UKIP’s political correctness backfires as Jewish candidate burns bible

A Bible set alight by UKIP candidate Rabbi Shneur Odze, who posted the image online

A Bible set alight by UKIP candidate Rabbi Shneur Odze, who posted the image online

Shneur Odze was supposed to be UKIP’s ace card against opponents who suggested the party was “racist” or had any connection to the NF or BNP.

After all, Shneur Odze is not only a UKIP activist but a rabbi from the ultra-orthodox Jewish sect Chabad Lubavitch (which unlike some other ultra-orthodox groups is extremely pro-Zionist).

So it was no surprise to see UKIP select Rabbi Odze as the party’s candidate for the new “super-mayoral” election in Greater Manchester, covering a vast region with a population around 2.75 million.

The wheels started to come off the Odze campaign when as H&D reported last month, the Liberal Democrats played the race card by drawing attention to the Rabbi’s religious objection to shaking hands with women.

Then real disaster struck this week after Rabbi Odze publicly burned a Bible.

Shneur Odze (right) with successive UKIP leaders Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall (left)

Shneur Odze (right) with successive UKIP leaders Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall (left)

This incident stemmed from long-running hostility between Chabad Lubavitch and so-called “Messianic Jews”, i.e. people who were born Jews but converted to Christianity, and now seek to proselytise their new faith among Jewry.

Whatever one thinks of these tactics – placing a Hebrew-language New Testament inside a synagogue – it was no doubt unwise for Rabbi Odze to respond by publicly burning a Bible. Can one imagine UKIP tolerating a Muslim candidate who burned a Bible, or anyone of any faith who burned a Jewish text or artefact?

But of course UKIP’s leadership (like the rest of the political establishment) has long taken the view that certain groups qualify for “special treatment”.

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