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Board of Deputies advice to Political Parties

In the light of the ‘flying pigs’ scandal during the recent elections we realise that there is a need to give guidance on what political statements may or may not be used to avoid offending Jewish sensibilities. Although this in no way limits the right of the board to declare absolutely anything anti-Semitic whenever we please, here are some seemingly innocuous ‘catchphrases’ which are best avoided.

1) Forward not Back. We must not forget the importance of going back. Back for example, at least 2000 years. Back to the Nile and the Euphrates . Back to Basics – Back to Zion .

2) Critiques of ‘Big Government’. This could be interpreted as a reference to Ariel Sharon’s girth. As Gordon Brown might have said “We’re best when we’re biggest”.

3)Is the Pope Catholic? Another old favourite; used to suggest that the preceding statement is obviously the case. Given the acrimonious history of Catholic-Jewish relations we suggest ‘Does the Rabbi have a beard?’

4) Any reference to masculine power, i.e. show them who’s boss, or Shwarzanegger’s economic girlie men. This is offensive to Jewish gender roles as all Jewish men are weak and incompetent and Jewish women terrifyingly tough. Far better: ‘I’ll show them who’s the yiddisher mama!

5)3 Party system. This is an insidious reference to the trinity.

6) Think for yourself. This would undermine the board’s traditional role of telling people what to think.

Two excellent slogans which have as yet (strangely) been absent from political advertising are:

1) What’s best for the Jews? This is excellent, although parties need to be careful when answers come in not to listen to left-wing ‘Jews’ who will start talking about abstract notions of peace and human rights…

2) Who would God vote for? Tried and tested in Israeli politics – always produces a clear and unambiguous answer.

Finally, we would like to reassure the parties that the board is concerned purely with avoiding offending Jews. Parties promising to cut benefits, lock up citizens without trial or to deport as many immigrants as possible will provoke no complaint, and provide no conflict with Jewish ethics.

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