The first provocative Palestinian demonstration on the Israeli Gaza border brought to bear the hypocrisy of the UN, who immediately condemned Israel without mentioning the part played by Hamas, and convened a meeting of the Security Council. Following on from this was the usual hysterical virulent reaction of the world’s press, and hostile Muslim countries whose human rights records are amongst the worst in the world. It is always sad to see people dying in circumstances like this, but every country in the world would have acted in the same way if their borders were in danger of being breached by thousands of people.
Two days after the incident I was listening to the BBC news on the radio, when an item caught my attention. In Kashmir twenty people were killed by Indian security forces during a mass demonstration. Did the UN Security Council convene, no, was there universal condemnation in the press, no, did politicians around the world chastise India like they did Israel, no. If ever there was a case of Israel being treated differently from any other country in the world, these two particular incidents show how disingenuous and bigoted Israel’s detractors are. Sadly it appears this provocation will continue every Friday until the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Israel in May, leading to continued vilification of the Jewish state.
On a happier note it was a month or so ago when we celebrated the Synagogue’s second night Seder. Nearly sixty members and non-members wined and dined in a lovely warm hearted atmosphere. Kol hacavod to Rabbi Yuval who led the Seder beautifully, and sang the songs with great gusto and humour. As ever, gratitude to the wonderful ladies of the House Committee who worked tirelessly before and during the Seder night. They are priceless (including my wife Freda) - how would we function without them?
On 25th May a new Data Protection Policy will come into force. At SPS we are very aware that we must protect our members’ interests. The law regulates how we communicate with our members and is changing. This means that, whilst we will be able to send you postal communications, we need the verbal or written consent of each individual to communicate with them by e-mail. It is an opt-in choice only. Please send back to the synagogue office any documentation we send you. If we do not receive a response, that member will be deemed to have opted out. Sounds a little confusing but it is an important element in keeping your data protected.
A year ago after a Rock Service I said that one of my aims in the coming year was to have a plaque in the Schindler Hall in memory of the wonderful Simon Cooper. It was a long time coming but eventually, before the Rock service on 4th May, the unveiling will take place. In future when people come in to the lobby they will see the plaque, and even if they do not know who Simon was, they will realise he was someone very special.