New government must curb hate, says Board’s ‘Jewish Manifesto’

Board says Britain must defend Jewish heritage and support Israeli self-defence


Whichever party wins next month’s general election should be ready to fight antisemitism by reviewing the policing of anti-Israel protests and expressions of Jew-hatred online, according to the Jewish Manifesto issued by the Board of Deputies this week.

It must also support Israel’s security and right to defend itself, while also pursuing a long-term “two state solution” to Middle East peace.

In an introduction to the manifesto, the Board’s new president Phil Rosenberg notes that “far from an outpouring of global sympathy”, the aftermath of the terrorist massacre of October 7 October has seen “an avalanche of global hatred directed against Jewish communities; on our streets, online, on campus and even in our politics. Indeed, the sharpest rise in antisemitism in the UK came in the days after the attack, before Israel had responded.”

The response, he goes on, should be to “build an optimistic alliance across people of all faiths and none to stand up for a cohesive society that does not import conflict, but exports peace instead “. The Board, he says, will be judging candidates according to this overarching criterion.

The manifesto’s detailed policy “asks” are summarised in what it calls “the ten commitments”.

Besides fighting antisemitism and standing up for Israel, these include proscribing Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organisation, boosting educational and interfaith work to tackle antisemitism, and defending Jewish religious freedoms – including “kosher meat, faith schools, religious clothing, circumcision, end of life requirements, and flexible working to accommodate Shabbat and festival observance”.

To win Jews’ support, the manifesto says, candidates should also “support efforts to remember and understand the Holocaust” and “celebrate, support and protect Jewish heritage and culture in the UK”.

Rosenberg told the JC: ““This election’s Jewish Manifesto has unmistakeably been forged in the Shadow of October 7.

“The significantly expanded section on antisemitism, and the clarion call to secure the release of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, demonstrate the particular anxiety that our community feels at this time.

“At the same time, many of the issues covered are ones that are felt across society, from the cost-of-living crisis, to housing, to health and social care”. The manifesto, he said, examines “the unique challenges that the Jewish community experiences in these sectors”.

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