In his regular opinion column for the Barking & Dagenham post the Chair of East London Humanists expresses his personal view on the anti-Semitism debate (published 26.9.18).
“I write in my personal capacity as a Jew, an atheist and a Humanist. Not everyone seems to realise that you can be Jewish without having any religious belief. In fact I am every bit as Jewish as the Chief Rabbi. Despite my lack of religious belief I have the right to become an Israeli citizen. I qualify because my mother was Jewish, and under Jewish law that makes me Jewish.
I actually have no desire to settle in a region my ancestors left eons ago. I find fulfilment living here in this richly diverse country. As a Humanist I care equally for everybody’s wellbeing, and I am concerned about the millions of displaced Palestinians who don’t enjoy the same rights as me. Until recently they and generations before them lived on land which is now occupied by Jewish settlers. I have misgivings about any state where the right to citizenship depends on ethnicity or religious belief. I am also concerned at the means used by the Israeli state to perpetuate this unfairness.
Jews, just like any ethnic or religious group, do not all speak with one voice. We are all individuals with our own opinions and values. No one can claim to speak on behalf of the whole Jewish community, and not all Jews, religious or otherwise, support the Zionist project. Anti-Semitism is a dreadful scourge. However, legitimate concerns about anti-Semitism should not distract us from concerns about injustice to others, or stifle legitimate criticism of Israel. “
Chair, East London Humanists
East London Humanists examine Boris Johson’s burka comments and refusal to apologise in this piece for the ‘Spiritual Life’ column, Ilf0rd Recorder 24.8.18 Continue reading
East London Humanists argue the extreme weather is a wake up call in this article for the Barking and Dagenham Post August 2018. Continue reading
East London Humanists reflect on the lack of statues of women, and champion a neglected local heroine, in this opinion piece (Newham Recorder 2 August 2018) Continue reading
East London Humanists reflect on the significance of the recent referendum in Ireland in this opinion piece for the Barking & Dagenham Post July 2018. Continue reading
East London Humanists reflect on how Trump’s values are diametrically opposed to ours. (Opinion piece Barking and Dagenham Post & Newham Recorder May 2018). Continue reading
This opinion piece for the Barking and Dagenham Post (11.4.18) looks at a threat to community cohesion largely ignored by the mainstream media. Continue reading
East London Humanists made an important contribution to the panel at the annual Faith Forum event at New City College in Hackney on 21 February. The speakers at this 2 1/2 hour event came from a range of faiths and beliefs. Each spoke in turn about how their belief influences their lives. Students put questions to each speaker in turn. This was followed by a general Q&A session and a lively debate. The meeting exposed the dearth of knowledge about Humanism among this group of young people, and a thirst to know more about it. For many it appears to be the first time they have heard anyone describe how it is possible to lead a good, meaningful and happy life without a belief in God. The speakers pictured from left to right represent the following religions/beliefs: Sikh;Buddhist; (organiser;chair;organiser; chair) ; evangelical Christian;Humanist; Evangelical Christian; Jew. (The Muslim and Scientologist speakers stand at either end and are out of shot)
A well worn phrase comes under scrutiny in the regular East London Humanists opinion piece for the Barking and Dagenham Post (for publication March 2018). Continue reading
Thank you to all those who have supported our new social events. This informal pub gathering takes place on the second Wednesday of every month. Hope to see you at the next one!
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