There’s a bit of a tizz going on here in the UK between the Church of England, the largest Christian denomination in Britain, and the Jewish community, over the CofE’s recent decision to disinvest from Caterpillar, who make construction machinery. The decision was made due to the use of Caterpillar bulldozers by the Israeli army for clearing Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza, which as far as I know is in contrevention of United Nations agreements.
This Guardian article explains the situaton, but essentially the chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, has accused the CofE of commiting anti-semitism as a result of this decision, and that it “set back Anglican-Jewish relations by 70 years”. This argument, in my mind, is a load of old bunkum. Here’s a Venn Diagram to illustrate my point:
Note that the diagram is almost certainly not to scale, but I think it does illustrate the point I’m trying to make here.
In other words, just because you’re Jewish, does not mean you believe that what Israel is doing in the West Bank and Gaza is right. I’m not taking sides with regard to the Middle East Conflict, but I think it’s a bit rich to assume all Jews support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. No sane person would say all Muslims are terrorists, so why bracket all Jews in the same way?
I’m sure some will be Jews who do think that this boycott is anti-semitic, and while Mr Sacks is entitled to his opinion he should not do so in a capacity whereby he claims to represent all British Jews. Because I’m pretty sure that he does not.