Don’t you get fed up with anti-semites going on about the “Jewish vote”? Why should it be assumed that just because we are Jews that we all share the same political views or regard the same political matters as important? Many Jews I know vote out of fundamental values and convictions but they are as different from each other as could be imagined. Some Jews believe that what politicians say about the Middle East is important, some of them will be looking for very pro-Israel statements, others will be looking for politicians who will support peace for Palestinians and Israelis and get very put off by candidates who try to shmooze their Jewish constituents by being ultra-Zionist. Many Jews I know don’t give a monkeys what politicians are saying about a conflict thousands of miles away but will look at what they say about the BNP here, about cuts to public spending, about health care and education – and so on.
But what would you think if your synagogue – that, I shouldn’t need to remind you, people do not join for political reasons, phones you a few days before the election, to tell you NOT to a vote for your local Labour candidate?
That is what has happened to the members of South Hampstead United synagogue. I know that because someone close to me was officially called up by this synagogue with this precise instruction.
South Hampstead Synagogue has used its handy membership list to cold call its members and tell them not to vote for Glenda Jackson, the local Labour candidate.
Regardless of the illegality of contravening the Data Protection Act – what an outrage, what an absolute chutzpah, and what a gift to the antisemites who go on about “Jewish lobbies” and “Jewish votes”!
Thank you very much for the advice, South Hampstead. You crystallised the decision for at least one of your congregation, who was wavering but as a result of your disgraceful intervention decided to support Glenda!
South Hampstead’s Rabbi is Shlomo Levin, their telephone number is 020 7722 1807 and their email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Do get in touch to let them know what you think of this, and ask them what the hell they thought they were doing.