Former top rabbi warns of Jews exodus from UK over rise in antisemitism, fear for safety

DCNFJoshua Gill, DCNF

The U.K.’s former chief rabbi warned that Jews are preparing to leave the country because of the rise of the new wave of antisemitism.

Jonathan Sacks, who served as the head of the U.K. Jewish Community for 22 years, claimed Jews were considering leaving the U.K. because of the Labour Party’s perceived antisemitic comments and associations. Sacks specifically called out Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s leader, in the wake of Corbyn’s recent criticism of British Zionists, saying his comments were “the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech.”

“I know of no other occasion in these 362 years where Jews, the majority of our community, are asking ‘Is this country safe to bring up our children?’” Sacks said, according to the Independent.

“When people hear the kind of language that’s coming out of Labour, that’s brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier speeches, they cannot but feel an existential threat. Jeremy Corbyn must repent and recant as quickly as possible so as to regain the trust of the Jewish and general public,” he added.

Sacks claimed Corbyn posed a threat of fanning flames of antisemitic hatred among the Labour Party and in the U.K. in general if he did not show “clear remorse” for his past comments, according to The Associated Press.

Gordon Brown, the last Labour Party leader to serve as prime minister, called for the party to adopt an internationally approved definition of antisemitism to replace the more limited definition the party has in place.

“It is needed now to deal with practical threats, to confront gathering dangers and on-the-ground realities of very real, week-by-week threats to Jewish communities that demand an unequivocal response and unqualified resolve,” he said.

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