November 5, 2013

The uncomfortable silence of British Jewry

In what’s becoming a regular and predictable occurrence, yet another leading British politician attacked Israel and the American Jewish lobby. This time it was MP and former Foreign Secretary and Lord Chancellor, Jack Straw. Speaking of Israeli “theft” of Palestinian land and “Germany’s obsession with [defending] Israel,” Straw lamented the “unlimited funds available to Jewish organizations … used to divert American policy and intimidate candidates.”

With this blistering, Protocols-of-Zion-like comment warning the world of Jewish political hegemony, Straw has joined the ranks of a growing number of British leaders who libel the Jewish state with impunity as a matter of course. But equally troubling is how these accusations of Jewish conspiracy are met with near-silence in the British Jewish community. The outrage over these appalling comments came not from the Office of the British Chief Rabbi or other senior Anglo-Jewish figures but from former Israeli Knesset member Einat Wilf, and Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom, the outstanding Daniel Taub, both of whom were quick to denounce Straw’s comments. Joining them were The Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. But the wider British Jewish community played it safe.

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