Making his last official visit to Israel this week, the UK’s Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, praised media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, declaring that Israel did not have “a better or more significant friend in the world.”
Sacks was speaking at the Tel Hai academic college in Kiryat Shmona. During his talk he said that the “number one problem” facing the Jewish world is the return of antisemitism to Europe.
Sacks pointed to the emigration of Norwegian and Dutch Jews, and noted that so many French Jews now live in London that a French minyan had been set up at St. John’s Wood Synagogue.
The chief rabbi described antisemitism as “a set of contradictions. Jews were hated in the 19th century because they were rich. And because they were poor. Because they were capitalists, because they were communists. Like a virus,” the chief rabbi observed, “antisemitism mutates… and we are living through one of the great mutations.”
Jews can’t fight antisemitism alone, the chief rabbi said. “How do we persuade the non-Jewish world to see antisemitism not just as a Jewish problem, but as their problem? A civilization or a country that has no room for Jews has no room for humanity.”