The UK’s most high-profile pro-Israel group, spearheading the marketing campaign to conflate anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel, has been pressured to cancel an event with London Central Mosque following a letter of protest highlighting its anti-Palestinian views.
British Muslims expressed shock over the event organised by pro-Israel Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD), highlighting the plight of Uyghur Muslims in China, which was scheduled to happen at Regent’s Park Mosque later this month. But the Board, a proudly Zionist organisation, tweeted final week that the assembly would now happen on the identical date on the House of Commons. There was no point out of London Central Mosque within the tweet or an evidence for why the venue had been modified.
The Board’s historical past of backing Israel even throughout its bloodiest bloodbath of Palestinians led many to query its motives. During the Great March of Return protests the BoD was condemned by distinguished British Jews for what seemed to be an endorsement of Israeli aggression in direction of peaceable protestors. Over 250 Palestinians have been killed and an additional 20,000 have been injured.
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The BoD issued a press release alleging that Israel was defending itself from “mass invasion” and every week later opposed the World Health Organisation fact-finding mission into the psychological well being wants of the occupied territories, which have been stretched to breaking level by latest violence.
Their comment, which appeared accountable the victims for loss of life, destruction and harm suffered by the hands of Israel, was met with robust condemnation.
“We are appalled that the Board of Deputies (BoD) which claims to be ‘the voice of British Jews,’ has once again attempted to justify the massacre of unarmed Palestinian people by the Israeli military,” a press release by members of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK stated.
“This is not the first time the BoD has condoned murder, claiming to speak on behalf of Jewish people in the UK. The BoD publicly supported pro-Israel rallies during the bombing of Gaza in 2008/9 and 2014 that killed thousands of Palestinian women, children and men. It has consistently supported a regime that is widely considered guilty of war crimes and the racist crime of apartheid,” the letter argued.
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BoD’s inconsistency over human rights and its selective outrage leads many to query its motives. These issues have been raised in a letter of grievance to the Central Mosque over its choice to associate with such an anti-Palestinian organisation.
The letter, which was addressed to mosque Director Ahmad Dubayan, stated: “The Board, and not the British Jewish community, actively support the Israeli government – an Israeli government that is involved in human rights abuses, colonisation, apartheid policies and disregard for UN Resolutions.”
Highlighting BoD’s help for Israel’s annexation, the letter cited the Board’s December 2018 tweet backing US President Donald Trump’s choice to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The UN has denounced the transfer in a vote over the standing of Jerusalem with 128 states backing the movement that the choice to recognise the holy metropolis as Israel’s capital was “null and void”.
“Great to see recognition of the simple truth of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital gaining pace,” the Board stated in a tweet, including “time for @foreignoffice to follow suit!” in reference to the British authorities.
The letter additionally highlighted BoD’s try to supress pro-Palestinian activism. “The Board’s activities have included supporting the censuring of events in the United Kingdom that highlight Israeli abuses. Furthermore, the Board has on 19 December 2019, welcomed calls to make unlawful the Palestinian civil rights movement of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions),” stated the letter.
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The suppression of other Jewish voices was cited in difficult BoD’s declare to be working in direction of group cohesion. “It is important to remember that the Board’s views are not representative of all British Jews and in March 2018, more than 500 Jews added their names to a petition telling the Board that they ‘deeply misrepresented’ them over the reaction to Palestinian deaths and their one-sided reaction to the violence in Gaza” the letter added.
BoD’s divisive marketing campaign to suppress Jewish voices vital of Israel has been empowered by Labour’s defeat within the final UK common election. Amongst its ten calls for to Labour management contenders is that dissenting voices from the Jewish group failing to toe the road of BoD’s pro-Israel stance have to be side-lined.
Jewish voices inside Labour have been outraged by the demand. “It represent a wholly unprecedented abrogation of the democratic prerogatives of an independent political party by a lobby group that sees its interests as ineluctably tied to those of a foreign state,” stated Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL).
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“BoD’s underlying agenda” in keeping with JVL is “that only Jews wedded to Zionist ideology will be considered legitimate from now on. Any Jews failing to dance to the BoD’s tune will be placed firmly beyond the pale.”
Questioning BoD’s motives, the letter of grievance highlighted the Board’s status for being selectively outraged over gross human rights violations: “it is the connection of the Board supporting Israel, who are renowned for human rights abuses against the Palestinians, and them being part of your event to overcome human rights abuses against the Uyghurs, that is difficult to reconcile. In order to seek freedom and justice for the Uyghur, no event/organisation/individual should partner with any organisation that is seen as publicly expressing and supporting human rights abuses in other parts of the world.”
The letter concluded with an enchantment to Regent’s Park Mosque requesting it to rethink its choice to host this event with the Board till such time that the Board distances itself from the Israeli occupation of Palestine and its apartheid insurance policies.”
The views expressed on this article belong to the writer and don’t essentially mirror the editorial coverage of Middle East Monitor.