U.K. Jews launch 'Jewish manifesto' ahead of European elections
The document aims to inform European Parliament members about Jewish concerns, and urges them to oppose boycotts against Israel and protect circumcision.
With elections to the European parliament due in May, British Jews have published a manifesto listing "Jewish aspirations" on, among other things, the EU's relationship with Israel and religious freedom.
"This manifesto is aimed at informing existing and prospective Members of the European parliament (MEPs) about Jewish interests and concerns," the introduction to the document states.
The European Parliament is the directly elected legislative body of the European Union. It is based in Strasbourg and Brussels.
“We hope it will help to ‘get the vote out’ amongst the Jewish community and negate the influence of the far right,” a statement by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which launched the document, said. “High voter turnout is important to ensure extremist parties do not make ground in elections.”
The 15-page document covers European racism, extremism and anti-Semitism, and post-Holocaust issues, as well as religious freedom and EU-Israel relations.
On Israel, the manifesto calls for MEPs to oppose boycotts against Israel, which it says are "divisive and promote a negative incentive structure that militates against peace."
It also calls for them to raise concerns about Iran, and to protect circumcision and kosher slaughter.
"This is an exciting piece of work that has drawn praise from across the European Jewish community," said Board President Vivian Wineman.
"The document was produced in extensive coordination with other Jewish communities around Europe and this is the first such manifesto produced by a Jewish community for the European Elections. It will be used to enfranchise local communities, with regional communal leaders using the document to speak directly to candidates about the issues."