Rabbi claims Israel is a taboo subject for UK Jewish students

Rabbi claims Israel is a taboo subject for UK Jewish students

In an op-ed written for the Jerusalem Post, American rabbi Shmuley Boteach complains of having been ‘silenced’ when he tried to tell an audience of Jewish students in London about democracy in Israel and ‘the blessing it can be to the innocent Arab citizens of Israel’s autocratic Arab neighbors’.

He wrote:

In all my debates on Israel at the Oxford Union spanning 25 years, I have never once been barred from responding to attacks on the Jewish state. Yet this week, for the first time in my life – having spoken at universities across the world – I encountered a form of censorship in the most unlikely of all places: when I spoke to the Jewish Society at King’s College, London.

He said his run-in with his audience began when he claimed that:

Israel is the great hope for the spread of human rights throughout the Middle East. As I spoke, I could see my hosts growing restless, and the discomfiture on their faces surprised me. I was in for a bigger shock, however, when my hosts essentially stopped me in the middle of my remarks. I am always happy to respond to questions, friendly or hostile, but I have rarely been interrupted so abruptly by people who invited me to speak.

When I asked for an explanation, I was told by the president of the organization, a young man wearing a yarmulke, that the Jewish Society has a policy against speaking about Israel. The group, he said was non-political and focused on ‘Jewish subjects’.

I was dumbfounded. Was Israel not a Jewish subject? It was as if Israel had become the Voldemort of nations, the country that dare not be named.

I asked if I should speak about lox and bagels, klezmer music or Manischewitz wine. My sarcasm seemed to go right over my hosts’ heads. For them, Israel and Judaism seemed unrelated. I asked if the murder of Israeli citizens in countless terrorist attacks over the past month was likewise a ‘political issue’, or one of human rights.

Boteach’s op-ed, which went on to claim that British Jewish students were too “cowed” to talk about Israel on campus, was immediately attacked by the Union of Jewish Students.

Russell Langer, UJS Campaigns Director, wholeheartedly denied the accusations, saying instead that British Jewish students were “extremely active” in debates about Israel.

We work closely with students across the country in determining the best way to fight the delegitimisation of Israel on each campus. Israel engagement is a core value of ours.

17 responses to “Rabbi claims Israel is a taboo subject for UK Jewish students”

  1. Bob says:

    If you go on to you tube and type in the box “Larry King Live with Jews for Jesus” you will see this Boteach character getting really cross as he debates with a Messianic Jew. He loses it – big time.

  2. AgentCormac says:

    @Barry Duke
    I have a feeling there’s already an expletive or two missing from this thread.

  3. John Humpf says:

    It’s as plain as the big konk on Shmuley Boteach’s face that when religion casts it’s sinister shadow misery, conflict, hatred, division, violence and beggaring of humanity swiftly follow.

    I know its possible to be the wrong kind of christian and to be the wrong kind of muslim but I didnt know it was possible to be the wrong kind of jew.

    Religion – the shit stain in the underpants of humanity.

  4. 1984 says:

    “Israel is the great hope for the spread of human rights throughout the Middle East. ”
    Yes, occupation, illegal settlements, close to starvation level of Gazans, controlled press, support for dictators and allied with dictators. Yes, what a great hope.

    Not that Hamas are better, but at least they can claim that they are losing land and they can actually also prove that Israel is far more violent be it in breaking ceasefires and just plain old killing people.

    Hitch was right, it was a mad idea to begin with:

  5. David Anderson says:

    “It’s as plain as the big konk on Shmuley Boteach’s face …”. Fuck me, how pathetic.

  6. barriejohn says:

    Hitch was right, it was a mad idea to begin with…

    Absolutely. There is no solution to this problem, and claiming that all the pet Arabs who live in Jerusalem are happy little souls who wouldn’t want things any other way, or just hoping that a new generation of Palestinians will somehow or other arise who are quite happy about having lost their birthright, shows just how out of touch with reality some people are.

  7. RussellW says:

    Since Zionism is one of the factors in the destabilisation of the ME, Israel should be a regular topic of discussion on campuses everywhere.
    It really wasn’t a ‘mad idea’ from a Zionist perspective, Israel has been very successful on those terms, Jews returned to their ‘homeland’and the Palestinians don’t matter. Of course the Zionists have God, and more importantly, America on their side.

  8. John the Drunkard says:

    The ant-Israel ‘bubble’ is impermeable. As soon as Nasser made Egypt a Soviet client-state, the whole of the ‘progressive’ Left became rabidly anti zionist, and to a great extent, Anti-Semitic.

    NOTHING will penetrate the minds of True Believers. Boteach appears to be a jackass on his own. But this is the same week that Goldsmith’s College FEMINISTS sided with an Islamist group of thugs who tried to shout down Maryam Namasie.

  9. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Both sides are bad and both sets of supporters allow each side to commit atrocities. Until their supporters stop unconditionally supporting their side, both will carry on on the assumption that they can do no wrong. A sad state of affairs and I see no easy solution.

  10. John C says:

    Whats new, one religious fucktard preaching that his brand of fucktardery is better than the brand it replaced or displaced.

  11. Newspaniard says:

    I’m staggered by the number of anti-Israel comments here. The only country in north Africa to add modern day farming and building and civilization to the wasteland that was. The proof remains that all of the other countries there remain places of excrement and poverty and all their corrupt administration can do is make covetous eyes at Israel. If the Israelis upped sticks and found another country which would allow them to live without the threat of extermination, within 5 years, the invading islamists would have converted Israel back to a starving, poverty stricken sh*t hole. I don’t believe how some of the contributors here can believe the anti-Israeli propaganda put out by Hamas and other savages of that ilk.

  12. barriejohn says:

    Newspaniard: You mean Anti-Zionist, surely? But never fear, Donald Trump is riding to the rescue, and pans to visit his pal Bibi soon. According to this retard, Barack Obama is the greatest enemy that Israel has ever had. “It’s incredible”, he says. Yeah – too right!

    PS I don’t consider undeveloped land to be “wasteland” necessarily. It’s that attitude that has led to deforestation and other environmental disasters.

  13. barriejohn says:

    Comments appended to the above article:

    Symone Anderson

    Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump make the DREAM TEAM.

    Eliezer Roeh Ohr

    I don’t know about a dream team, however, Netanyahu will be able to accomplish much more with Trump as president and, perhaps, finally be able to put the so-called palestinians in their place; OUT OF ISRAEL!!!

    Pam Gelfstein

    Eliezer Roeh Ohr – wouldn’t that be wonderful.

  14. RussellW says:


    Yes, of course the ‘natives’ didn’t develop their land did they, so naturally they forfeited any right to it, where have we heard that before?

  15. RussellW says:


    Yes, of course the ‘natives’ didn’t develop their land, did they, so naturally they forfeited any right to it, where have we heard that colonialist crap before?

  16. Dennis says:

    Its not the religion that build a secular Israel It was blood and guts and the United States. No damn god did this stupidity just stupid humans. Just real different people trying to occupy the same desert land. Plague on them both.