March 25, 2008

UK Jews take stand against British National Party in local elections

Community organizations have come together to encourage the British Jewish community to vote in upcoming local elections across the country that could otherwise provide gains for the ultra-nationalist British National Party (BNP).

The Board of Deputies of British Jews - working with the London Jewish Forum and Community Security Trust - has launched a new campaign, with the slogan, "Your Voice or Theirs," to raise awareness of the importance of first registering to vote and then voting in the May 1 local elections.

"The campaign aims to raise awareness of the history of the BNP and the threats they pose to both the Jewish community and community cohesion in the UK," Board of Deputies president Henry Grunwald said. "We're asking everybody to use their democratic right and register to vote by April 16 for the elections on May 1. The higher the turnout across the country, the harder it [will be] for the BNP to succeed."

In London, a city the board views as a "key battleground in the war on the politics of extremism," there are fears that the BNP could achieve the five percent threshold needed to give it its first seat in the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority (GLA), the elected body that scrutinizes the activities of the mayor.

The far-right party has already begun campaigning and it is believed they will contest seats in 23 councils in all.

"Every vote for a mainstream political party is... a vote against extremism," Grunwald added.

An increased turnout will make it significantly harder for the BNP to get a seat in the elections.

"The BNP has grown in strength in the last 10 years; they have candidates standing for the GLA for the first time and councillors for re-election and they could take as many as three seats in London," said Ruth Smeeth, Community Security Trust's anti-racism campaign coordinator.

"Last year, the BNP stood in a by-election in Stanmore [in north London] and got five percent of the vote. The London election is scary because, if the voting levels remain the same, they will need only an extra 5,000 votes to win a seat.

"The only way to stop this is to vote, and that is why we are launching this campaign," she added.
"A low turnout will only benefit the BNP. Our advice is to get out and vote for any of the democratic parties and 'lift' the vote," Gerry Gable, publisher of the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, told the Jewish Chronicle this week.

"Why should Jewish people be worried? Take a look at the BNP's standard reading material and you will see anti-Semitism in almost every form. The BNP say they have changed, but they are the same Nazis they always were."

The "Your Voice or Theirs" campaign includes a dedicated Web site and in the lead-up to the elections will use advertisements in the Jewish press to spread their message. The board is also working with similar ethnic-minority initiatives such as Operation Black Vote to increase levels of awareness in other communities of the importance of voting.

Jerusalem Post


Anonymous said...

"Last year, the BNP stood in a by-election in Stanmore [in north London] and got five percent of the vote.

Don’t forget that once BNP stickers were found pasted to lampposts on the street leading to the synagogue and the entrance gate of the Belmont United Synagogue in Stanmore.

Anonymous said...

Lee Barnes, the BNP’s clinically sane legal officer, went off against the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) when they launch their ‘Racism: It's Not Kosher’ campaign last year. In December 2007, Barnes wrote a rambling, anti-Semitic article entitled, ‘Zionist Front Group Attacks The BNP - Zionist Racism is Kosher’.

This is what Barnes called the BOD:

“a clique of self serving Zionist racists”

“self appointed Zionist front groups like the BOD”

“But the moment any of those groups DARED to state, as the BOD state, that their RACE IS THEIR NATION and supported the concept of a racial homeland where only the English by blood or their Christian / pagan religious inheritance are the real English - then the hypocrites in the BOD woud be jumping up and down screaming racism.

The BOD's very existence is in reality predicated on the basis that there can be no British Jews, only Jews with British citizenship“

“The very existence of the BOD is therefore a provocation and in itself a statement of exclusivity, for the BOD exists to represent those Jews that do not see themselves as British Jews, but simply as Jews living in Britain.”
“The idea therefore the BOD represents British Jews is mere propaganda, it represents Zionist Jews whose RACIAL LOYALTY is to their RACIAL HOMELAND which is Israel.

Therefore the organisation is itself a ZIONIST-NAZI organisation, not an organisation that represents the community interests of British Jews in Britain.”

“The admission the BOD work with Searchlight is further confirmation of their racist / Zionist / Chosen Race mentality”

“BOD are themselves the instigators of the very extremism they profit from fighting.”
And so on.

This adds to Barnes’ recent attack on The Jewish Chronicle newspaper as well as his past anti-Jewish postings on Stormfront.