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Jeremy Corbyn and the Jewdas Seder: A Statement by Independent Jewish Voices

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April 3, 2018 by IJV

Independent Jewish Voices was founded to challenge the view that communal bodies such as the Board of Deputies and more recently the unelected Jewish Leadership Council reflect the views of the community as a whole, particularly in respect of the dire situation in Israel/Palestine. Many Jews, including IJV, are highly critical of the ‘mainstream’ organisations that claim to represent us, but our perspective is systematically marginalised by the media and politicians from outside the community who presume to police the boundaries of political acceptability for Jews. Few voice these criticisms as entertainingly and incisively as Jewdas, an irreverent group who are deeply embedded in the community and unflinching in their opposition to antisemitism. We wish to express our support and gratitude for their work and contributions to the community and our steadfast opposition to attempts to slander them. It was entirely appropriate for Jeremy Corbyn to attend their Seder as a local MP. We note that he was equally criticised for taking part in a Chanukah ceremony arranged by Islington Chabad. We totally reject the attempt by community leaders and others to determine who is the “right kind of Jew” and welcome his attempts to engage across the community. We support the Labour Party’s expressed determination to counter antisemitism, call on the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council to respond to Jeremy Corbyn’s invitation to meet him without preconditions and demand that other political parties take the issues of racism equally seriously.

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