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Anger over Jews for Jesus decision

Last updated: 2003-10-13

The Board of Deputies is deeply dissatisfied by the decision of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) not to uphold its complaint regarding a recent Jews For Jesus advertisement.

The Board wrote to the ASA in July following numerous complaints from community members who felt that the depiction of Orthodox Jews being unable to think for themselves was deeply offensive. The ASA's Code stipulates that advertisements should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. But the ASA's Council concluded that the advertisements were neither racist nor offensive to Jewish people.

Board Director General Neville Nagler commented, "We are very unhappy by the ASA's decision, especially since they appear to have based their decision on the mistaken belief that Jews for Jesus is a "Jewish group". Jews for Jesus cannot in any way be considered a Jewish group. Their sole objective is to draw Jewish people away from their religious beliefs towards beliefs which are incompatible with any shade of Judaism, whether orthodox, progressive or secular. This is a non-Jewish group who were mocking Orthodox Jews and that is offensive and unacceptable, whatever the ASA may have concluded."