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Sleepwalking back to the 1930s; UK Jewry’s Crisis of Leadership

This is a guest post by Jacob Lyons

The single greatest lie in Jewish history is “this time it’s different”.

The definition of appeasement is: “to yield or concede to the belligerent demands of (a nation, group, person, etc.) in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles”. If this rings a bell it is because it is the policy being pursued by British Jewry’s leadership and community organisations.

The rise in anti-Semitic attacks speaks for itself. In a community of slightly more than 200,000, the number of 200 anti-Semitic attacks in four weeks means that one in every thousand British Jews has been impacted in the last month alone, and those are only reported cases. Religious leaders, senior members of the British Jewish community and community organisations have universally stayed silent.

Why are the leaders of Britain’s Jewish community and its organisations not speaking out against the government’s (and by extension the police’s) insipid approach to deterring the culture of hate and intimidation that is directed at the community? Is it because those same leaders have received their various decorations and honours and wish to simply avoid “making a fuss”. Making such fuss will of course damage their prospects of adding further photo opportunities with senior government officials to their collections.

Apparently the “situation is being monitored closely behind the scenes”. This is just double-speak for “we are sweeping it under the carpet and hopefully it will be dealt with in time by relying on the government, police etc.”. No other community or minority group would accept a 100% rise in racial attacks within a four week period with such apathy. Incredibly these 200 incidents have not resulted in a single arrest, so what exactly is going on behind the scenes? In Britain today, based on the number of successful prosecutions of the 200 anti-Semitic incidents, one is more likely to be prosecuted for a speeding offence than for an anti-Semitic attack. That speaks volumes about how well the Jewish community is protected.

I give a personal example. I happened to be in the vicinity of last week’s “Gaza demonstration”. I asked two policeman why they were doing nothing to arrest or even apprehend demonstrators carrying Hezbollah flags (specifically illegal under “Inviting support for a proscribed organisation: s.12, Terrorism Act 2000”). I was advised that they did not want to intervene as there were many people marching and few policemen. I wonder if the German police took the same approach in the mid-1930s when the flags were red and had swastikas on and not yellow and had guns on. Much good our investment in police liaison (not to mention our taxes) has brought. There are any number of examples to choose from. Youtube footage will provide a wealth of evidence of demonstrators with placards which are incontrovertibly illegal, targeted at the Jewish community and displayed under the noses of the police. It couldn’t be easier, the police have it sitting there and fully-documented on line. Where are the arrests? Where is our community leadership and our community organisations in insisting on these arrests.

The British Jewish community has contributed countless millions of pounds to Holocaust education, as well as to groups providing community security. This has been spent with the intention of it preventing exactly the situation that is currently faced. Recent events have clearly proven that this investment has been largely futile. The groups that have been funded by the community to defend the community (itself a bizarre situation in a supposed “liberal democracy” with rule of law) are on the back foot and playing defence. The community’s leaders should be on the front foot, noisily and vocally fighting for the right to live undisturbed, as any other community does in Britain. They should be in the face of government, the police and every other civic body. They should be explicitly calling in every last penny of political, charitable, and educational capital that the community has made and continues to make to Britain.

Through centuries of persecution not once did wider society stand up to the oppression of its Jewish communities. The British Jewish community manages to find its way to Downing Street whenever one or other special interest is at stake. It is now however incumbent on those in the community who consider themselves leaders, or are considered as leaders, including those who so proudly hold peerages, knighthoods and other honours, to stop hiding, stop appeasing, stop thinking (or hoping) that it will all blow over, and step up.

To this community’s leadership and organisations it is your duty to act, you know who you are, and your silence is currently deafening. What will you tell your children and grandchildren when they ask you what you did as you lived through these times? That you kept your head down and didn’t make a fuss?