OPINION: An open letter to ITV and diversity boards everywhere

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OPINION: An open letter to ITV and diversity boards everywhere

"Dear sirs," writes Alex Hearn. "Anti-Jewish ideas are becoming normalised among intellectuals and activists. Discuss."

Jewish News publicised Labour leader Keir Starmer attending a mock seder for new Pesach video
Jewish News publicised Labour leader Keir Starmer attending a mock seder for new Pesach video

When Labour Party leader Keir Starmer wished British Jews a happy Passover Festival, Dan White from ITV’s diversity board replied angrily about an incident involving Palestinians in Jerusalem. 

This conflated British Jews with the government of Israel and in the context of a religious festival, can be construed as being religiously motivated. It is the type of reply London Mayor Sadiq Khan gets from the far right about Muslims, except they are not on diversity boards.

Alex Hearn

Dan White’s non-apologies about not having ‘a prejudiced bone’ and counter-accusations of critics being against ‘peace and equality’ sound familiar. We heard it from a political party that was supposed to be a place for diversity but instead breached the Equality Act against Jews. Jewish students also heard similar from the National Union of Students.

This pattern shows how anti-Jewish ideas are becoming normalised among intellectuals and activists. Not only are Jews being excluded from diversity but some people see scapegoating them as their moral duty, just as their predecessors did with religion and race.

If diversity does not include one of the most persecuted minorities, then it is just a meaningless box ticking exercise or a myth that society tells itself to sleep better at night.

I don’t want Dan White removed. I would like him and every diversity board member to ask themselves if they understand the heritage of hate against Jews which some people have unwittingly inherited.

Do they even know what Jewish identity is?

Dan White

Let’s start here: Jews created the concept of equality and wrote it into law thousands of years ago, so that you could have things today such as diversity boards. After the inhumane things European society has inflicted on Jews since then, the least you could do is include us without the morally superior lectures or negative stereotypes.

  • Alex Hearn is co-founder of The Big A creative agency
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