Jewish leaders last night issued a set of preconditions to be met before they would agree to meet with Jeremy Corbyn.
In a joint statement on Wednesday from Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies, the Labour leader was warned that the Jewish community “needs to hear you say, publicly and in your own voice, that we had every right to protest about anti-Semitism, and that Labour MPs had every right to support us. That our concerns about anti-Semitism are sincere and not a “smear” as has been widely alleged (including on your own Facebook page); and that anyone directing abuse, intimidation or threats at those of us who oppose anti-Semitism is damaging your efforts to eliminate it and to start rebuilding trust. We firmly believe that this must happen urgently, and certainly before we can meet.”
Meanwhile, a Jewish Labour peer has urged the community not to accept invitations to talks until they see concrete action – while Lord Mendelsohn, president of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, praised the Board and JLC “for their courage and leadership to confront anti-Semitism”.
He urged the community “to hold firm and wait for Labour to demonstrate it is prepared to change by a concrete show of its determination to expel those guilty of anti-Semitism”.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”