Labour’s assistant mayor of Leicester has sparked anger after demanding that Jewish and Muslim faith leaders in his city sign a declaration to “condemn the killings of the innocent and Palestinian people.”
Kirk Master, the assistant city mayor for neighbourhoods, also demanded that in the city: “Our communities to show their support by displaying the Palestinian flag everywhere.”
He wrote also that he wanted “our Faith Council to produce a statement condemning the Israelis occupation and apartheid.”
But Master claimed: “This is not against our Jewish brothers and sisters whom many stand by our sides. This is against Crimes towards humanity that cannot be ignored.”
Master, a former deputy police and crime commissioner in the East Midlands city, was widely criticised after posting the one-sided statement on social media.
Rupert Matthews, the Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Police & Crime Commissioner, reacted with anger to Master’s statement, and demanded he remove reference to his past role as deputy police and crime commissioner from his Twitter profile.
He wrote on his personal Twitter page: “You are no longer the Deputy PCC for Leicestershire. Please remove this from your Twitter handle. I do not want either my office nor myself to be associated with your views.”
Elsewhere, Chris Williams, a historian, said: “We need to disaggregate politics of support for Palestine from positions by Jewish people in Britain.”
“Thus, they ought not be challenged, individually or jointly, about behaviour of state of Israel.”
Labour MPs aligned to the left-wing Socialist Campaign Group has been amongst the vocal pro-Palestinian voices in Westminster.
But there has also been a noticeable increase in partisan support for the Palestinian cause amongst Conservatives.
Former Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan, wrote on the Conservative Home website: “The last few weeks have starkly illustrated that the UK government has been living a lie for years. Its policy, such as it is, exists in a moral vacuum.”
Chris Doyle from the Council for Arab-British Understanding told the Guardian: “There may be a change in outlook. It was noticeable how many Conservative MPs last week in the Commons criticised Israel security forces’ role at al-Aqsa mosque.”
He added that “this may reflect the Conservatives’ recent success with Muslim voters and the number of Tory MPs representing seats not previously won by the Conservatives”.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.