Voice of the Jewish News: Labour must heed our damning poll

Voice of the Jewish News: Labour must heed our damning poll

This week's double editorial reflects on Jewish News/ComRes poll and also the inferno that engulfed Notre Dame cathedral

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

If the Jewish Labour Movement’s overwhelming backing for a motion describing Jeremy Corbyn as unfit for Downing Street didn’t ring alarm bells at Labour HQ, then the findings of today’s Jewish News/ComRes poll must surely do so.

That 55 percent of adults believe Corbyn’s handling of antisemitism in his party shows he is unfit for the highest office in the land is striking, as is the fact that there has been such a huge jump in the number of people acknowledging a ‘serious’ problem of racism in a party whose very roots are in anti-racism.

Labour may be posting consistent leads in the polls as the Tories struggle with Brexit, but it’s now clear this ongoing row is taking its toll on the leader’s standing in the country he wants to lead.

This deep into a Tory government experiencing its own existential crisis, however, Labour’s lead ought to be comfortably in the double digits. There must surely be some in the leadership wondering what their poll showing could be
if they took the decisive, swift, uncompromising action that community leaders have repeatedly urged.

So much more than just a building

The Jewish people stand with France this week. The sight of such
a national icon as Notre-Dame in flames is as devastating as the blaze itself. The emotional symbolism invested in such a building is far greater than the building itself, beautiful and historic though they both are.

France will recover and the cathedral will be rebuilt, although treasures will be lost and the nation will feel cut to the core. As a people with a 3,500-year history, Jews know ideas are more permanent than the structures embodying them.

As European Jewish leaders said, places of worship are “a bridge between our past and our present”, and “symbolise the aspiration of man to reach new heights”. Notre-Dame will be rebuilt and it will, once again, represent the nation to the world.

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