Bradford shul call for Pesach vigilance
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