The latest communal squabble appears familiar. Anti-Semitism charity CAA said last week that almost one-in-three British Jews are thinking of leaving the UK over anti-Semitism fears.
Jewish Leadership Council chief Simon Johnson published a video saying – in essence – “calm down, dear.” When that provoked anger, the JLC promptly took it down, but “stood by” the comments.
Cue the CAA and other grassroots groups calling for Johnson to say sorry or go.
We’ve been here before. Activists have previously been told off by mainstream organisations and those activists have always reacted badly. Long have leaders warned of “crying wolf” lest the wolf actually turn up, but long too have those on the frontline felt that the high and mighty look down on them.
This isn’t about Simon Johnson, who’s been an eloquent spokesman during his time at the helm of the JLC.
It is about whether British Jews are planning to pack their bags.
A few may be, but the overwhelming majority are not. The number making aliyah actually fell in 2016 compared to 2015, and has remained steady – in the mid hundreds – for many years.
Besides, the CAA report says those most likely to leave are the Orthodox, but the Orthodox, in a statement from the Jewish Community Council, this week said the CAA figures were “far-fetched” and “do not represent the views of the community in Stamford Hill”.
Those who fight anti-Semitism should be applauded and those who offer wise words of warning should be heeded.