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December 13, 2019 11:26 am

UK Jews Welcome Resounding Defeat of Corbyn in British Election; ‘You Should Never Have to Live in Fear Again,’ They Are Told

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves Islington Town Hall through the backdoor after a meeting following the results of the general election, Dec. 13, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Tom Nicholson.

British Jews and their allies around the world are celebrating the decisive defeat of the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party in Thursday’s parliamentary election.

The far-left Corbyn — widely viewed by British Jews as an antisemite — said on Friday he planned to stand down as Labour leader following the party’s worst electoral loss in 84 years.

Labour has been beset by a series of antisemitism scandals since Corbyn took charge in 2015.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said, “This election victory is an historic achievement for Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party. We hope that the prime minister will use his new mandate to bring the country together, and put an end to the toxicity and prejudice which has become too regular a feature of our politics. We look forward to working with the government to ensure that our country strives to be a beacon of inclusion and respect for all its inhabitants.”

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“When he eventually steps back, history will not look kindly on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, where anti-Jewish racism has been allowed to run amok and some at the highest levels of the party have appeared to collude to protect antisemites,” she added. “We urge the next leader of the Labour Party to act quickly to implement the steps repeatedly recommended by Jewish communal groups to begin solving this crisis and moving our politics forward.”

Gideon Falter, chief executive of the UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), said, “Not for the first time, our nation has stood firm against antisemitism. The British public has watched the once proudly anti-racist Labour Party become infested with Jew-hatred and it has resoundingly decided to stand with its Jewish community and give the antisemites a crushing rebuke. The faith that British Jews showed in our country has been vindicated.”

“We urgently need to return to a time when antisemitism had no place in our politics,” he implored. “We must not allow ourselves to forget the fear that many British Jews felt yesterday when a Jeremy Corbyn premiership remained a possibility. Firm action must now be taken against antisemites in politics and those who enabled them, but an antisemite cannot be trusted to rid the Labour Party of this evil. The next Labour leader must be someone who has not been implicated in this crisis and we will hold them to account. They will need to comply with the Equality and Human Rights Commission when it releases its recommendations and, as the complainant in the Commission’s statutory investigation into Labour antisemitism, we will be meeting them today.”

Euan Philipps, spokesman for Labour Against Antisemitism (LAAS), said, “The British public have delivered a damning verdict on Jeremy Corbyn and his institutionally-racist Labour Party. Labour Against Antisemitism stated at the beginning of the election that neither Corbyn or his party were fit for government, and the public have agreed.”

He continued: “The overwhelming reaction of our members to this election result is one of relief. Underlying that emotion, however, runs anger that the British Jewish community has been brought close to serious threat by the complete failure of the Labour movement to deal with the poison of antisemitism. The next leader must be prepared to take all necessary measures to deal with Corbyn’s legacy of anti-Jewish hatred, including cooperating fully with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission investigation. Failure to do so will only lead to further electoral catastrophe for the Labour Party.”

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove — a past winner of The Algemeiner‘s “Warrior for Truth” award — addressed British Jews directly at a Conservative victory rally, saying, “You have had to live in fear for months now with concerns we will have a prime minister who trafficked in anti-Jewish rhetoric and embraced anti-Jewish terrorists. You should never have to live in fear again.”

Rachel Riley, a television personality who became an outspoken critic of Labour antisemitism in recent years simply tweeted, “Love you Britain.”

Actress Tracy Ann Oberman, another prominent voice against Labour antisemtism, said, “Thank you Great Britain. I’m crying my eyes out.”

The news from the UK was welcomed in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “Congratulations my friend @BorisJohnson on your historic victory. This is a great day for the people of Great Britain and for the friendship between us.”

Netanyahu’s top political rival, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, also weighed in, tweeting, “The poor showing for Jeremy Corbyn in the British general election is good news for Israel, for British Jewry, and above all for Britain’s democracy.”

Blue and White number two Yair Lapid called Johnson’s victory “a defeat for antisemitism.”

“I’m sure that under his leadership we can strengthen and deepen the relations between Israel and Great Britain,” Lapid said. “Congratulations Boris and good luck!”

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin stated, “Congratulations to my friend Boris Johnson! On behalf of the Israeli people, and personally, I wish you great success as you continue to serve as prime minister of the United Kingdom. I am confident that under your leadership the important relationship between the two countries will continue to strengthen and that together we will be able to face the challenges of our times on every front.”

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