VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS: Ignore or engage? Dealing with Nazis
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VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS: Ignore or engage? Dealing with Nazis

Voice of the Jewish News
Voice of the Jewish News
Voice of the Jewish News
Voice of the Jewish News

How best to deal with neo-Nazis in Golders Green?

As far as we can see, there are four options.

The first, and by far the most tempting, is to turn up en masse, armed with pitchforks. This option has the advantage of universality, as we all have at least one pitchfork, more likely two, since they brought out that latest carbon fibre foldaway version.

With several manufacturers now making mini-pitchforks for children and Zimmer-mounted versions for the elderly, it has the makings of a good old-fashioned family day out.

Option two is to turn up en masse, armed instead with placards, chants, mobile phone cameras and hashtags. This also has the advantage of universality, since we’re known to pen a mean put-down. But the downside is that no Nazis would be harmed and shouting at them doesn’t quite do justice to their evil idiocy.

The third choice would be not to turn up at all, tempting though that isn’t. Neo-Nazis in Golders Green? What better response to baiters than not to take it? Imagine the photos in the newspapers – idiots chanting to passing traffic, saluting walls, wasting no-one’s time but their own.

A fourth and final option is to turn up and stand in silence, our backs to them. Talk about a collective gesture! Imagine the images. And images speak a thousand words.

What would this newspaper choose?

Pitchforks, in memory of Morris Beckman, the late co-founder of the 43 Group? If that’s not a responsible option, we’d opt for a silent protest instead.

Loudspeakers are all very well, but not here. Nazis in Golders Green? We need to remind people of the millions of Jews the hero of these thugs silenced.

We need something symbolic, something grown-up, something to shame them in front of the world’s press.

Sadly, we’re Jews, and asking Jews to keep quiet is unrealistic at the best of times.

So we suspect the community will go for option two, with an unseemly shouting match and, no doubt, some arrests too.

It will be an opportunity missed.

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