Causes out­rage

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

said Rabbi Lester’s com­ments were “so out­ra­geous, I didn’t even think they came from a real per­son. It doesn’t take much imag­i­na­tion to think how Jews would feel if the same was said about Ju­daism. Such coars­en­ing of pub­lic dis­course threat­ens the very so­cial co­he­sion on which we all de­pend. We need to take a step back and make sure we are able to dis­cuss is­sues in an un­emo­tional man­ner, free from big­otry.”

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klaus­ner, Re­form Ju­daism’s se­nior rabbi said: “As a Bri­tish rabbi, I re­ject the let­ter and the state­ment that Is­lam has no place in Europe. I strongly be­lieve in our shared des­tiny as Jews and Mus­lims.We have to re­main vig­i­lant. These at­ti­tudes about Is­lam and Mus­lims will af­fect Jews and the same with what is said about Jews will af­fect Mus­lims.”

Rabbi David Ma­son, of Muswell Hill Sy­n­a­gogue, also con­demned the com­ments. “As a rabbi, as well as build­ing a strong sense of Jewish iden­tity, it is also im­por­tant to make sure you pro­tect the iden­tity of oth­ers.”

Other fig­ures in the Jewish com­mu­nity con­tin­ued to con­demn Boris John­son’s ini­tial com­ments. Jonathan Gold­stein, Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil chair­man called Mr John­son’s re­marks “to­tally dis­grace­ful”. Adrian Co­hen, chair­man of the Lon­don Jewish Fo­rum, said Mr John­son’s com­ments “should be of grave con­cern” to the Jewish com­mu­nity.

Ge­of­frey Har­ris, chair­man of the South Lon­don Sy­n­a­gogue, said: “South Lon­don Sy­n­a­gogue is sit­u­ated in Lam­beth, one of the most di­verse bor­oughs in the coun­try. Seven years ago, Rabbi Lester made aliyah; his com­ments on Is­lam do not re­flect the view of the South Lon­don Sy­n­a­gogue to other mi­nor­ity groups in the bor­ough.”

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

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