Derek Saker
Co-founder and CEO of

This Should Be Our Finest Hour

Pro-Israel demonstration in London, UK: Taken by Derek Saker

As a Jewish US citizen, very involved in the American Jewish community, the relatively recent move to the UK was initially a very sobering and frustrating affair at times – most acutely when it came to Israel and Jewish advocacy.

This on the one hand unsurprising. Coming from New York, with a thriving, confident and engaged Jewish community of 1.8 million Jewish Americans alone, (7.5 million total) to a country of just 270k Jews.

But this was not just numbers.

The vast difference, also epitomized in the seismic cultural differences – both uniquely English and acutely Jewish and English. An approach far less proactive, of working far more behind the scenes, not least as a community of a minority within a minority.

And then there was also BBC News in our own backyard. A UK media empire but with a damaging global impact, arguably endangering Israel and Jewish life in the UK and Jews worldwide. Blatantly biased, reporting constantly devoid of context,  embraced by moral relativism and a UK institution seemingly devoid in employee representation of any proudly Jewish UK journalists, reporters and BBC News presenters.

And then, I felt there was one other major difference.

There was not a Jewish organization that boldly and assertively represented Jewish and Israeli interests in a fiercely public, proactive and when necessary, robustly reactive way.

As such, one could look at the realpolitik of the UK Jewish community and feel rather despondent. Deducing that it is so minute and insignificant, vastly outnumbered by other minority communities that have typically not favorably looked upon Israel and Jews at times, nestled in a country with a national broadcaster arguably fueling antisemitism on our very own streets.

And so too, that the general non-Jewish community, while certainly not significantly anti-Israel or antisemitic, was at the same time, neither seemingly identifying with some of the real concerns of our Jewish lives as fellow British citizens.

But as I have learned and experienced – in many ways nothing could be further from the truth.

What do the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks z”ll, Eylon Levy, Douglas Murray, Natasha Hausdorff , Colonel Richard Kemp,  and the “Shefford Story” all have in common?

Firstly they are all non-American.

More importantly, they represent English people, Jewish and not, that have and continue to demonstrate the disproportionate courage, influence and fortitude of English citizens with moral rectitude on the public stage of history.

Eylon Levy, a London boy, and Oxford graduate, has over the last months, been by far the most powerful and robust spokesperson for Israel and the Jewish people worldwide. Whether appearing on UK, American or hundreds of other global networks, he has singularly been the most articulate in conveying, simply speaking, the narrative of truth, that is so hard to convey in not just the fog of war, but in a fog deliberately created by the media itself.

And then there is Douglas Murray.

British. A hero to Israel and Jews worldwide. A world in his own right. Firing daily salvos of facts and context, confronting ignorance, countering lies, gross distortions and unashamedly calling a spade a spade – even when many western governments still fail to never mind confront, but speak about the obese elephant in the room.

And then there is Natasha Hausdorff, a British barrister in London and a Director of UK Lawyers for Israel.

The legal powerhouse like no other, who counters with facts and astute layman’s clarity, the myriad of profound misconceptions and worse of the Israeli conflict through the prism of international law.

And then there is Colonel Richard Justin Kemp, a might of Israeli military advocacy.

Colonel Kemp is a retired British Army officer who served 1977-2006 and where among his many assignments, was a commander of forces in Afghanistan.

He has been an outspoken advocator in Israel’s military defense. His reading and analysis of Middle-East developments are highly respected and counter both the extreme and consistent lack of context at best, and the highly distorted and acutely twisted narrative at worst.

And then there is the largely unknown “Shefford Story” from World War 2, which has lessons from the past ever more pertinent to today.

The singular historical experience of the only village, the only allied country – which in 1939 took in hundreds of Jewish Orthodox observant children refugees from Germany and Austria. A community of Christian English subjects, that warmly embraced a community so seemingly different to themselves – but where over 6 years, both communities became intertwined as one. A community that loved and care for each child as their own. Traumatized children, who found love and foster parents who provided the foundation of strength for their lives of the future.

And then, there is towering about all, the late Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, z”l. Rabbi Sacks may have tragically passed on, but his moral compass, his living legacy, his unparalleled defense of Israel, his heart of wisdom, his words of comfort – are alive and well. They provide us with such critical guidance and chizuk today, and direction and conviction for the future.

And then there is the newfound National Jewish Assembly, (NJA) a fearsome national UK Jewish organization that I am privileged to be on the Advisory Board. An organization, British made, with British values and a Jewish soul.

An activist organization that has become the vehicle for forceful and articulate Jewish national representation, and the robust defense of Israel. An organization run by passionate and dedicated professionals who put their money with their mouths are.

And then there is the Jewish UK community.

Our world locally and internationally has dramatically changed. And I believe the UK Jewish community is dramatically answering to this call. Yes, we are a minority within a minority community within the UK. Yes, we are relatively insignificant in numbers, compared to our Jewish brothers and sisters in the United States.

But on the world stage, it is British subjects who disproportionately are the leading ‘soldiers’ in defending Israel and the Jewish people worldwide.

We have expertise second-to none, a singular moral voice and a growing public spine that enables us to tower above the banter of the ignorant, misinformed, and useful idiots.

And, last but certainly not least, let us not forget, we have alongside, our fellow British compatriots, who by far the vast majority, recognize and appreciate the values and rich contribution Jews have and continue to make to the UK and that Israel, and our fellow Jews worldwide, make to all peace-loving, free-loving nations.

Today, we are living through seminal Jewish times.

They are extremely dangerous and alarming times. But they can and should also be understood as a time of our generations greatest calling.

Of action.

We should take wisdom, confidence and pride from the trailblazers of today and yesterday and translate that into bold and confident action in what can be and should be our finest hour.

About the Author's Derek Saker, is an internationalist having lived and worked in South Africa, England, the U.S. and Israel. Most importantly he speaks fluent Afrikaans. He moved from New York to London, England in 2019 for the weather and because his wife is English. He is co-founder and CEO of Frumster/JWed the most successful online Jewish dating for marriage service. Between 2007 and 2019, he was privileged to serve as Director of Communications at Ohel Children's Home and Family Services - the largest Jewish social service agency outside Israel. Derek is an Advisory Board Member of the National Jewish Assembly. (NJA)
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