Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Viewpoint: Keep your eyes open, America


August 3, 2018

Florida is not a panacea especially when it comes to the scourge of anti-Semitism. Nowhere is and especially not the United Kingdom.

In April 2016 I wrote a piece for the Heritage “thanking U.K.’s Labour Party for mainstream anti-Semitism.” At the time I was still in the process of becoming an American citizen (which I achieved earlier this year) and was very worried about the blatancy and openness of anti-Semitism in the U.K. especially in the Labour party, a party in political terms to the left of center. I ended the piece by ironically bringing out the issue of anti-Semitism in the public domain hoping, perhaps forlornly, that a discussion would be had and that Jews could stand proud in my mother country. Alas, things have got worse.

A report recently published by the Community Security Trust in the U.K. stated there had been 727 anti-Semitic incidents in the U.K. from January to June of this year, the second worst on record for that period of months. That does not include the recent arson at a synagogue in the south of the country. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, a party traditionally supported by Jews, expressed his view that he was “appalled to hear of the arson attack.” I am sure he was, as any self-respecting person would be. But here is the problem, words are one thing but deeds matter.

The Labour party has failed to adopt into the party’s code of conduct the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. His own party members have labeled him an anti-Semite and racist, rabbis from all denominations of Jewry have written condemning his actions and the three main Jewish newspapers have all shared for the first time ever the same front page with the leading paper, the Jewish Chronicle commenting:

“We do so because of the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government. We do so because the party that was, until recently, the natural home for our community has seen its values and integrity eroded by Corbynite contempt for Jews and Israel.

The stain and shame of anti-Semitism has coursed through Her Majesty’s Opposition since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015.”

So where are we since I last commented on this matter? Going in the wrong direction with the hope that the National Executive Council of the Labour party sees senses and adopts the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism when it meets in September. It has really come down to that.

Irrespective of one’s views on the policies of Israel, an attack that starts with allowing the country to be called racist or apartheid is no more than a hidden or perhaps blatant attack on the Jewish people. It festered in the U.K. and now has begun to bloom. It needs to be brought to a grinding halt and quickly.

Just a final thought, has not the Democratic Party here in the U.S., been the natural home of the Jewish voter?

Lloyd Green is a member of Congregation Ohev Shalom and takes an active role in Jewish matters in Central Florida.


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