David Rosenberg on the Undemocratic Nature of the Board of Deputies

David Rosenberg on Saturday put up a long, excellent piece, arguing that it was time Jeremy Corbyn called the bluff on the various Jewish leaders and organisations trying to topple him. They’re not interested in combating anti-Semitism, only in saving Tweezer’s hide and stop people criticising Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

He talks about how, after the latest stupid accusation of anti-Semitism against Corbyn, he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He cried, because he thought of the ordinary people of Britain, including a significant number of Jews, who are struggling to cope, thanks to the Tories. He’s also deeply concerned about the plight of the homeless, and considers it ‘criminal’ if the current government of Food Bank Britain, the Windrush Scandal, Grenfell Tower, Zero Hours Contracts and Yarl’s Wood detention centre gets in again thanks to these fake accusations of anti-Semitism.

He describes his fantasy, that one day Corbyn will meet the right-wing Jewish leaders making these accusations, and ask them for their opinion on topics like the renationalisation of the railways. When they reply, ‘We’ll have to consult our community’, he replies that they knew very well, without any consultation, how their community felt about the adoption of the I.H.R.A. definition of anti-Semitism.

And he describes very clearly how unrepresentative the Board of Deputies is of the Jewish community as a whole.

But he’s got to speak to Jewish leaders – we elected them. Didn’t we? No, very few of us Jews did that. Jewish Leadership Council? Unelected. They just announced themselves. Chief Rabbi? No, appointed not elected. Campaign Against Antisemitism? Where the hell did they come from? Completely unelected. Ah, but the Board of Deputies – some of them are elected. No? Well, in theory, yes. If you are a member of a synagogue you might get a vote, but in some synagogues not if you are a woman. How many elections are contested? What percentage of voters take part? When did your synagogue last change its deputy? What – as long ago as that? And then there are a lot of Jews are not members of synagogues. Hmmm, that’s a problem. And, at the end of the day, decisions of the Board are made by paid officers not ordinary elected members.

As for right-wing Jewish leaders’ complaint that Corbyn hasn’t met them, he describes how Corbyn offered to arrange a meeting at the Jewish Museum in London. But certain Jewish groups said they’d boycott the Museum if the meeting was allowed to go on there. And Stephen Pollard, the grubby, extremely right-wing editor of the Jewish Chronicle, actually boasted about this in his libellous rag.

Those “leaders” could have met Jeremy last Friday at mid-day at the Jewish Museum (I was invited too). The Museum agreed after a little wobble, but as one of the main culprits, Jewish Chronicle editor, Stephen Pollard gleefully claimed in a tweet, many of them were emailing him to say they would boycott the museum if the meeting went ahead there.

Many more Jews, beyond those “leadership ” bodies could have met Jeremy to discuss matters three months ago, but the very same people complaining “But he won’t meet us”, made it clear that they wouldn’t attend if certain other Jewish groups (who they might have disagreed with) attended. The whiff of hypocrisy is in danger of becoming a stench.

Rosenberg instead goes on to describe how many liberal and left-wing Jews would love to sit down with the Labour leader to discuss issues with him. But when he does, as he spent the Passover Seder with Jewdas, he gets smeared as anti-Semite because these are the wrong Jews.

Rosenberg also talks about how the fake accusations of anti-Semitism are dangerously cheapening the term, so that there is a real risk that ordinary, non-Jewish people will get tired of hearing the term and won’t react when the real thing appears.

He also mentions how, when Corbyn was elected in 2015, he had to leave the proceedings to speak at a demonstration in support of refugees. Which, as far as he knows, none of his opponents in the Labour party have ever done so.

He praises Corbyn’s recent statement on the Labour party and anti-Semitism, but wishes he had developed more his point about the common threat faced by Jews, Blacks and Muslim from the Far Right in Britain and Europe. But the self-appointed leaders of the Jewish community are very reluctant to appear in a room with Jews from other organisations they don’t control, and are probably even more nervous of people from outside their community altogether.

He ends his article thus

So my plea to Jeremy and his supporters for how we go forward from here, is quite simple: Get back to discussing and promoting Labour’s core issues over which it is at war with the Tories, in public meetings and open air rallies around the country, and, in the meantime, start to meet with those Jews who are sincere and not playing power games or using diversionary tactics that seem designed only to help Theresa May and Benjamin Netanyahu.

See: https://rebellion602.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/time-to-call-their-bluff/

2 Responses to “David Rosenberg on the Undemocratic Nature of the Board of Deputies”

  1. David Rosenberg on the Undemocratic Nature of the Board of Deputies — Beastrabban’s Weblog | sdbast Says:

    […] via David Rosenberg on the Undemocratic Nature of the Board of Deputies — Beastrabban’s Weblog […]

  2. You thought those Jewish groups attacking Corbyn were representing people? Think again! | Vox Political Says:

    […] Source: David Rosenberg on the Undemocratic Nature of the Board of Deputies | Beastrabban’s Weblog […]

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