MEP candidates debate hot topics for Europe’s Jews

MEP candidates debate hot topics for Europe’s Jews

Issues of interest to the Jewish community took centre stage on Sunday as candidate for the upcoming European Parliamentary elections joined 30 faith leaders in Finchley for a lively debate on Britain’s role in the EU.

Co-hosted by Faith Forum and London Jewish Forum, it featured Lynee Hack (Conservative), Ivana Bartoletti (Labour) and Jonathan Fryer (Liberal Democrat) in a discussion chaired by Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner.

Alongside such staples as the economy and immigration were issues such as the national and continental response to calls to ban animal slaughter (shechita) and the wearing religious symbols in public.

Ahead of the 22 May election, Tory candidate Hack said: “I disagree with the banning of religious symbols, but I believe member states should be responsible for managing such issues locally rather than the EU interfering.”

On the threat to shechita, the Lib Dem’s Fryar said: “Whichever method is being used to slaughter animals for food, it should be done in the best supervision to reduce pain for animals.”

Labour’s Bartoletti meanwhile warned of the “great risks in particular with far rights parties in the EU, so it is important that we consider our challenges and work by enforcing against hate crimes.”

read more: