The Board of Deputies’ state of intellectual health has slightly improved, thank you for asking. Specifically, the latest Board of Deputies position paper on Brexit is an interesting and well written position paper on Brexit. Good for the Board. This is exactly the type of work-product that an organization like the Board of Deputies should be producing.
The truly marvelous aspect of the Board of Deputies’ Brexit paper is that it does not urge anybody to thunder out and create a Palestinian state. No call to inaugurate yet another Arab state (aka “Palestinian state”, two-state “solution”), just a bike-ride away from the teeming population centers, economic hub and international airport of the only Jewish state in the world.
That is absolutely miraculous, truly room for optimism and – yes, gratitude. Because quite a few recent Board of Deputies position papers, in unwelcome contrast, did, sadly, degenerate into pro-Palestinian-state manifestos.
See for example:
“UK Board of Deputies asks candidates to support PA State” on israelnationalnews.com,
“British Jews to May, Corbyn: Support Palestinian state” on blogs.timesofisrael.com
“Rightist NGO Slams UK Jewry Leader For Two-State Advocacy” – Jerusalem Post
and so forth.
If this Palestinian-state fetish on the part of the Board of Deputies had continued it could have contributed to a very dangerous fiasco in the Middle East. Can you imagine artillery fire downing passenger-laden British Airways aircraft landing in Ben-Gurion airport – having been fired from a Board of Deputies-endorsed terrorist state just a bike-ride away from the runway. This would have been truly terrible.
And it would have been irreversible. Why? Because once a Palestinian state fails and metamorphoses into an ISIS terrorist haven or Islamist dictatorship or simply a complete anarchy – once that happens, there is NO process in international law for unraveling or cancelling or revoking a state. A state, once endorsed by enthusiastic ignoramuses at the Board of Deputies and established by politicians whose minds have been actively set awry by the BOD – that state then, sadly, endures forever, however vicious and hazardous it may be.
The encouraging Board of Deputies-authored Brexit document follows the “Jewish Manifesto for Local Government”, recently produced by the Board of Deputies and similarly slightly improved (emphasis on “slightly”). This document was intended to “ensure that councillors and candidates know how about the issues that matter to their Jewish residents”. As usual this document had a “10 Commitments” section and the improvement was that the Local Government document, thankfully, refrained from elevating Palestinian statehood to the level of the eternal 10 commandments given the world via the Jewish people. Nonetheless, tucked away on page 15 of this Board of Deputies-authored document the same shameful “policy ask” appears: that everyone really must support establishment of a new Palestinian state. A bike-ride away from Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. Can you imagine that a group of intelligent people like the Board of Deputies would be urging this travesty; it simply boggles the mind.
There is still considerable room for improvement in the Board of Deputies’ website as well. It still blares that “seventy eight percent of the Jewish community supports a two-state solution” and openly admits that the Board of Deputies is actively propagating this dangerous notion “to parliamentarians, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, media”….
How foolhardy can or should a community organization be? For example, hardly anyone would contest that seventy eight percent of the Jewish community in the UK – perhaps more – cannot solve a partial differential equation. Fortunately on this issue at least, the Board understands that an instance of relative ignorance on the part of the Jewish community, while fully understandable, is nothing to boast about. Not something to post on the Board of Deputies website. No justification to call on others, such as “parliamentarians, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, media” to refrain from the study of higher mathematics so that everyone else will achieve the same level of relative ignorance that characterizes us.
I daresay, also, that seventy eight percent of the Jewish community in the UK are at least a pound overweight – and some might even be a stone or more overweight. Fortunately on this issue as well, the Board understands that this unfortunate physical weakness plaguing 78% of the Jewish community is nothing one should advocate. Not something to proudly post on the Board of Deputies website. No justification to call on others, whether “parliamentarians, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, media” or anyone else, to overeat so that more people will be as unhealthy as we are.
So, considerable room for improvement insofar as the website of the Board of Deputies is concerned. And worse, the BOD website discloses some very bad and worrying things about what BOD leaders are doing, in your name, behind closed doors. Nonetheless – the fact that the Board of Deputies’ new Brexit document refrained from forcing the Palestinian state notion down the throats of ignorant others should be appreciated. It is a small but recognizable step forward, and un-named persons at BOD definitely deserve thanks and appreciation. Restoration of prudence and reinstating wisdom are not immediate or trivial intellectual processes.