The more Jews the better

As co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, I was asked to contribute to this recently released British-collection of dissident Jewish voices, A Time to Speak Out.

The latest review of the book appears in The Jewish Quarterly:

Most of IJV’s [Independent Jewish Voices] founding statement consists of generalities in favour of human rights, peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians, and against racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. These are sentiments to which one hopes any mainstream British Jewish leader would subscribe. Similarly, the aspiration for a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians (without mentioning specifics in terms of timetable, territory, refugees, the status of Jerusalem or anything else) is not in itself especially contentious. What really caused the vitriol was IJV’s challenge to the institutions and attitudes within British Jewry in their declaration that ”˜those who claim to speak on behalf of Jews in Britain and other countries consistently put support for the policies of an occupying power [the Israeli government] above the human rights of an occupied people [the Palestinians]’. They also reject accusations of ”˜disloyalty’ made against Jews who oppose Israeli government policies. The bitterness that IJV generated was not really surprising; no issue has the potential to generate bad feeling more quickly among British Jews than the politics of Israel-Palestine. IJV’s platform was as much about this community as anything happening between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan.

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