More than 650 Jews have signed a petition saying the joint editorial printed in last week’s editions of three Jewish newspapers does not speak for them.
The declaration, originating from Independent Jewish Voices (IVJ), was posted in response to the joint headline ‘United We Stand,’ printed by Jewish News, Jewish Chronicle and Jewish Telegraph, together with the paper’s comment.
In it, the three rival titles expressed communal anger over Labour’s anti-Semitism row and the party’s refusal to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism plus its working examples.
Signatories to the petition, including well-known names such as children’s author Michael Rosen and comedian Alexei Sayle, said there was less unity than suggested.
“The heading suggests that these papers speak for the whole community,” they wrote. “We, the undersigned members of the UK Jewish community, take strong exception to the statement and disassociate ourselves from it.”
They took issue with the paper’s demand that Labour “implement IHRA in full or be seen by all decent people as an institutionally racist and anti-Semitic party” and the prediction of “the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government”.
The petitioners said these statements “go beyond the boundaries of acceptable political discourse” and “help to create a climate of fear among many in the Jewish community”.
They added that “by conflating real anti-Semitism with what they call political anti-Semitism targeting Israel, they jeopardise prospects for a just and peaceful solution in the Middle East”.
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