Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Why we need Jewish flavoured BDS Ice Cream

My latest blog post: WHY WE NEED JEWISH FLAVOURED BDS ICE CREAM (including free recipe for how to make it!)

Read it here


"The good news for the rising generation is that once you scrape off the veneer of 21st century Zionism, it’s not that difficult to reframe Judaism and Jewish identity as pro-BDS. After all, Judaism talks unswervingly, incessantly, and unendingly about justice. Our obligations towards the ‘stranger’ the ‘widow’ the ‘orphan’, those most vulnerable, marginalised and powerless within society, have been placed front and centre of Jewish concern for millennia. It’s all there, it stares us in the face, it calls out to us, it makes demands of us. Or at least it used to. And it can do again."

Sunday, 16 May 2021

A Jew in Solidarity with Palestine


On Friday 14 May I was invited to speak at a solidarity rally for Palestine organised by Lancaster Friends of Palestine in the North West of England. Around 250 gathered to hear inspiring speeches from Muslim and Palestinian students at the university and their allies. 

Follow this link to read the short speech I gave 'A Jew in Solidarity with Palestine' 

Here's the opening:

I stand with you tonight as a Jewish Student at Lancaster University who is in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

I stand here tonight because what’s happening to the Palestinian people is a crime.

And I stand here tonight to honour the resistance, courage and steadfastness of the Palestinian people.

Despite what you may think, I am not a lone Jewish voice.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Just as we need it most, the UK cracks down on BDS

 My latest available at Patheos

You may have missed it, as it was buried in the detail, but in the Queen's Speech this week, Boris Johnson's government set out its plans to ban BDS campaigns by any public funded body. After what we are seeing this week across Israel/Palestine, the need for a global, peaceful campaign for justice and equality could not be more obvious. As well as reflecting on how we've reached this point in the UK, I make the Jewish case for supporting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions in support of equality and human rights for the Palestinian people.
Here's an extract:

"The upshot is that when it comes to Israel/Palestine it’s become a zero sum game. It’s impossible to show concern about antisemitism and the security of Jewish communities while also advocating for Palestinian liberation in the way Palestinians have expressly asked the world to show its solidarity. This frustrating and self-defeating dynamic creates a Jewish road block on the path to Palestinian equality while at the same time impoverishing Jewish identity. According to the rhetoric in play, to be Palestinian, or in Palestinian solidarity, is to be antisemitic. While to be Jewish, or in Jewish solidarity, is to uphold or deny institutional, state sponsored discrimination. Thanks but no thanks. This is not the Palestinian people, nor the Jewish people. Please can we get that straight as a matter of urgency."

Read the full blogpost here

Saturday, 6 March 2021

We need to decolonise our understanding of antisemitism

 My latest post at Patheos

Here are some extracts:

If the IHRA illustrations are now considered so central to defining antisemitism, then by implication they must also define what it is to be Jewish.

By that reckoning, to be Jewish is to deny the possibility that Zionism has played out in racist ways, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And to be Jewish is to believe that the State of Israel is a democratic nation like any other, despite Israel’s own constitutional laws defining it as the nation state of the Jewish people rather than the state of all its citizens. And that’s before we get to the not insignificant fact of an occupation of Palestinian land which has lasted for most of the State’s entire history.

So to be Jewish, according to the IHRA, is to deny the truth, ignore reality, and defend the indefensible. Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t need or want this colonised version of Jewish identity to define me or what it is to be Jewish. And nor should anyone else.

There’s no point in a definition of antisemitism which embeds within it another form of racism. So we urgently need to de-politicise and decolonise our formulation of anti-Jewish racism. To achieve that we need to decolonise mainstream modern Jewish identity too.

So, if you want a constructive and unifying debate about antisemitism; if you want to decolonise Jewish identity; and if you want to chart a route to a reconciled Israel/Palestine, then for the love of God, ditch the IHRA.

Read the full post at Patheos 

Monday, 25 January 2021

B’Tselem, apartheid, and correcting the ethical grammar on Israel/Palestine

My latest blog is published at Patheos

Here's an extract: 

The use of the word ‘apartheid’ will challenge Jewish intuitional thinking around the world (whether those institutions publically acknowledged it or not) and cause dilemmas across the entire spectrum of Zionist support (Jewish and non-Jewish) from hawks to liberals to progressives.

It also has the potential to shift global media reporting on Israel; undermine the adoption of the contentious IHRA definition of antisemitism; and give the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) a welcome boost of legitimacy.

Read the full post here.