The Muslim Council of Britain criticised the Chief Rabbi’s remarks this morning to the Reuters news agency in which he called on the government to “crack down sharply on people attempting to radicalise the Muslim community”.
“Britain’s two million Muslims are alarmed at the intimidatory and scaremongering tactics from the pro-Israel lobby. We find it strange that just when the Israeli army’s murderous rampage in the West Bank and its defiance of the United Nations is causing consternation throughout the world, and even Jewish MPs such as Gerald Kaufman describe the Israeli PM as a ‘war criminal’, the Chief Rabbi uses this moment to try and deflect attention away from Israel,” said Mr Yousuf Bhailok, Secretary General of the MCB.
The MCB is concerned that the Chief Rabbi’s remarks could threaten the good and peaceful relations that British Muslims and Jews enjoy.
The MCB also voiced their concern that the Chief Rabbi’s very public support for the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – a man currently being investigated for war crimes would also impact negatively on community cohesion in the UK. As a leader of an important faith community, one expected the Chief Rabbi to take a clear moral stand against the Zionist Occupation of Palestinian land and the daily brutalisation of the Palestinian people, and not to take a partisan stand in defence of what was a naked colonialist enterprise.
Yousuf Bhailok also appealed to the Muslim community not to allow the unfortunate remarks of the Chief Rabbi affect their relationship with members of the Jewish community in the UK because whatever the differences, they relate to a foreign policy and not a domestic question.