 'joke' tweet about Holocaust death toll

Controversial group said the revoke Article 50 petition should go from '5.99 million straight to 7 million out of respect for Jewish sensibilities'



The controversial Jewdas group has sparked an angry backlash after tweeting a attempted joke about the Board of Deputies which centred on the Holocaust death toll.

The group tweeted the 'joke' about the petition to revoke Article 50 on Saturday at 7.45pm. It said: "The Board of Deputies has requested that the Revoke Brexit Petition skip from 5.99 million straight to 7 million out of respect for Jewish sensibilities."

While Jewdas has developed a reputation for its use of satire as a means of showing its understanding of Jewish tradition and culture, the latest attempt at humour drew near universal condemnation.

Tracy Ann Oberman, the actress and antisemitism campaigner, wrote: "Are you thick or just offensive?"

Barrister Barbara Rich added: "I’m about as lapsed as it’s possible to be, but I’m also the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, who died many years ago.

"This is asinine, & can only reflect badly on you & provide succour for those who do not care for British Jews."

Comedian David Baddiel mocked the joke for being unfunny. 

Lecturer Dr Hila Shachar said: "How edgy of you to make jokes about the holocaust.

"I would say you may look back on this with a sense of shame one day, but you lack the moral depth to understand just how stupid and antisemitic you are being. No wonder Corbyn loves you."

On Sunday, the group sent a follow up tweet that said: "We gather that some people were offended by one of our recent tweets so we’d like to clarify: it’s ok to make jokes about the Board of Deputies."

But this only caused further anger - which many Twitter users suggesting it failed to recognise that the 'joke' had revolved around the Shoah and not the Board.

Sara Gibbs, a TV writer, said: "Have never said this to anyone: Your community is ashamed of you today. 

"You’re not big, clever or funny. I hope you enjoyed your 5 minutes of attention because you’ve tanked all your credibility & will never be taken seriously as a representative voice of Jewish people again."

Deputy Tal Offer said: "Your joke was about the Holocaust, not the Board of Deputies."

Harry Goldstein wrote: "It's not ok to sneer at sensitivities about the Holocaust. Every Jew-hater must have thought it was hilarious. I doubt anyone else did."

The Community Security Trust's Dave Rich said: "Jewdas will be delighted by the fuss this tweet has caused, because the whole point is to wind up the rest of the Jewish community. I suggest their Seder guests bear that in mind this year."

Last year, Jewdas gained national media coverage after Jeremy Corbyn attended its 'third night' Pesach seder.

Jewdas has previously described Israel as "a steaming pile of sewage which needs to be properly disposed of".

The group was founded in 2006 by Joseph Finley but Jewdas often publishes writings under the pseudonym Geoffrey Cohen.

Many of the group's members are fascinated with pre-Zionist Yiddish culture. 

Despite its left-wing idealism, the group's comments have been criticised by Jon Lansman, the Jewish founder of leftwing campaign group Momentum.

He said Jewdas attack on Israel as a "steaming pile of sewage" was "not helpful to Jeremy or the cause of opposing antisemitism in the Labour Party".

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive