President Reuven Rivlin and British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis meeting in London on Wednesday
President Reuven Rivlin and British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis meeting in London on Wednesday
Photo: GPO
President Reuven Rivlin and British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis meeting in London on Wednesday

Rivlin meets UK chief rabbi: No room for anti-Semitism in halls of power

Israel's president meets with Ephraim Mirvis day after he pens op-ed slamming Labour for poison of anti-Semitism 'sanctioned from the top' and as Corbyn declines four times to apologize to British Jewry for anti-Semitism in party he leads

Ynet |
Updated: 11.27.19 , 17:00
President Reuven Rivlin met with British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in London, showing solidarity with the local Jewish community a day after the rabbi slammed the Labour Party for the "poison" of anti-Semitism allowed to spread in the party under Jeremy Corbyn.
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  • “Zero tolerance for anti-Semitism means providing security for Jewish communities, and countering religious extremism," Rivlin said.
    President Reuven Rivlin and British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis meeting in London on WednesdayPresident Reuven Rivlin and British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis meeting in London on Wednesday
    President Reuven Rivlin and British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis meeting in London on Wednesday
    (Photo: GPO)
    "It means insisting that there is no room for anti-Semitism in the halls of power, and no room for incitement on social media. It means effective legislation and effective Holocaust education.”
    The two met a day after the publication of an opinion piece by Mirvis in the Times of London, excoriating Labour for shoddy handling of anti-Semitic "poison" that the rabbi said was "sanctioned from the top" and had taken root in Labor.
    Mirvis warned the "soul of our nation is at stake" in next month's British general elections, in a piece titled "What will become of Jews in Britain if Labour forms the next government?"
    Hours later, the head of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn declined multiple times to apologize to the UK Jewish community in a BBC interview.
    Veteran journalist Andrew Neil asked Corbyn four times whether he wanted to apologize for pain caused to British Jews. Each time, he sidestepped the question, replying: "What I'll say is this I am determined that our society is safe for people of all faiths."
    ג'רמי קורבין מנהיג מפלגת ה לייבור בריטניה ג'רמי קורבין מנהיג מפלגת ה לייבור בריטניה
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn talks to the BBC's Andrew Neil
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    Echoing the words of the chief rabbi, Corbyn said that racism "is a total poison," and that he would like to work with every community "to make sure it's eliminated."
    The Labour leader's interview aired hours after the publication of Mirvis' opinion piece was published.
    Mirvis warned the "soul of our nation is at stake" in next month's general elections, in his piece titled "What will become of Jews in Britain if Labour forms the next government?"
    Corbyn, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights, has been dogged by criticism from members, lawmakers and Jewish leaders that he has failed to tackle anti-Semitism in the party despite a promise to do so.
    "The question I am now most frequently asked is: What will become of Jews and Judaism in Britain if the Labor Party forms the next government? This anxiety is justified," wrote Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
    British Jews protest outside parliament against Labour's Jeremy CorbynBritish Jews protest outside parliament against Labour's Jeremy Corbyn
    British Jews protest outside parliament against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    He said the response of the party's leadership as their supporters drove lawmakers, members and staff out of the party for challenging anti-Jewish racism had been "utterly inadequate" and claims the party was doing everything it could and had investigated every case were "mendacious fiction."
    "It is a failure to see this as a human problem rather than a political one. It is a failure of culture. It is a failure of leadership.
    "A new poison sanctioned from the top has taken root in the Labor Party," he wrote.
    Corbyn, a self-styled peace campaigner, has been accused by numerous lawmakers for failing to tackle anti-Semitism in the party, an allegation that has dogged the pro-Palestinian politician since he became leader in 2015.
    Jeremy Corbyn holds a wreath at the Tunis grave of Atef Bseiso, who helped plan the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich OlympicsJeremy Corbyn holds a wreath at the Tunis grave of Atef Bseiso, who helped plan the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics
    Jeremy Corbyn holds a wreath at the Tunis grave of Atef Bseiso, who helped plan massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics
    (Photo: Courtesy)
    The Labour leader, whose anti-Israel stance is no secret, last year denied visiting the graves of the terrorists behind the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Massacre, but photos published by the Daily Mail days later showed him at a 2014 memorial service in Tunisia for members of the Black September terror organization that carried out the murders.
    In photos taken a year before Corbyn was elected as the leader of the Labour Party, he is seen holding a wreath over the grave of Atef Bseiso, the head of intelligence for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who helped plan the attack at the Munich Olympics.
    i24NEWS, AP and Reuters contributed to this report

    First published: 17:00 , 11.27.19
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