After the recent hostilities, and associated killing and hardship in Gaza, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Muslim Council of Britain came together and issued a joint statement headed “BRITISH JEWS AND MUSLIMS CALL FOR PEACE, WISDOM AND HOPE OVER CONFLICT IN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE”. It ended “May the God of Abraham grant our World more peace, wisdom and hope”.
Not even a teensy bit fair and balanced
Thus Jews and Muslims acknowledged that their religions are rooted in the Abrahamic tradition, as is Christianity. They also sought to show reconciliation between their individual faiths. But, for one observer, this was too much, provoking the reaction “It is hard to exaggerate the stupidity of the UK Jewish Board of Deputies in what it has just done”.
Who can possibly object to those seeking reconciliation? But you know the answer to that: in with both feet had come Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips. “It has signed a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain condemning antisemitism and Islamophobia and urging that the Middle East conflict should not prevent good community relations in Britain”. That’s “stupid”?
“Apart from the false equivalence between antisemitism and Islamophobia, which equates a metaphysical global derangement – the cause of centuries of pogroms and genocide against the Jews – with a spurious thought-crime invented to silence legitimate criticism of Islam, these were unexceptionable pieties”. Yes Mel, the EDL is just a vehicle for legitimate criticism. Pull the other one. But do go on.
“However, the statement also contains this passage: ‘The death of every civilian is a tragedy, and every effort should be taken to minimise such losses. The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions’ ... The Board of Deputies may have assumed the second sentence above could only refer to Hamas, since the IDF does not target civilians”. Of course not, Mel.
“But there is no way the MCB would ever suggest that Israel behaves honourably while Hamas does not [why?] ... the MCB would ... claim that the Board had agreed with it that both Israel and Hamas had targeted civilians ... The Board has thus now enabled the MCB to claim that the UK's Jewish community leadership has condemned Israel for targeting civilians”.
The joint statement could, of course, have had no sinister purpose on either side, but this more straightforward interpretation has somehow evaded Mel, who wibbles “The Board of Deputies is not fit for purpose. It has shown that it does not have a clue about the true nature of the threat posed to Jews and to Britain by Islamic extremism”. Which means they aren’t paranoid, like she isn’t.
Fortunately, the Board of Deputies is not intolerant and hateful. Hint there, Mel.