Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019 - 13 of Kislev, 5780

Israeli President Rivlin expresses support for British Chief Rabbi’s article on anti-Semitism in Labour Party

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“Zero tolerance for anti-Semitism means providing security for Jewish communities, and countering religious extremism. It means insisting that there is no room for antisemitism in the halls of power, and no room for incitement on social media. It means effective legislation, and effective Holocaust education,” the Israeli president said.

LONDON—Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who met Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in London this week, has expressed support for an article he wrote in daily The Times in which he criticised Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s record on antisemitism. 

In this article, in advance of the December 12 general election in the U.K., Rabbi Mirvis wrote that ‘’a new poison, sanctioned from the top, has taken root in the Labour Party.” He said he was compelled to intervene in politics because Britain’s Jews were “gripped by anxiety” over the future of the community and of Judaism in the country amid the prospect of a Labour win in the elections.

‘’Your clear voice and leadership, particularly in the last few days, fills us all with pride,” Rivlin told the rabbi.

He also stressed the importance of the global Jewish community as Israel’s ‘’fifth tribe’’ and expressed his deep solidarity as they face a worrying increase in anti-Semitic incidents.

“Zero tolerance for anti-Semitism means providing security for Jewish communities, and countering religious extremism. It means insisting that there is no room for antisemitism in the halls of power, and no room for incitement on social media. It means effective legislation, and effective Holocaust education,” the Israeli president said.

Polls suggest that just six percent of British Jews plan to vote for the Labour party. Nearly half say they will “seriously consider” emigrating if Corbyn — a man 87% of those polled believe is an anti-Semite — gets to Downing Street.

Jewish groups have accused Corbyn, a far-left politician, of allowing a massive rise in anti-Semitism within the ranks of the party that was once considered the natural home of British Jewry. Thousands of cases of alleged hate speech against Jews have been recorded within Labour since 2015, when Corbyn was elected to lead the party.

According to a new poll, Britain’s Conservative Party is on course to win its biggest majority in parliament since 1987 in the December 12 election. It would give Prime Minister Boris Johnson a mandate to implement the Brexit, to take the country out of the European Union.

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