The End of the Dubs Amendment – Refugee Children – Keeping Up the Pressure

What is clear more and more is that the popular case for saving the lives of children who are unaccompanied refugees has not been sustained. Lord Dubs spoke at West London Synagogue for Holocaust Memorial Day and said that the pressure needed to be kept on politicians. Now the Dubs Amendment has come to an end.

I don’t think it’s that we don’t care here. It’s that the politicians (and the Home Office) have no reason to act on our compassion. But it’s a total disgrace that we are reneging on our responsibilities as citizens of the world. With the hardening of hearts across the world, we need to leverage our power to show our politicians here in the UK that protecting Britain as we go down the Brexit path, does not mean we need to or can abandon our fundamental responsibilities.

It’s been several years now of writing about this – one step forward, two steps back in making the case for our country to live up to its historic place in the family of nations to protect and save the lives of children fleeing war and persecution. We must not falter now when the global political climate seems so much against us.

I’ve written more about refugees in various blog posts, sermons, newspaper articles that can be read here.

Sloganeering, Greatness and the Judiciary

dahls

Just reblogging this back up here, as yet another judge in another country is attacked for violating democracy…let’s not forget the crass, undermining of an independent judiciary (to which every citizen is answerable and through which we all have access to the protection of our basic rights) is not something strange to the UK in the last 12 months:

See my sermon on sloganeering here.

“We do not exist to be great, to have big towers emblazoned with our name on them. That is about as meaningless a slogan as may be possible to entertain…then becomes the ends. Civil society (or even uncivil society) and the nation state and the institutions of democracy do not exist for their own sake. They are the best mechanism so far devised to achieve the vision, which I think everyone of us would share:

“The vision of prosperity, safety and security, respect for difference, protection of minorities, embrace of cultural interaction and international cooperation, the rule of law. A vision of peace.”

Prelude to Hope

dahls

In memory of my great grandfather, Dr Alfred Dahlsheimer z’l,

In my sermon at Rosh Hashanah I presented the thought that human endeavour and the expression of human goodness and progress is an essential quality of humanity. In Judaism, the view of humanity is not naïve to the brutality that human beings are able to inflict on one another. Nor does Judaism regard an optimum expression of self to be one of total altruism. Self interest is an important part of being human and the drive for self-preservation and protection must be recognised. At the same time, we are not born into sin, we are endowed with potential. The potential is always in the balance – that really is the point of the penitential period: if you are not blessed with the ability to choose blessing or curse, good or evil, how can the idea of repentance and atonement mean…

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