Young left-wing Jewish activists have vowed to mobilise after Boris Johnson led the Conservatives to a clear majority in Thursday’s general election.
The group Jews Against Boris, which canvassed for Johnson’s Labour challenger Ali Milani in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, described the election results as “heartbreaking and terrifying” in a statement on Friday afternoon.
The group warned against what it said was the prime minister’s “embrace of the far-right” in a “crisis which threatens all of us.”
“We take some comfort in the knowledge that while politicians and the media have sowed fear and division during this campaign – pitting minorities against each other and demeaning our collective experience of racism – together we showed that real solidarity is possible. That oppression need not be a zero-sum game,” the statement claimed.
Vowing to mobilise the community to “show up for victims of racism, inequality and bigotry,” it adds: “We will not tolerate people using the Jewish community as a scapegoat for last night’s results, just as we will not tolerate our communal institutions failing to stand up for those most vulnerable to the Conservatives’ victory.”
Johnson faced criticism this week over his 2004 novel Seventy-Two Virgins: A Comedy of Errors, which chronicles an MP’s attempts to counter a terrorist plot against the US president visiting Britain to deliver a speech in Parliament.
One passage involving a story-line about a vote on whether to discharge prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay refers to oligarchs, mainly “of Jewish origin,” who control TV stations.
Other Jewish groups responded to the election results, with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis calling for unity amid divisions, saying: “We must focus on our shared values and leave all hatred and prejudice far behind us.”