The leadership of the Board of Deputies of British Jews today held discussions with Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn at Westminster on a range of matters of interest and concern to the UK Jewish community.
The meeting has resulted in significant clarifications of the views of the Leader of the Opposition on key issues for the Jewish community.
Board President Jonathan Arkush, who represented the Board together with Chief Executive Gillian Merron, said that there had been welcome agreement in some key policy areas but that there were still matters on which the Labour leader could make firmer commitments. He said: “We had a positive and constructive meeting and were pleased that Mr Corbyn gave a very solid commitment to the right of Israel to live within secure and recognised boundaries as part of a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Mr Corbyn affirmed his support for shechitah, brit milah and Jewish faith schools. He also resolved in strong terms to fight antisemitism from wherever it comes. He rejected any sort of violence or intimidation such as occurred at King’s College London last month. Despite being pressed, he should do more to address profound and real concerns about past meetings with people or organisations with extremist or antisemitic views. We are also looking for the Labour leadership to show with more clarity that it will maintain its longstanding opposition of boycotts against Israel. However, this is the beginning of a conversation between the Jewish community and the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and we will be meeting him again later this year.”