Jonathan Romain has warned his congregants in Maidenhead are growing concerned about the “terrifying stench of anti-Semitism” within the opposition party. He wrote in The Daily Mail: “There used to be a time when, after a service in my synagogue in Maidenhead, my congregants would come up and ask me seemingly trivial questions, such as whether Jews can have tattoos.
“But in recent months, their concerns have been of a more urgent, personal nature: ‘Will we be safe?’
“They are, of course, referring to the terrifying stench of anti-Semitism.
“And its origin is the disturbing possibility that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party may win the election, or at least secure enough seats to form a governing coalition with the Scottish Nationalists.
“For those of us in the Jewish community, it is a deeply worrying prospect. Indeed, I believe that Corbyn poses such a threat to Britain’s Jews that it is incumbent on all Jewish leaders to speak out.”
Jeremy Corbyn has been blasted for his “poor leadership”
The Rabbi added he usually avoids being party political, along with most other clergy of all faiths.
But he realised he could no longer remain silent after Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell claimed Labour had been “rapid and at times ruthless” in its bid to get rid of anti-Semitism.
He said: “For the first time ever, I have emailed everyone in my community — which covers a wide area, including Labour constituencies such as Reading and Slough — about the election.
“I told them that the threat of Corbyn is such that they should put aside all other considerations and vote for whichever party is most likely to defeat Labour in their constituency — even if they would never normally vote for that party.
Labour has had a disastrous start to their election campaign
“Despite the fact that many in my congregation have been life-long Labour supporters, my intervention did not come as a surprise.
“Few can be blind to the fact that, if Corbyn gets into No 10, we will have a Prime Minister who is at worst anti-Semitic, and at best content to tolerate anti-Semitic behaviour.
“I do not exaggerate when I say that, in my congregation, elderly worshippers are questioning why they bothered to fight Hitler, only for the country they were defending to one day be governed by people, some of whom, while definitely not Nazis, allow anti-Semitism to fester at the heart of their party.”
Rabbi Romain added previous Labour leaders would not have allowed such a tragedy to occur with the party.
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The general election will take place on December 12
He said: “Accusations of anti-Semitism were first called out nearly four years ago and still have not been addressed properly. This is, for example, a party that received 673 complaints of anti-Semitism in just ten months, but expelled only 12 members.
“That implies either indifference or poor leadership. Neither is good.
“Britain is standing at a crossroads. Yes, this election will be about Brexit, the NHS and climate change.
“But towering above them is something far more urgent: the very soul of British life and its sense of tolerance and fair play.”
John McDonnell claimed Labour had been Labour had been “rapid and at times ruthless” over anti-semit
His words come after another Labour candidate stepped down after allegedly making an anti-Semitic remark.
Gideon Bull, the prospective parliamentary candidate for Clacton, apologised after a Jewish councillor complained about a reference he made to “Shylock”, which is the Jewish moneylender in Shakespeare’s The Merchant Of Venice.
Labour will attempt to get its campaign back on track as Jeremy Corbyn visits Leeds to announce proposals to provide 30 hours per week of free care to all children aged between two and four.
Mr Corbyn and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner will announce the proposals to provide 30 hours’ publicly-funded childcare every week for all pre-school children over the age of two.
A Labour Party source said: “We’ve conducted extensive due diligence checks on candidates and we have taken swift and robust action.
“In a snap general election hundreds of candidates have to be immediately selected and staff have worked incredibly hard to conduct due diligence in time.”