It is disturbing that so many are apparently unable to hear the warning..."/>
It is disturbing that so many are apparently unable to hear the warning..."/>

The standfirst to this article posted in Jewish News says it all: “Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner sounds warning to the community following a torrent of abuse aimed at those who said kaddish for Gaza’s dead.”

It is disturbing that so many are apparently unable to hear the warning…

Laura Janner-Klausner. Photo: Wikipedia

Senior Reform rabbi warns ‘we’re on a path to self-destruction’

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner sounds warning to the community following a torrent of abuse aimed at those who said kaddish for Gaza’s dead

24 May 2018, 11:26 am

Widespread revulsion greeted news that 50 mainly young British Jews had held a public show of mourning in Westminster, despite knowing that 52 of the 64 victims were Hamas terrorists.

Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said: “Something very disturbing is happening in our community that has the potential for self-harm and damage. In fact, it is already doing damage. It is the abuse that people from all sides – left and right – are getting.”

In recent days, messages of abuse aimed at those who attended the Kaddish have included “You’re a traitor, I wish the same fate the other traitors of our nation received on you,” “You are a mentally unstable Jew,” “I wish you would commit suicide” and “You are like a racist”. The names and photos of protesters have also been posted online, some incorrectly, leading those identified to receive hate mail.

“People like this have broken the rules of decency that our community has to keep to,” said Janner-Klausner. “The longer we have this situation in Israel and the more divisive people feel it is, the more careful we have to be.” The leader of Reform Judaism added: “We have spent so long focusing on other people attacking us, we have internalised that and are now turning it on each other.

“I am concerned that when one Jew wishes another dead, we are over the boundaries of decency and we are now into violent, harassing, bullying behaviour that we, as a community, have to come back from, because it’s a path to self-destruction.”

She said young Jews were “disengaging, revolted by what’s happening, they don’t want anything to do with it,” adding: “I see it happening. We are losing Jews from loving Judaism.”


This week’s Jewish News front page

In recent weeks abuse has been directed at others, including the Board of Deputies for issuing what some felt was a one-sided statement on Gaza, and towards Sir Mick Davis, who wrote in Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that he did not think live-fire was the IDF’s only option.

Janner Klausner, whose daughter was incorrectly accused of being at the kaddish for Gaza on Wednesday, said: “People will stop being brave. We need to reel back from loose, cruel behaviour, not just towards the left but across the spectrum. What is happening is so self-destructive I am actually really frightened.”

She called on other Jewish communal and religious leaders to help set the tone for debate and call out those who repeatedly over-step the mark by posting abusive messages and “cause hurt in an unfettered, irresponsible way that does not befit the Jewish community”.

She said: “Judaism teaches that one of the most serious things is to humiliate someone in public, which is as though you have shed blood.

“We need rabbis and Jewish leaders to turn round and say ‘no more, this is not happening in our community.’ If people repeatedly abuse others online and cannot self-censor, we need the community to come together to spell it out to them. It’s OK to disagree, but do not use abusive, disgraceful, disgusting language to do so.”

Those with strong stomachs might take a look at the vindictive comments on this article posted on the Jewish News website


  1. Dave says:

    Anti-semitism is being used a proxy issue between the left and right in Labour, but this hardly matters as it is also being used to attack those who support Palestinian rights, and as this item in Jewish News shows the real battle is between left and right over Israel and the Palestinians, and combines both Jews and non-Jews on the left and right. The Labour party is just a relatively small sideshow in this context, but could matter a lot more as a future Labour government could be pivotal in policy towards Israel.

  2. Ray Barkley says:

    While I support the views expressed here I dispute the report that 52 of the 64 victims were Hamas terrorists. This is Israeli propaganda. The real terrorists are the Israeli state and the army.

    • Jaye says:

      Well if you dispute it Ray, I guess you must be the only one who really knows the facts on the ground.

  3. Miriam Yagud says:

    I am heartened to see that Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner is condemning the behaviour and threats from the Jewish far right. And also pleased to see Jewish Voice for Labour coming out in support of her. I would be even more pleased if Jewish Voice for Labour gave their strong support to those who gathered to say Kaddish for murdered Palestinians.

  4. Checkmate says:

    It would seem that some young Jews are questioning what their elders took for granted. That way lies truth and democracy.

  5. Tony Riley says:

    Why would you do this for Hamas terrorists, when you don’t do it for Israeli Jews who are murdered by Hamas.

    Interesting how this article immediately attracts Jew-hate, disguised as criticism of Israel.

  6. Anne Tanner says:

    In many of the replies I read about Israelis being killed ‘by Hammas’.
    What I have seen is unarmed People imprisoned in Gaza, demonstrating at the border fence, being murdered by the Israeli army. Its not proven that they are supporters of Hammas, many Gazans are not.

    The people of Gaza are prisoners, they suffer shortages of food, medicine and clean water. They cannot leave the territory by land or by sea.

    Some of the replies to other posts on this site are so depressingly hate filled.

    These young people want peace, the Palestinians are a disposessed people. Slot of people need to learn how to stop hating. Throughout history the oppressors have hated those they oppressed.

    Time for change – world wide.

  7. Metal Resistance says:

    None of the dead were Hamas terrorists according to a Haaretz reporter who spent 2 years in Gaza and so has a lot of trusted contacts. 20 were Hamas non-military. Another 22 Hamas military were killed, but not at the protests.

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