Originally posted 7th September 2014
I’m tired of discussing whether the Board of Deputies chairman should fall on his sword. I’m weary of hearing what the Board have been doing for me, the Ordinary Londoner, during this crisis. My belief has been beggared as I’m told how they have taken the media to task for another appallingly biased report on BBC or Channel 4. Are you, like me, bored of the Deputies?
We all applaud the sentiments of a joint statement from Muslim and Jewish communities. It has the potential to defuse many an ill tempered notion or bigoted narrative. But many in our community were left aghast by the one put out by the Board and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) which included the ill conceived declaration regarding the “targeting of civilians” in the recent conflict. When asked its meaning, the MCB were clear as to the context of said declaration, it referred to the IDF targeting civilians in Gaza. So it was, the sentiments of good and noble intentions were overshadowed by the scent of betrayal.
Like many, I took to my keyboard…..
Dear Board of Deputies….. The majority of British Jewry (and almost all Israelis) would not agree with your statement generalising about the “targeting of civilians”. You are, by the wording of that statement not differentiating between the strategy of indiscriminate Hamas terrorist attacks on the civilians of Israel and the actions of the IDF which strategically does NOT target civilians. Israel tries at all times to operate within the bounds of International Law, Hamas’s combatants operate with impunity outside of it.
Seems like the latest indiscriminate target are Jewish feet and ones doing the shooting are the Board of Deputies.
Now Board of Deputies, to see how it should have been done, read this statement from the Barnet Multi Faith Forum (written more recently):
BRITISH JEWS AND MUSLIMS CALL FOR PEACE, WISDOM AND HOPE.
We affirm the importance, as Jews, Muslims and people of many other faiths here in the London Borough of Barnet, of our diversity of religious belief in this Borough and of working together for good community relations.
We celebrate our religious diversity and rejoice in our common humanity and we are determined to identify the widest possible range of areas for co-operation between our different faiths. In this way it is our hope that, in all of our communities, people will be able to live side by side in peace and mutual respect
We condemn any expression of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and of all other forms of oppression, prejudice, racism and religious intolerance. We will continue to support each other to diffuse any community tensions that arise from our differences, and to promote the peaceful co-existence of religious and faith groups in the Borough.
We commit ourselves to this continuing task
Board of Deputies, that’s how to make a statement we can all stand by. Just as the term deputy can mean substitute, there is no substitute for common sense, and no sign of sense from the deputies.
Stephen Spencer Bond-Ryde