There would be an increase in anti-Semitism if Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister, the founding chairman of the Community Security Trust (CST) warned this week.
Gerald Ronson (pictured below) told YouTube channel J-TV that should the Labour leader (pictured right) get the keys to Downing Street, life would quickly become “more uncomfortable” for British Jews.
“I think if Corbyn became PM, with the people he has around him, you’ll see an increase in anti-Semitism,” he said.
This would, he added, “make it somewhat uncomfortable, or more uncomfortable, for Jews who want to live their lives in the UK as fully identified Jews, and not be uncomfortable if they were wearing a kippah or tzitzit as they walk down the high street without being attacked in some form or another”.
In a wide-ranging interview, the businessman and philanthropist also spoke about fighting modern anti-Semitism, addressing its roots on the left, right, and in Islamism.
“The modern CST is something I created,” he said. “I’ve been involved in fighting anti-Semitism for over 50 years,” but warned that “the enemy has changed”.
He added: “The enemy is more sophisticated, the enemy is now the radicalised Muslim fundamentalist. It’s a much more complicated issue. Where we look at the left, they were our friends, 20 to 30 years [ago] in our fight against fascism. Now, of course, they’re anti-Zionist, they’re anti-Israel.”
“And you’ve got the right, which has always been there. Although their focus is [now] most probably Muslims and black people, the Jew is always in the scenario.”
Ronson, who is now chief executive of billion-pound property company Heron, which he joined at the age of 15, also gave tips on business, and an insight into his Jewish identity.
He has “always been proud of being a Jew”, he said, but is “not a religious Jew”. He was, he said, “very proud to say my two oldest grandchildren live in Israel”, adding: “One is a lieutenant in the IDF. The other is an officer… it shows you that the gene is there continuing and it’s up to parents to educate their children about being Jewish.”
Discussing his charitable work, Ronson said: “I certainly think people in society need to be more giving.
If the Lord blesses us with the ability to make money, then we do have the responsibility to give it back to our society. That is why I’ve raised tens of millions. I’ve given away tens of millions to causes that take priority in the Gerald Ronson Family Foundation.
“I ensure the companies I own give away considerable amounts of money and support charities, which are predominantly covering the areas of welfare, and assisting the under-privileged and education.
“You can’t expect the government to cover all these issues because they don’t have the resources.”
He also offered four tips to aspiring business people: “Focus, commitment, dedication and passion. If you don’t have a passion for what you want to do, I doubt you’ll succeed.”