The Wokeocracy of the Board of Deputies

What a bizarre June this has been in London. No cricket, weddings, Glyndebourne, Wimbledon, Trooping the Colour or Royal Garden Parties. Premier League football in empty stadia with drinks breaks for the players. The statue of Churchill – the leader who saved Britain from the Nazis – boarded up to protect it from the deranged extremist Marxist mob. And corporates, organisations and individuals falling over themselves to respond to the Woke Inquisition of supporters of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, completely ignoring its streak  of antisemitism.

BLM is a movement, not an organisation. The umbrella organisation for the advancement of blacks is the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL).  M4BL had a specifically anti-Israel platform until as recently as 2017.  It accused Israel of practising systematic discrimination and bought into the ‘apartheid lie’. A BLM leader has suggested that Zionism is a white supremacist movement. See here too.
blm blog 1 june 2020
A few weeks ago, rioting in Los Angeles following the murder of George Floyd saw a number of Jewish shops destroyed, synagogues vandalised with Free Palestine grafitti, and a statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from death at the hands of the Nazis, daubed in antisemitic slogans.  Last week, at a BLM rally in Paris, placards and stickers read such jewels as “Israel, laboratory of police violence”, “Who is the terrorist?”, “Palestine to the Palestinians! Boycott Israel!’’, and “Stop collaboration with Israeli State terrorism.” Protesters wore T-shirts reading “Justice for Palestine” and waved Palestinian flags.

Astonishingly the Premier League joined the rush to kneel before BLM; for the first 12 matches of the resumed season players must wear the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ in place of their names on the backs of their shirts and they can genuflect before the match in a gesture of support for BLM is they wish to – and woe betide anyone who abhors racism but shuns the antisemitism of BLM, choosing (like the British Foreign Secretary) not to kneel. The words ‘Kick It Out’ would have been just as effective and without endorsing antisemitism. Appallingly even clubs with Jewish Chairmen (Spurs and Chelsea) succumbed to the groupthink. Chelsea – the club which has adopted IHRA and which organised a Conference on antisemitism (postponed in the lockdown).

Inevitably the Wokeocracy in the Board of Deputies has joined the kneelers. At Sunday’s meeting (57:50) JNF deputy Gary Mond – after voicing disgust at the murder of George Floyd – said “Of course I’m absolutely sure that all of us agree that black lives matter, as do Asian lives, African lives, Jewish lives and all lives.” He went on to talk about how many of the BLM events have descended into antisemitism. And mentioned the threats against members of the Campaign Against Antisemitism by Kerry-Ann Mendoza, the far Left editor of a hard Left newssheet and BLM supporter.  He mentioned the desecration of the Raoul Wallenberg statue in Los Angeles with antisemitic slogans. Finally Mond said that no Jewish group should have anything to do with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Surely no Deputy would be sufficiently craven to argue with that. But …………The first to take issue with Mond’s assertion that “all lives matter” was Adrian Cohen (1:24:45). He asserted that blacks are more likely to suffer police brutality in the UK. In terms of simple population share he’s right but that’s not the right number to look at. As Gerard Baker pointed out in The Times (4 June) the relevant statistic when considering what happens to people at the hands of the police is not total population but the numbers of people who come into contact with police. Using data for 2017/18, blacks accounted for 9.6% of arrests but 6.4% of deaths in custody (excluding those who died from shootings or traffic accidents). On this (correct) measure, Cohen is wrong. (Gerard Baker observed that the same is true in the US. Blacks account for around 25% of those killed by police in the past three years, a lower percentage than the proportion of murders committed by blacks (39%) or of robberies (54%)).

blm blog 2 june 2020

Cohen then criticised Mond for saying that “all lives matter.” But the analogy he used was truly absurd. He said that if a house is on fire, you concentrate on extinguishing the flames in that house, you don’t point to a house which is not on fire and say “all houses matter”. But of course it’s not just inequalities with respect to blacks that we should care about. In the Middle East alone, there is discrimination against Christians, Kurds and Yazidi;  against the Uyghurs in China and gays in Russia; against any number of minorities in Iran; against Christians murdered in Pakistan; against the many millions of girls subject to female genital mutilation in nations such as Somalia, Egypt and Mali. The houses of many minorities are on fire!

It got worse. Cohen suggested that as Jews we have to be particularly sensitive to the supposed ‘all lives matter’ error because Corbyn always insisted he was fighting ‘antisemitism and other forms of racism’ thus belittling the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party. If the only inequality in the world concerned blacks, the argument would be correct. But it is far from the only inequality in the world!

Cohen’s erroneous comments were then praised by Laura Marks (who initiated the Board’s secret partnership with the anti-Israel charity Oxfam in 2012). Next Yachad Trustee Ella Rose (Bushey United Synagogue) said that ‘all lives matter’ is a ‘very offensive phrase’ and asked for Deputies to have ‘unconscious bias training’.

And on Twitter after the meeting we got Amos Schonfield, the Yachad Deputy, and Ella Rose again:

blm blog 3 june 2020

Schonfield’s comment was particularly misplaced, in view of the fact that he promoted the deplorable Kaddish for Hamas two years ago. Just where do dead IDF soldiers come in his hierarchy of oppression?

I recently wrote about the appalling letter sent by 32 Labour MPs to the Home Secretary Priti Patel.

I commented that they were playing ‘Oppression Olympics’.

Precisely the same applies to those Deputies who criticised Gary Mond on Sunday.

If anyone needs ‘unconscious bias training’ ……………… it’s them!

Addendum 1: Read what Ben Bradley MP has to say about the Premier League’s decision to put ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the players’ shirts ……..

Addendum 2:  Board President saysResponding to this with ‘all lives matter’ is dismissive, it detracts from black people’s concerns, and belittles their call for equality. We don’t stand for it when our complaints about antisemitism are belittled with “all forms of racism are bad”. And we Jews shouldn’t engage in such ‘whataboutery’ when it comes to the racism faced by black people.’  No it doesn’t detract from black people’s concerns. It is possible to care about eg the persecution of the Yazidi by ISIS as well as discrimination against blacks. And it’s not ‘whataboutery’. Antisemitism in Labour was EXCLUSIVE therefore we were right to be upset when Corbyn said he abhorred ‘antisemitism and other forms of racism’.   By contrast, the issues with Blacks ARE NOT EXCLUSIVE, other minorities also have issues.

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