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The JC's "politics of exclusion"

The JC's "politics of exclusion"

Categories: Latest News

Friday January 06 2012

The anger expressed by sections of the Jewish community at the Jewish Chronicle’s destructive attitude towards Muslim-Jewish relations continues in the pages of the JC this week with a comment piece by Keith Kahn-Harris.

Kahn-Harris was among the speakers at a recent event organized by members of synagogues who have worked with London Citizens entitled “Is the JC waging jihad on the Jews who engage?”

Kahn-Harris follows up his presentation at the event with an article this week in which he argues:

“The London Citizen’s controversy is revealing of the chasm between two kinds of politics. New North London Synagogue and other Jews involved in London Citizens are exponents of a ‘politics of engagement’ that prizes dialogue, cooperation and community above all. The JC under Stephen Pollard and Martin Bright is an exponent of a ‘politics of exclusion’ that prioritises principle and ideology and seeks to marginalise anyone that crosses certain ‘red lines’.

“Bright’s limited understanding of the community has been encouraged by the turn that the JC has made under Stephen Pollard’s editorship. The front pages are dominated by Israel, antisemitism and Islamism – important issues but not the only ones that impinge on British Jews. With some honourable exceptions (such as the recent expose of inhumane child burial practices and the current series on Anglo-Jewry in 2012) news of other Jewish communal issues is all too often relegated to short features and the community pages. I am not convinced that Stephen Pollard is that interested in much of what goes on in the Jewish community. I have yet to see him tweet about bread and butter community issues, rather than national politics. His presence at Limmud and other communal events is sporadic.

“In short, the JC’s current politics of exclusion appears to be based on a lack of concern for Jewish community. A narrow range of ideological issues and a desire for controversy have been foregrounded with little or no regard as to what the consequences will be.”

It is encouraging to see that there are members of the Jewish community willing to take the JC to task for its ‘politics of exclusion’ and the serious consequences for Muslim-Jewish relations that follows from the paper’s myopic and estranging editorial policy.

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