By Luke Akehurst, We Believe in Israel
The General Election provides the Jewish community and other allies of Israel with a unique opportunity to communicate their concerns to parliamentary candidates at a time when politicians are most concerned about public opinion.
However, with just one week to go until polling day, it is the Palestine Solidarity Campaign whose voice is being heard most loudly by our politicians.
The ticker on the group’s website records that more than 35,000 people have emailed their local candidates with a series of anti-Israel policy demands.
The risk is that instead of realising that public opinion on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is balanced (as recent polling shows), the next intake of MPs just hear noise from Israel’s critics and assume public opinion is aggressively hostile to Israel.
I would urge supporters of Israel to contact candidates in their local constituency so that everyone running for Parliament realises there are voters who are sympathetic to Israel and therefore adopt a balanced approach.
Even if you already know your MP or their challengers’ positions, or you have already decided which party to support, it is still an important opportunity to remind the candidates that people care about Israel.
This is very easy to do. You don’t have to research candidates’ contact details. We Believe in Israel’s easy-to-use web tool means all you need to do is enter your postcode, which will identify your local candidates, then on the next page check you are happy with the email text, enter your own details, and press ‘send’. You can alter the text if you want to.
If you want to write to them exclusively about Israel please use this version: www.webelieveinisrael.org.uk/fairness-israel-charter-finder – which is based on the Fairness for Israel Charter.
If you want to include, as well as Israel, a wider set of issues of concern to the Jewish community (from anti-Semitism to social action, from Israel to education and religious freedom to restitution), please use this version, which is based on the Board of Deputies of British Jews’ Jewish Manifesto for the General Election – Follow this link: www.webelieveinisrael.org.uk/2015-jewish-manifesto-finder
Aside from exercising your democratic power by casting your vote on Thursday, 7 May, this is the most effective and helpful way you can communicate with politicians at a time when, because of the close-fought nature of this General Election, they are really in listening mode.