12 April 2018
Letter to the Editor
Celebrating Passover Seder with Jewish people is not an indication of one’s Semitic leanings (April 3rd). Just as criticism of Israel’s policy on the treatment of the Gazans is not anti semitic.
It is only by adding some context that gentiles gain the same perspective as secular jews on Corbyn’s attendance to a Seder night on Monday.
The first night of Passover (Sat 31st March) is a big deal for the majority of secular jews. Some more traditionalist families do celebrate the 2nd night but, although technically, possible I have never heard of a 3rd night. Corbyn attended a 3rd night which to most of the community is a bit ‘why bother – if you really wanted to show willing you would have gone to the first night’.
His choice of celebrants is also odd. Jewdas is a provocative choice, not because of what they believe but because of the extremism with which they express their views. Again if he wanted to genuinely build bridges he would have picked a less controversial host.
As Corbyn’s celebration of the Seder was too insensitive to build bridges with the Jewish community, his advisors would know that, we can only conclude that it was a media stunt designed to play to his supporters. What a waste of an opportunity, when he could have easily mended bridges.