Late spring is not necessarily the nicest time to be Jewish. Having finished trying to gain sustenance from unleavened plyboard, a period of mourning ensues, where we don’t cut our hair (who said that dreadlocks weren’t appropriate for a Jewish girl) or get married. So what better way to lift the spirits than a vote of confidence from the potential prime minister, ‘Davka’ David Cameron. His values are apparently those of the Jews. Excellent. It is always delightful to have your belief system shared by Thatcher’s love child. Before we swallow his saccharine pandering like Palwins, it would be interesting to try and work out what he really means. Is he comparing himself to Ruth of ‘thy people shall be my people’ fame. Probably not because I can’t imagine him fixing a mezuzah to his Notting Hill pad, let alone leaving the 4×4 off on Shabbat.
Where then does this mysterious statement arise from? Every Jew does, after all share the same values and it is easy to put Karl Marx, ‘Two Guns’ Cohen, and Rachel from S Club 7 under one ideological banner. Maybe he is aligning himself with the Charedim. He and Samantha can have 17 kids and live in Stamford Hill. He could probably even pull off a black hat, although he may bear too close a resemblance to the chubby crook from the Third Man. Perhaps he is deciding to pledge allegiance to the admirable Jewish theorists such as Levinas and Buber. Deciding to reconcile free market capitalism with respect for the Other could be tricky, but I’m sure that won’t be a problem. He has decided to idolise a group who seem to think that persecution can be solved by clever book-keeping. It could be Biblical Jewish values, such as stoning rape victims who did not cry for help (Deutronomy 22:25), the destruction of anyone who worships other gods (Exodus 22:20) or the genocide depicted throughout the Torah. Hold a multi-faith conference on that, Davey boy. It must be time then, to come to the depressing conclusion that what ‘Drek Dave’ was referring to was the capitalist, assimilationist spirit of the Jewish establishment. Willing to use a fiscal ruling in the Talmud (“the law of the land is the law”: Nedarim 28a) to justify financial success as a merit, the JC now lauds money, instead of education and prestige in its Power List. Cameron was making a direct comparison between the Jews who make money, pay taxes and don’t cause much trouble (except to the traffic controllers in Radlett) and those pesky Muslims who refuse to assimilate and live in their big ghettos in Oldham. Is it not depressing that the image of these unthinking mercenary clones with their four-by-fours and monthly direct debits to the JNF is David’s mental image of our community. However, it is not too late to change that view and prove that just because you like a bit of cream cheese on your bagel, you aren’t a passive conservative. Everyone must have a few stale packets of matzah left in the back of the cupboard. By this time of year, it has probably hardened to the consistency of cement. Go and throw one of those packets through Cameron’s window. It’ll teach him not to think that all Jews are the same. He’s always claimed to be a fan of recycling – find out if it’s true.