Reform youth leader who attended Gaza Kaddish is dropped from Israel tour

Nina Morris-Evans was one of more than 50 activists, who said Kaddish outside Parliament for Palestinians killed in Gaza border clashes


A youth leader who took part in the controversial Kaddish prayer for Gazans killed by Israeli forces has been dropped from leading a tour of the country this summer, with one organiser saying "there is such a thing as going too far".

Nina Morris-Evans was due to lead a tour of the country for the Reform movement’s youth wing, RSY-Netzer, but the movement said on Monday this would not be in “the best interests of the participants”.

RSY-Netzer previously said would be able to go, despite the fact she was among the group of young Jews who recited Kaddish outside parliament in May, causing outrage among British Jews in May.

Reform Judaism, of which Ms Morris-Evans is a member, said that "many of our members were disturbed" to see the prayer being recited for the 62 people killed in the violence on Gaza's border with Israel, most of whom were Hamas operatives.

"Whilst we support a wide range of Zionist youth movements covering a broad set of ideological positions, there is a blue & white thread running through all that we do — meaning that sometimes there is such a thing as going too far," Michael Wegier, chief executive of UJIA, said on Monday.

Ms Morris Evans wrote an article after attending the Kaddish, in which she wrote that “who these people were – or what group they were affiliated to – is an insignificant issue compared to the reality of their murder.”

Initially, UJIA said she would have to be mentored for her to lead the tour. The JC understands that the mentoring process was undertaken by Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, senior rabbi of Reform Judaism.

However, on Monday, RSY-Netzer, Reform Judaism and UJIA said that "over the course of extensive dialogue" it had "unfortunately become clear" this could not happen.

Their statement said: “We cannot arrive at a position of certainty that [her] leading tour is in the best interests of the participants.”

Ms Morris-Evans was among more than 50 activists, who turned up on the evening of May 16 outside Parliament to say Kaddish for the Palestinians killed in Gaza border clashes.

Attendees included members of the far-left anti-Zionist Jewdas group, and movement workers for LJY Netzer, the youth movement of Liberal Judaism.

Earlier that day, Hamas had claimed that 50 of the 62 Palestinians killed in during clashes on the Gaza border were its members.

At the time, the group told the JC it said the Kaddish to protest the “Israeli occupation and the disproportionate force of the Israeli regime”.

A group spokesman said: “We have watched the violence unfolding in Gaza... and felt anguished that the State of Israel, which claims to be a Jewish State, is inflicting such immense suffering on Palestinians.”

“We are angry at the Jewish institutions here in the UK that have blindly supported the State of Israel this week, by blaming Palestinians for the violence that Israel committed against them.

“We are angry that parts of our community choose to remain ignorant of the situation, refusing to speak about the Nakba and refusing to listen to Palestinian narratives.

“We, as diaspora Jews, will not allow ourselves to become immune or apathetic to the violence committed by the State of Israel. We will never accept Israel’s violence as normal. We will never accept Israel’s violence as inevitable.”

Leaders of Reform Judaism distanced themselves from the event at the time, saying they "deliberately chose not attend", adding: “We are certainly not shy of saying what we think in public and had we wanted to have been there to amplify our messages, we would have been."

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