In a shocking U-turn last week, Jewish MP Ivan Lewis, who left the Labour Party over anti-Semitism in its midst, told his Bury South supporters to vote Conservative even though his name is on the ballot as an independent and some postal votes have already been submitted.
He said, “Nothing must get in the way of stopping a Corbyn government, which would not only create insecurity and fear in the Jewish community but threaten our economy and national security.”
He added, “This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but I believe it to be in the best interests of the constituency and the country.”
Also telling his supporters to vote Conservative was Jewish Brexit MEP Lance Forman, who was one of the four leading Brexit MEPs to leave their party last week because they feared it could split the pro-Brexit vote, paving the way for Corbyn to enter Downing Street.
Shomrim President Sleeps in Solidarity with the Homeless
Shomrim president Rabbi Herschel Gluck was one of hundreds sleeping in the cold and rain in Trafalgar Square on Motzei Shabbat as part of the World’s Big Sleep Out to identify with the homeless.
Rabbi Gluck told the Jewish News: “The adverse weather conditions gave us a glimpse of the horrible suffering of so many people.”
3,000 Protest Labour Anti-Semitism
More than 3,000 people protested against anti-Semitism in Trafalgar Square on Sunday, days before Thursday’s general election.
The protest came after it was revealed that the Jewish Labour Movement had submitted to the Equality and Human Rights Commission evidence of 130 outstanding cases of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Included in the evidence is testimony from 70 present and former Labour officials.
United Synagogue Leader Beaten By… Chassid?
United Synagogue head of burial Melvyn Hartog was brutally attacked after Shabbat by someone allegedly wearing chassidic garb.
Hartog received a phone call to pick up a package, allegedly from a delivery firm, near his home in Chigwell, Essex. On his way, he was hit on the back of his head with a tree branch and repeatedly kicked to the ground.
Septuagenarian Hartog, who served in the Royal Navy, fought back against his attacker, causing the latter to lose his yarmulke and glasses. The assailant was reportedly wearing a long coat and had long twisted peyos.
Hartog was taken to the hospital overnight. Police are investigating the incident.
Unusual Yiddish Poster Targets… Well, It’s Not Clear
A Stamford Hill rabbi and a charedi pro-Corbyn activist both claim to be the target of a widely-circulated poster in Yiddish. It reads:
“Playing with fire!! A fellow Jew, who presents himself as an activist from Jewish Stamford Hill, has been busy over the last few weeks to antagonize the senior leadership of the Labour Party, against the will of the rabbis of our community.”
It continues: “It is high time to come out and scream: ‘Rodef.’ Stop inciting millions of British citizens against our community!”
A rodef is someone who is pursuing another with murderous intent. According to Jewish law, a rodef may be killed.
The anonymous alert comes in the final weeks of the election campaign of Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott. Her constituency is Hackney North and Stoke Newington, which is home to a large number of chassidic Jews. At the beginning of the campaign, Abbott claimed that chassidic Jews in her area didn’t share the fears that so many other Jews have of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Labour Party member Rabbi Avrohom Pinter countered that his MP was not in touch with her constituents, among other things. Abbott subsequently published a letter from the Stamford Hill-based Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregation (UOHC) denying that she was an anti-Semite. Rabbi Pinter said he never called Abbott an anti-Semite; he merely criticized her response to anti-Semitism.
He said that, following this incident, “a text message was sent to every person in Stamford Hill, stating that Rabbi Avrohom Pinter is bringing the community into danger. It published my phone number and asked everybody to call me to tell me to stop.”
Rabbi Pinter complained to the Labour Party, after which the Yiddish “Playing with fire!!” announcement appeared. Rabbi Pinter says he fears for his safety.
Pro-Corbynite activist Shraga Stern, however, claims that he’s the intended target of the announcement. He told The Jewish Press, “A careful reading of the anonymous circular makes it clear that the object of this threat – who is not actually named – could well be a charedi activist currently active in Labour politics in Stamford Hill. On that basis, I have myself reported the circular to the police as I believe my life could be in danger.”
He added, “I know for example that my campaign against the LGBT lobbies has antagonized many in my own party.”