Letter to the Guardian, 4 February 2019
Jeremy Hardy’s life (Obituary, 2 February) was lived by the Jewish principle of tikkun olam – repairing the world. High on his repair list were the occupied and refugee Palestinians who he supported in benefit after benefit, including doing gigs for Jewish anti-occupation groups.
By these last, he was viewed as an honorary Jew, one of the few goyim who could tell pitch-perfect “insider” Jewish jokes.
He was rather proud of this designation, writing: “I am widely believed to be Jewish, by Jews, by neo-Nazis and by dispassionate observers. I should be Jewish. I’m in showbusiness, I can’t do DIY and I prefer cheesecake to Victoria sponge … My [Jewish comedian] friend Arnold Brown … has always insisted that I am Jewish, which I take as a compliment.”
Jeremy knew that even ancient Palestinian olive trees are oppressed: entire groves regularly uprooted, chopped down, burned to charcoal by the Israeli army and settlers. So in the spirit of tikkun olam, our tiny Jewish charity, the British Shalom-Salaam Trust, plans to celebrate life, renewal and hope for a just peace by planting trees in Jeremy’s memory: if we can raise enough to replace an entire devastated olive grove, a little piece of Palestine will, for ever, be Jeremy Hardy.
Secretary, British Shalom-Salaam Trust