By Arye Green/TPS • 27 November, 2019
President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday met with British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in London, a day after the rabbi publicly accused UK’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of allowing the “poison” of anti-Semitism to take root in the Labour party.
In his meeting with the Chief Rabbi, Rivlin lent his support to Rabbi Mirvis’ work, including the article he published recently expressing his concerns about rising anti-Semitism in the UK, and told him “your clear voice and leadership, particularly in the last few days, fills us all with pride.”
Rivlin stressed the importance of the global Jewish community to Israel, and expressed his deep solidarity as Jews around the world face a worrying increase in anti-Semitic incidents.
“We cannot accept that in 2019, in the UK and throughout the West, Jewish community events require guards, Jews fear wearing kippot on the streets and the homes of Holocaust survivors are vandalized,” he said.
“Zero tolerance for anti-Semitism means providing security for Jewish communities and countering religious extremism. It means insisting that there is no room for anti-Semitism in the halls of power, and no room for incitement on social media. It means effective legislation and effective Holocaust education.” Rivlin added.
On Tuesday, Rabbi Mirvis suggested in an article in The Times of London that Corbyn was “unfit for office,” as he failed to sufficiently curb anti-Semitism in the Labour party.
“The way in which the leadership has dealt with anti-Jewish racism is incompatible with the British values of which we are so proud — of dignity and respect for all people,” he wrote, adding that “a new poison — sanctioned from the top — has taken root in the Labour Party.”
Corbyn refused to apologize in a BBC interview for his party’s weak response to anti-Semitic remarks by party members.