May hopes 2019 is the year ‘we stand up and say there is no place for antisemitism’

December 23, 2018 by Yossi Lempkowicz - JNS
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British Prime Minister Theresa May went on record saying, “I never thought I would see the day when Jewish people questioned staying in this country.”

Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Theresa May
Photo: Kobi Gideon (GPO)

She was responding in the House of Commons to a question from Labour MP John Mann, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism.

He said during the question-and-answer session that “for almost 400 years, this country almost uniquely in the world has been a place of safety and security and a place where Jewish communities have thrived.”

Mann added that “many in the Jewish community are questioning whether this will be the case going into the future. A disturbingly large number of young Jewish people are questioning whether they should remain in this country.”

He also asked if May agreed with him that “2019 has to be a year when we all stand up and be counted to ensure that those young Jewish people believe, and stay in this country, wishing to contribute and no longer fearing for their future.”

May responded: “Can I say to the honourable gentleman that I absolutely agree with him? Jewish people should be able to feel safe and secure in this country. I never thought I would see the day when Jewish people living in this country questioned whether they should stay in this country. I think this is a terrible state of affairs that we have come to.”

She added that “there’s no place for racial hatred in our society, it’s important that we all take every step to tackle it. … It is absolutely right when the honourable gentleman talks about the need for us all, every one of us, to stand up now, to stand up as we go into the new year, and say 2019 will be the year when we stand up and say there is no place for antisemitism or racial hatred in our society.”

According to the results of a September poll, nearly 40 per cent of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn were elected prime minister. The crisis over antisemitism in the Labour has caused a major schism within its ranks and has led Jewish residents to express fears over their future in the country.

Nearly 300,000 Jews live in the United Kingdom.

Reporter: Yossi Lempkowicz (European Jewish Press via JNS)

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