British Jewry Places Their Fears Directly Before All the Voters

British Jewry Places Their Fears Directly Before All the Voters


Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

As the parliamentary election approaches, the British Jewish community has become seriously concerned about the growth of anti-Semitism. It no longer a mere anti-Labour scare tactic. Almost 50% of the Jews polled in Britain now say that if the Labour Party wins the election and Jeremy Corbin forms the next Government, they will seriously consider leaving Britain.

The latest manifestation of this growing reality appeared last Thursday on the cover of the 178-year-old national British Jewish newspaper, The Jewish ChronicleThe JC ran a front-page leader or editorial  which addressed the danger facing Britain should Corbyn succeed in forming a new Government following the December 12 election. What was unique about this editorial was that it was emblazoned on the front page of the paper but was not addressed to British Jews; but “To All Our Fellow British Citizens”.

At the moment most polls suggest that Corbyn is trailing Boris Johnson by more than double digits. The problem with these numbers is that there is it still one month before the election and, unlike the United States, elections only intensify in the closing week or days. Second, and perhaps most important, polls of likely voters in Britain are a notoriously unpredictable measure of voters’ preferences and generally tend to be unreliable.

The British are intensely private people who refrain from discussing even with close friends and family their personal or private matters; including voting preferences. While good pollsters in Britain recognize this and control for this behavior, there have been numerous election polls’ predictions, which have deviated dramatically from the ultimate results; largely because the British do not tell pollsters the truth. They just pollsters that their voting preference is “none of their business.”

According to some analysts—who have drawn the intersection between voter preference and Brexit indicate that more voters favoring REMAIN [in the E.U.] favor the Lib Dems than Labour.  It is unclear how many seats will the REMAIN Scottish National Party, Nigel Farge’s Breixt Party, and the Liberal Democrats Party, siphon off from both Labour and the Tories.

All of this finally raises the question of whether the voters in Britain even care about Jewish racism, 80 years after the Holocaust? Are the British voters ready to prioritize protecting a small minority of approximately 300,000 citizens, in an election whose major issue is largely focused on whether Britain will remain in the European Union? Can the voters recognize that their Brexit preferences can be achieved without at the same time electing that an anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist prime minister?

If Johnson wins Breixt should be resolved, absent all the not inconsequential details. If there is a hung parliament, Great Britain will continue to limp along until both the Conservatives and Labour select new leaders. If Labour wins, the economic consequences to Britain and the world could be dramatic and could well end Jewish life in Great Britain.


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