Why is this lobby different?

29 Mar 2010 by CST

 Tonight marks the beginning of Pesach (Passover), when Jewish families come together in Seder ceremonies to recall the Exodus from Egypt.

 For most, the highlight of the Seder ceremony is the reading of the Four Questions, when the youngest participant asks their elders,

 Ma nishtana ha layla ha zeh? (Which means, ‘Why is this night different from all other nights?’ )

The adults’ response to the question then sets the scene for the rest of the evening, as they explain the significance of the Exodus and the importance of memory.

In some Jewish households, families see fit to consciously change and adapt the Seder ceremony to spark discussion and awareness of issues such as racism, freedom, religion, ethnicity and belonging: all of which are evoked by the Exodus tale.

Last week, three politicians were quoted as having made remarks that are likely to cause concern amongst anybody who knows the role that Jewish power motifs have played in the long and painful history of antisemitism.

Former London mayor, Ken Livingstone, on Jnet Radio, discussing what he believes the Jewish community thinks of him:

It was a real hatchet job by the Board of Deputies and the Evening Standard who had a common interest in getting rid of me.

...A chunk of the Jewish community thinks I'm antisemitic. A chunk of the Jewish committees have always been sympathetic to me and then there are people that waver.

...If you have got a position which is controversial around the issue of Israel and Palestine then you will get it in the neck inevitably.

Battersea MP, Martin Linton (Labour), speaking on 23 March in Parliament to a Friends of Al Aqsa meeting, reported on Richard Millett's blog  

There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.

Gorton MP, Gerald Kaufman MP (Labour), speaking at the same meeting in Parliament as Martin Linton, also reported on Richard Millett's blog 

Just as Lord Ashcroft owns one part of the Conservative Party, right-wing Jewish millionaires own the other part.

To these politicians, this Pesach we would ask not four questions, but only one

 Why is this lobby different from all other lobbies?

Note - Due to Pesach, blogging will be very light on this site over the next week. CST Blog wishes all its readers a Chag Sameach

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