Brad­ford shul call for Pe­sach vig­i­lance

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JONATHAN KALMUS

A BRAD­FORD SYN­A­GOGUE has re­quested ex­tra po­lice vig­i­lance over Passover fol­low­ing Ge­orge Gal­loway’s by-elec­tion vic­tory on an anti- war and anti-is­rael plat­form in the city.

Lead­ers of Brad­ford Re­form Syn­a­gogue said it en­joyed good re­la­tions with its neigh­bour­ing Mus­lim com­mu­nity, but voiced con­cern over pos­si­ble fringe re­ac­tion to Mr Gal­loway’s po­lit­i­cal cam­paign, in which he said Mus­lims would face Judg­ment Day for not vot­ing for him.

He also re­jected other par­ties “which sup­ported Is­rael killing un­count­able num­bers of Pales­tini­ans.”

Mr Gal­loway’s con­stituency home is a short walk from the city’s his­toric Re­form syn­a­gogue. The listed syn­a­gogue build­ing has seen at­tacks and daub­ings, pri­mar­ily dur­ing height­ened ten­sions in Is­rael.

Men parad­ing Pales­tinian flags have in the past dis­turbed at least two Jewish funer­als.

“If there is rab­ble-rous­ing we will have to con­front it,” said the syn­a­gogue’s chair­man Rudi Leavor, a Brad­ford West con­stituent.

His re­ac­tion was “dis­ap­point­ment that Brad­ford has elected Mr Gal­loway. I don’t think he will be a good MP, be­cause his story tells me he has not done an aw­ful lot when he was one be­fore.”

Jews in the city cen­tre and the Heaton area are now among con­stituents rep­re­sented by the hard-line Re­spect MP. But more of the city’s es­ti­mated 350 Jews are likely to gain Mr Gal­loway as their MP, af­ter pro­posed boundary changes next year which will in­clude the Ship­ley area.

Ship­ley res­i­dent Al­bert Wax­man said the Jewish com­mu­nity had not had time to con­sider the con­se­quences of Mr Gal­loway’s elec­tion. “The peo­ple I have talked to are as as­tounded as any­one that he be­came MP”, said Mr Wax­man.

Ken Fabian, who rep­re­sents the Jewish com­mu­nity on four Brad­ford in­ter­faith groups, said more cam­paign­ing was ex­pected as Re­spect at­tempted to stand in ev­ery Brad­ford ward in the May lo­cal elec­tions.

“Get­ting elected on the Asian ticket could raise ten­sions for the Jewish com­mu­nity. But we have good re­la­tions with the Asian com­mu­nity who helped clean up the Re­form syn­a­gogue af­ter an at­tack a cou­ple of years ago,”” he said.


A vic­to­ri­ous Ge­orge Gal­loway MP, right, rides through Brad­ford af­ter his land­slide win in Brad­ford West

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