Our Jewish duty

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT -

It could hardly be a more dis­so­nant con­junc­tion. Ear­lier this week, the artist Anish Kapoor used the award of the Ge­n­e­sis Prize to “speak out against in­dif­fer­ence for the suf­fer­ing of oth­ers”, as he put it. He went on to ar­gue that “as in­her­i­tors and car­ri­ers of Jewish val­ues it is un­seemly … for us to ig­nore the plight of peo­ple who are per­se­cuted, who have lost ev­ery­thing and had to flee as refugees in mor­tal dan­ger.” The rel­e­vance of his mes­sage was rammed home days later, when the Home Of­fice an­nounced the clo­sure of the so-called ‘Dubs Scheme’ for bring­ing lone child refugees to the UK. Af­ter one last group of 150, the scheme will end. Eight decades ago, we opened our doors to some 10,000 child refugees from Nazi per­se­cu­tion through the Kin­der­trans­port. Even if the moral as­pect is ig­nored, they have re­paid the UK’s hospi­tal­ity many times over with their con­tri­bu­tion to so­ci­ety. We are now ex­po­nen­tially more wealthy than our grand­par­ents. The idea that we can­not af­ford to take in any more chil­dren is not merely ris­i­ble — it is shame­ful. Anish Kapoor is right. We have a duty to speak out.

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