In a front-page editorial, the British Jewish Chronicle implored UK citizens not to vote for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the upcoming December 12 election, citing his long record of comments against Israel and failure to stamp out anti-Semitism within his opposition party.
“To all our fellow British citizens. This front page is addressed not to our usual readers — but to those who would not normally read the Jewish Chronicle. In other words, to non-Jews,” it read.
In its call for British nationals to take Jewish concerns into account on election day, the editorial cited a March poll showing that 87 percent of British Jews believe Corbyn to be anti-Semitic.
“There is racism on all sides of politics and it must be called out wherever it is found. History has forced our community to be able to spot extremism as it emerges — and Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader in 2015 is one such example,” it said, citing Corbyn’s past affiliation with members of Hamas and Hezbollah, his presence at a ceremony that honored the Palestinian terrorists behind the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, his reaction to anti-Semitic statements by members of his party, and his 2018 comment that “Zionists” do not grasp “English irony.”
Here's our front page this week – addressed not to our usual readers but to our fellow British citizens pic.twitter.com/7K5qi8GhBJ
— The Jewish Chronicle (@JewishChron) November 7, 2019
The upcoming election campaign will likely focus on Brexit, education, and other “vital” issues, the Jewish Chronicle said.
“But how can the racist views of a party leader — and the deep fear he inspires among an ethnic minority — not be among the most fundamental of issues? That is why we are seeking your attention. If this man is chosen as our next prime minister, the message will be stark: that our dismay that he could ever be elevated to a prominent role in British politics, and our fears of where that will lead, are irrelevant.
“We will have to conclude that those fears and dismay count for nothing. But we think you do care. We believe that the overwhelming majority of British people abhor racism. We ask only that, when you cast your vote, you act on that.”
Also Thursday, a former Labour Party lawmaker in Britain urged the public to vote for Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the upcoming general election, saying that Corbyn is “unfit” to lead the country.
Ian Austin, one of former prime minister Gordon Brown’s closest allies, told the BBC that the party has been poisoned by “anti-Jewish racism under his leadership.” Austin left the party in February over its handling of an anti-Semitism scandal.
He said, “I just think this man is unfit to run the country.”
The interview came a day after deputy Labour leader Tom Watson, who has often clashed with Corbyn, announced he was stepping down. The two actions underscore the unease of many of Labour lawmakers with Corbyn’s left-wing views and ambivalence over the European Union.
Corbyn said Sunday that British Jews have nothing to fear if his party wins the upcoming election in December, amid reports that many members of the Jewish community would consider leaving the country if he comes to power.
“Anti-Semitism and racism is an evil within our society. I’ve done everything to confront it throughout my life, and will always do so,” Corbyn told the Guardian newspaper.
“We want this country to be safe for all people. An attack on a synagogue, an attack on a mosque, an attack on a church — an attack on a person walking down the street because they’re perceived to be different from the rest of us — we simply can’t tolerate it.”
According to a poll published last week, just seven percent of British Jews said they would even consider supporting Corbyn’s party.
Last September it was reported that nearly 40% of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Corbyn became prime minister.