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Jewish group will run Shabbat service as part of Trump protest in London

The group aims to appeal to Jews who feel more established community organisations are 'out of step'

    Tens of thousands of people are expected to protest when Donald Trump visits the UK later this year – and the Jews among them will be able to take part in a Kabbalat Shabbat service.

    A group of Jews have come together to form the Jewish Bloc, a group which will take part in the mass protest against Mr Trump on July 13.

    They are calling on members of British Jewish communal organisations to join them.

    “Donald Trump poses a serious threat to Jews and other minorities everywhere, and it is vital that we come together to oppose the hatred he represents,” a spokesperson for the group said.

    “The Board of Deputies in particular has shown itself to be far out of step with most British Jews when it comes to Donald Trump over the past two years, but this is a crucial opportunity to set that right.

    “We welcome anyone who wants to march, sing and pray with us in support of tolerance and inclusivity.”

    Jonathan Arkush, Board president, was criticised after congratulating Mr Trump a few hours after his election victory in 2016.

    With more than 80 Jews signed up to take part so far, the group is comprised of people from different political backgrounds – and with different views on Israel. But those differences have been set aside ahead of Mr Trump’s visit.

    “Whether Zionist, non-Zionist or anti-Zionist, we are coming together to stand up to the modern face of antisemitism,” the spokesperson said.

    “From his refusal to condemn Holocaust-denier David Duke and his dog-whistle antisemitic campaign videos, to his declaration that neo-Nazis who marched through Charlottesville shouting ’Jews will not replace us’ were ‘very fine people', Donald Trump’s time in office has been littered with vile examples,” the spokesperson said.

    "We will be standing in solidarity with other minority groups who have been victimised by his administration.”

    As well as the Kabbalat Shabbat service, the group also plans to organise placard-making sessions before the protest.

    Mr Arkush said: “There seem to be many mistaken assumptions about the Board. The truth is that both before and during the course of the Trump presidency we have been critical of his actions on a number of issues.

    "At the time of his election we raised concerns about racist and sexist comments and his divisive campaign.

    "We strongly criticised his executive order on refugees which we described as ‘indiscriminate and unjust’. When he re-tweeted a video posted by far-right organisation Britain First we expressed ‘grave concern’ and called on him to ‘delete  the tweets and make clear his opposition to all sorts of  racism and hatred’.

    "When Trump casually likened a dossier created by US intelligence agencies to crimes committed by Hitler, we called his statement ‘abhorrent’.

    "When the US President’s actions or behaviour on issues relevant to our community slip below those we consider acceptable we will continue to call him out, just as we will give credit when we think it is due.”

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