Analysis

Youth section condemns ‘inflammatory’ Board of Deputies

‘You do not represent us and cannot claim to be speaking on our behalf’ – BoD comments to Conservative Friends of Israel rejected and condemned by its own youth

The Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) was at the forefront of the campaign to convince voters that then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn fostered antisemitism in the Labour party.

Both the recent Al Jazeera ‘Labour Files’ documentary series and the Forde Report that Keir Starmer himself (reluctantly) commissioned concluded that the antisemitism smears against Jeremy Corbyn were weaponised by his political opponents for factional and party political purposes.

The claims against Corbyn, in large part, were built on the notion that the avowedly pro-Israel BoD’s views on that nation were representative of ‘the’ Jewish community and that it spoke on the community’s behalf, as were demands for Corbyn’s Labour to adopt the ‘IHRA working definition’ of antisemitism, which has been criticised even by its own author as a tool for chilling free speech on the actions of Israel.

But now a part of the BoD’s own community – its youth section – has spoken out in disgust and told its ‘inflammatory’ seniors that they emphatically do not speak for it on a central issue: the location of the UK embassy in Israel.

The BoD has told the Conservative Friends of Israel group that it wants the government to move the UK’s embassy to Jerusalem – a hugely controversial move that would violate international law and outrage Muslims. And the BoD youth have told the organisation’s president that she does not represent them or speak for them on this matter:

This is not the first time the youth have spoken out. In 2020, they called on the BoD to condemn Israeli government plans to annex the Palestinian West Bank.

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