Use your vote

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

The Jewish Chron­i­cle does not pre­sume to tell its read­ers how to vote. We cer­tainly do not wish to en­cour­age the sug­ges­tion that there is in­deed such a thing as a “Jewish vote”. But what is im­por­tant on May 1, not sim­ply for the in­ter­ests of this com­mu­nity but for wider so­cial har­mony, is that ev­ery reader reg­is­tered to vote does so in­tel­li­gently, as ap­a­thy and disen­gage­ment will only boost the BNP’s chances of boost­ing its po­lit­i­cal power base. Even Cabi­net min­is­ters have been pri­vately ex­press­ing con­cerns lately that the BNP could by de­fault be al­lowed to snatch one, even two, places on the 25-seat Lon­don As­sem­bly, some­thing that must not be al­lowed to hap­pen. As to the vi­tal of­fice of Mayor of Lon­don, read­ers will, we hope, vote on those is­sues that mat­ter most to them, guided in part by the in­ter­viewswith­thethree­main­can­di­dat­esthathave­been­pub­lished on th­ese pages this month. To­day the in­cum­bent, Ken Liv­ing­stone, por­trays him­self as some­thing of a vic­tim in his re­la­tion­ship with Bri­tish Jewry — de­claim­ing that “no one picked up the phone from theJewish­com­mu­nity”todis­cuss­con­cer­nover­his­poi­sonous­friend Sheikh Al-Qaradawi; that in­stead com­mu­nal lead­ers con­spired in a “cam­paign” in­tended to “smash and de­stroy”; that he faced an­other or­ches­trated cam­paign af­ter he sim­ply gave a Jewish jour­nal­ist his “stan­dard line” that he was act­ing like a con­cen­tra­tion-camp guard; that the Board of Deputies has re­peat­edly snubbed his at­tempts at mak­ing peace; that his de­mand that the Reuben brothers, Jewish prop­erty de­vel­op­ers, should “go back to Iran and try their luck with the Ay­a­tol­lahs” was un­fairly used against him when of course he did not know they were Jewish (de­spite un­favourably com­par­ing them with Ger­ald Ron­son and Irvin Stel­lar); and so on. As po­lit­i­cal pos­tur­ing, such a de­fen­sive “poor mis­un­der­stood me” stance by the Mayor is cal­cu­lated but un­con­vinc­ing, and we hope that it will not cloud vot­ers’ re­call, when in the vot­ing booths, of his long track record in need­lessly alien­at­ing Jewish Lon­don­ers. To re­call just a few ex­am­ples: his for­eign-pol­icy pro­nounce­ments that Bri­tain’s will­ingess to sell arms to Is­rael was ev­i­dence of “ap­palling dou­ble stan­dards” as it was “led by a war crim­i­nal”; his re­sponse to a critic of his Al-Qaradawi wel­come that “if you wish to say that I should not share a plat­form with any­one who seeks to jus­tify sui­cide bomb­ings by Pales­tini­ans, but that I should be in­dif­fer­ent to Is­rael blow­ing the bod­ies of women and chil­dren apart with mod­ern mis­siles... while il­le­gally oc­cu­py­ing their land and de­stroy­ing their houses — I can tell youthatIre­gard­such­dou­ble­standard­sto­bepure­moral­hypocrisy”; and his re­peated if un­sub­stan­ti­ated as­ser­tion that Lord Jakobovits, the for­mer Chief Rabbi, would have pre­ferred that Is­rael had not been cre­ated. We think it only fair to point out such out­bursts — even if the Mayor’s in­stinc­tive re­sponse will doubt­less be to see this news­pa­per con­spir­ing with the Board and their Zion­ist al­lies to dam­age his chances.

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