British Jews launch 'Jewish manifesto' ahead of European elections in May

20 Feb 2014
20 Feb 2014 Facebook Twitter Email

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has launched the first-ever ‘European Jewish Manifesto’ which lists “key Jewish aspirations” ahead of the elections to the European Parliament in May. The document aims to inform existing and prospective members of the European Parliament about Jewish interests and concerns.

“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 said. “High voter turnout is important to ensure extremist parties do not make ground in elections.” The European Parliament, based in Strasbourg and Brussels, is the directly elected legislature of the European Union.

The 15-page manifesto – drawn up in conjunction with other European Jewish groups – covers religious freedoms, anti-Semitism, EU-Israel relations and Holocaust studies.

The document asks politicians to commit to support Israel by opposing boycotts, raising concerns about Iran and encourage trade with the EU. They are also asked to defend kosher slaughter, religious circumcision and “an individual’s right to wear religious symbols and observe religious festivals.”

Board President Vivian Wineman said: "This is an exciting piece of work that has drawn praise from across the European Jewish community. 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."

Read the manifesto here.