The UK Jewish community is trying to prepare for a No Deal Brexit, which could happen on October 31.
Shechita UK is working with the government to ensure the continuation of shechita once the UK is no longer subject to EU agricultural legislation. The good news is that most shechita takes place in the UK and would therefore be tariff-free.
On terrorism, the UK government has laid before Parliament regulations thatallow the UK to carry over EU sanctions against terrorist organizations such as Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Hamas.
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said she’s sanguine about the future of trade relations between the UK and Israel as Israel was one of the first countries to sign a comprehensive trade agreement with the UK, which will keep in place EU arrangements post-Brexit.
But van der Zyl has warned about a No Deal: “We are about to go through an unprecedented political and economic event, and even with the best preparations there are likely to be unforeseen challenges.”
Under a No Deal Brexit, kosher imported food could become more expensive with rising labor costs. Care workers may also be harder to hire as many of them are currently EU migrants.
Van der Zyl added: “Where there is political chaos or economic disruption, people often seek a scapegoat to blame. Jews and other minorities have often borne the brunt of this. We must continue to insist on a society which respects and celebrates different groups, whether Jews, Muslims, European citizens or other minorities.”
Corbyn Puts Anti-Brexiters In A Bind
MPs worried about both Labour anti-Semitism and a hard Brexit face a dilemma after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made a bid to stop Brexit by offering to lead a caretaker government should the Conservative government, which only has a majority of one, lose a vote of no confidence.
MP Ivan Lewis, who resigned from the Labour Party over anti-Semitism within its midst, told The Jewish Press, “I know there are a significant number of colleagues who are struggling with their consciences. They are strongly opposed to a No Deal Brexit, but also determined that Jeremy Corbyn should never become prime minister of our country due to their concerns about anti-Semitism and his extremism.”
New Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has ruled out supporting a Corbyn-led temporary government, partly because she says the Labour leader has failed “to deal with the scourge of anti-Semitism within his own party.”
She told the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel that her party was now the “natural home” for Jews – a position once occupied by the Labour Party.
She said, “The Liberal Democrats have confronted anti-Semitism within their own party. I am committed to taking a zero tolerance approach to allegations of anti-Semitism and ensure the party acts decisively if issues do arise.”
She described anti-Israeli boycotts as “counter-productive.” She said that they added “fuel to a confrontational and aggressive narrative that those who do not want peace wish to build.”
MEPs Slammed For Radio Appearances
Brexit Party MEPs have been slammed for appearing on a controversial radio show that has tolerated anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said, “Brexit Party candidates – and, indeed, politicians of all stripes – should stay away from this show which has hosted Holocaust deniers, praised anti-Semites, and has links to the notorious connoisseur of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, David Icke.
The Brexit Party “must take unrelenting action to stamp out prejudice,” she said.
A Brexit spokesman denied knowledge of the show’s anti-Semitic links and said, “Obviously we denounce anti-Semitism and racism of any stripe.”
MP Sues Labour
MP Chris Williamson is suing the Labour Party after he was suspended for the second time over saying the party was “too apologetic” for anti-Semitism allegations made against it. More than 120 Labour MPs demanded Williamson be expelled after his suspension was lifted in June.
Williamson has launched a £75,000 Twitter fund-raising campaign to pay for his legal fees. He recently succeeded in addressing a Manchester event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre despite Manchester City Council’s threat to cut the electricity at the event.
Rabbi Salomon Passes Away
Gateshead Jewish community leader Ezriel Salomon died on Shabbat at the age 76.
The brother of Lakewood mashgiach Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, the Gateshead leader was awarded an MBE in 2010 and the Freedom of the Borough of Gateshead in 2011.
Rabbi Salomon was the head of Gateshead Jewish Primary School for 35 years. He also founded the Jewish Community Council of Gateshead, the Gateshead Interfaith Forum, Haskel, a charity for special needs children, and the Labriut Healthy Living Centre.
He retired 13 years ago after a stroke and was rushed to the hospital the night before a grandson’s bar mitzvah, two days before he died.