January 11, 2009

Board of Deputies "hurt" by hoax email calling for peace

The BBC reported the Board of Deputies' response to the hoax email calling off their rally for Israel in Trafalgar Square today. It's funny but at the Just Peace UK list it was suggested that the hoax could backfire because knowing the internet, the email would do the rounds for years and have some people believing that the Board of Deputies really did issue this:
Board of Deputies of British Jews Cancels Sunday's Solidarity Rally

The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, in consultation with a coalition of prominent organisations in the Anglo-Jewish community, have decided to cancel the planned Israel Solidarity Rally, due to occur on Sunday 11th of January.

This decision has been taken after intense discussions within the community, due to a feeling that such a demonstration would not be in accordance with the Board's wish to bring the conflict to an immediate conclusion. [the Board does not hold discussions in the community] It was thought that the demonstration might be perceived as the community taking one side in the tragic war in Gaza and Israel, and might be seen as supporting Israel's military campaign.[The Board's position is of uncritical support for Israel]

The Board calls for an immediate ceasefire, immediate negotiations between Israel and Hamas, and for lifting the economic blockade of Gaza, in order to allow the Gazan and Israeli people to live together in peace. There is no military solution, only a political one.[Need I say more?]

The Jewish community does not wish to be seen as a participant in the conflict, and in taking this stand we hope to be a part of the solution. The Board stands in solidarity with the besieged and injured people of Gaza, as well as the victims of terrorism in Israel, and we oppose all violence as contrary to the tenets of the Jewish religion. We would like to reach out to the British Muslim community, as well as those of no religion who have demonstrated against Israel's military campaign-we share your anguish at the destruction and loss of life caused, and hope that our action in calling off our demonstration will be a small step towards peace.
Now see how the BBC has reported this. First up, the headline:
Hoax e-mail angers Jewish leaders
Well I suppose David T does see himself as a Jewish leader so it could well have been him who wrote this:
This is a hoax that has been sent around by a number of trotskites [sic]. We have had it, mulitple [sic] times, from the 'kids laureate' and Hamas supporter, Michael Rosen.
Ah sorry, did you follow the link? The Times has very helpfully removed his panic stricken comment. I looked all over the page just now and the only "Davids" I could find with my word search were "Cohen" (a kind of generic term when you want to post anonymously but "as a Jew"), Aaronovitch( when you can't decide whether you're Jewish or not) and Irving (when your politics bear more than a passing resemblance to zionism but you do not wish to comment "as a Jew"). Try this link, it at least shows that there has been a bit of tampering going on at the Times.

Anyway, the BBC quotes the Board of Deputies thus:
The BoD denounced the "hurtful" hoax, and vowed that the rally will go ahead.

"The damage is done," BoD spokesperson Samantha Cohen told the BBC News website.....

Ms Cohen said: "It's an attempt to silence the Jewish community's support for peace for the people of Israel and Gaza, but I think it will backfire and make people even more determined to turn out when they hear it was a hoax".
No challenge to the idea that a demonstration for Israel at this time constitutes "support for peace" but was it mischief of the BBC to have the spokeswoman say that "the damage is done" and then that the hoax would make their war rally more of a success? Or was it a sign that the BBC will let the Board or other zionists say whatever they want at a time like this without question or challenge?

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