Robert Festenstein
Robert Festenstein

It’s only the Jews

It is now just over 10 hours to the British General Election, arguably the most important since the Second World War and likely to be as significant as that of 1979, which saw the election of Margaret Thatcher.  I remain convinced that a Labour victory will have a disastrous impact for the way of life for UK Jewry for generations.

The Jewish Community has found itself in the middle of a perfect storm.  The combination of Brexit, largely unregulated social media, a Labour Party which diminishes Jews and the breakdown of the principal of truth as being important all have their part to play.

In April of this year Labour tweeted the following message:

As Jewish people prepare for Passover, we’re wishing everyone in the Jewish community chag sameach.

Accompanying this were images of a Star of David, a goblet of wine and….a loaf of bread. If any other religious group were treated with such contempt there would be a national outcry, but it was only about the Jews so Labour just carried on as usual.

In August, the Equality and Human Rights Commission announced an investigation into anti-Semitism in the Labour party, but it was only about the Jews so Labour just carried on as usual.

10 days ago a Labour election video was released expressing the party’s support for minority groups which made no mention of the UK’s Jewish Community, but the omission was only the Jews so Labour just carried on as usual.

This last act was one which I found the most upsetting and made me the most angry.  Upset because of the obvious refusal to acknowledge us a community but angry because of the arrogant way in which we as a community have been punished for speaking out.  This was a deliberate act, a vengeful act maliciously undertaken to teach us a lesson, to let us know that our whinging and complaining has been noticed and this is the consequence.

If Labour forms a Government, we will be deliberately and systematically ostracised.  We know how it will be done, because it has been done in the Labour Party for some time now.  The crocodile tears will of course continue to flow, but little by little, our community will be reduced to also-rans as a minority, ignored, disliked and above all treated with suspicion and distrust.

For years now I have been speaking and writing of the dangers presented by the Labour leadership, and largely for the same time I have been told I am scaremongering and exaggerating.  Tonight, I am firmly convinced that putting aside all the rhetoric, there is no way that Labour could possibly treat any other minority as it treats British Jewry.  This is not about scaremongering, it is about telling the truth and above all, come this time next year, I really do not want to be saying to those around me I told you so, because then it will be too late.

About the Author
Robert Festenstein is a solicitor based in Manchester with considerable experience in Court actions. He is active in representing groups opposing BDS and fighting the increase in anti-Semitism, particularly amongst the left-wing in the UK.