Religion & Beliefs

Jamie Oliver Is Not In Training to Be A Shochet

Last week I wrote a post about an email I’d gotten warning that Naked Chef Jamie Oliver was planning on doing a special about shechita, Jewish slaughtering laws, and that he was all set to expose shechita as inhumane and … Read More

By / February 20, 2008

Last week I wrote a post about an email I’d gotten warning that Naked Chef Jamie Oliver was planning on doing a special about shechita, Jewish slaughtering laws, and that he was all set to expose shechita as inhumane and thus cause all kinds of problems for the British Jewish community. I did some googling before I wrote the post and was surprised to see that there was no news coverage of the story thus far, but there was nothing to indicate it was a hoax, either. Yesterday morning I got an email from Jewdas, my favorite anarchist Jewish British website taking credit for the hoax. The email was called ‘Jamie Oliver shechita – it was jewdas wot done it.’ Here’s the text:

Whilst Jewdas is an organisation which prides itself on factual accuracy and journalistic integrity, we have to admit that from time to time even we make mistakes. We now concede that Jamie Oliver is not about to become the next LBD shochet and never intended to make a Channel Four series about shechita. We are sorry for any confusion we may have caused to all whi signed the petition. We apologise to those who were looking forward to Jamie holding a vat of cholent and describing it as ‘pukka’. We apologise especially to the several individuals in the Hendon area recently seen panic-buying massive quantities of kosher meat – rest assured, your chicken soup is safe.? That said, we would also like to declare this campaign a total success. Who would dare make a TV show about shechita now? There may not have been an actual threat, but we have spoken out loud and clear against it. ??This form of campaigning is far more effective than anything ever attempted before. The Board of Deputies is famous for seeing threats to Jewish life all around them; this approach goes one step further by spotting such threats before they actually exist. All we need to do is to make a list of 'things that might in future be bad for the Jews' and launch pre-emptive campaigns against them all. Let us illustrate:

  • Ok, so the government isn't actually thinking of banning faith schools, BUT THEY MIGHT. So let's start a campaign now before our little children are forced to socialise with non Jews.
  • The government may not have yet imposed a heavy tax on air travel, BUT SHOULD THEY DO SO they need to be told that holidaying in Eilat is an inalienable Jewish right.
  • Yes, at the moment there is no specific tax for wearers of black hats, BUT WHAT IF ONE WAS INTRODUCED? Let's get the petitions started now.

Now some say that it is possible to play the antisemitism card too readily. We say it is a card best played as often and as forcefully as possible, unencumbered by such irritations as care, caution or fact. This is indeed key to the potential success of all future campaigns. But in reality, we have to admit that most people are way ahead of the game on this one – plenty of those who signed the Jamie Oliver petition were using that well-thumbed card. Take this comment for example:

“absolute disgrace. Antisemitic motive”

We couldn't have put it more succinctly. Great stuff. Yet others were even more skilled in the art of defending the Jews. The Jewdas team were full of admiration for this comment:

“A visit to a concentration camp might make Jamie Oliver and the channel 4 producers understand why Jews wish to carry on with ALL their ancient traditions”

Which perfectly illustrates the key rhetorical point: there is no argument to which the Holocaust is not applicable. We say this not in jest, but to guarantee the success of all our future campaigns against yet-to-be-realised, but could-maybe-happen events affecting the Jewish world. Continued on jewdas.org…

So Jamie Oliver isn’t making any kind of expose — Jewdas just pulled off a totally successful hoax, and thereby effectively opened an important discussion. Thanks, Jewdas. Jewcy apologizes for the error.