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Statement by Orthodox Jews of the UK in Response to the Vilification of the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP
London – 4 September
Orthodox Jewish congregations in the United Kingdom were shocked to see three so-called “Jewish” newspapers publish a declaration that “Jews are united against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.”
Former chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks took the rhetoric to a new level when he stated in a BBC interview that Jews are already thinking about fleeing Britain in fear of a Corbyn government.
The three newspapers that carried this declaration are decidedly secular, and have very little to do with the UK’s religious Jewish community, particularly that section of the community which opposes Zionism. It is absurd to see them as representing the views of religious Jewry. Rabbi Sacks, while he may be religiously observant, is not seen as a leader or representative in the traditional Orthodox community, nor is his opinion on Jewish religious matters respected in those circles.
Traditional Orthodox Jews are grateful to the United Kingdom for its hospitality to the Jews over the past three centuries, and seek only peaceful relations with British politicians, as we are commanded by the prophet Jeremiah (29:7), “Seek the peace of the city to which I have exiled you.”
Traditional Orthodox Jews have been on very good terms with Mr. Corbyn for several years, and have found him to be extremely friendly and willing to help Jews in any way possible. He is not at all anti-Semitic, as the Zionists wish to paint him. He has criticised certain policies and actions taken by the State of Israel, but he makes a clear-cut distinction between Jews and Israel, and writes clearly that Jews carry no responsibility for Israel’s actions. That is why he has not accepted the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Anti-Semitism.
That definition correctly identifies “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” as an example of anti-Semitism; however the definition’s insistence that “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” should be considered anti-Semitism, itself contributes to the impression that Jews and the State of Israel are one and the same and thereby exacerbates anti-Semitism.
It is historically clear that the State of Israel has never been universally accepted by the Jewish People, since the Zionist philosophy of building a sovereign home-land for Jews is forbidden according to Jewish law. In addition, the occupation of Palestine and the oppression of its people is in total violation of Judaism. Hence, opposition to Zionism and the state of Israel can in no way be conflated with opposition to Jews and Judaism, or be referred to as anti-Semitism.
Torah-true Jews will be vocal in support of Mr. Corbyn and show that the pro-Zionist media and organizations do not represent the many thousands of traditional Orthodox Jews of the UK. The State of Israel is not beneficial to the Jewish people, and the Zionists’ main contribution to world Jewry has been to kindle the fire of anti-Semitism under them, precisely through this policy of denouncing every politician that stands in their way, however good he may be to Jews in his country.