SNP PACT WITH CORBYN ‘A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL’
After Chief Rabbi’s stinging attack on Labour, Scots Jewish leaders warn Sturgeon against handing party keys to No10
JEWISH leaders in Scotland have accused Nicola Sturgeon of ‘doing a deal with the devil’ by preparing to help Jeremy Corbyn into No10. Prominent figures in the Jewish community voiced concern over the possibility of a pact between the Nationalists and a minority Labour government.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has strongly criticised Labour, claiming the party is not doing enough to root out anti-Semitism.
Paul Edlin, president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, said the First Minister would be doing a ‘deal with the devil’.
The intervention came as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn last night declined four times to apologise to the community in a BBC interview with veteran journalist Andrew Neil.
Mr Corbyn also denied that allegations of anti-Semitism had increased since he took
over as party leader. Elliot Davis, cochairman of the Judeo-Christian Alliance, warned that Jews were fearful of Mr Corbyn winning power.
Scottish Tory candidate for East Renfrewshire, Paul Masterton, said: ‘The Jewish community in Scotland are rightly concerned about Nicola Sturgeon’s support for Jeremy Corbyn.
‘It’s clear that she regards another independence referendum as more important than the wellbeing and concerns of this minority group. That tells you everything you need to know about the SNP and its list of priorities.’
Mr Edlin told the Mail: ‘We would be very concerned about Nicola Sturgeon doing a deal with the Labour Party in view of reported anti-Semitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – anyone doing a deal with Corbyn would be doing a deal with the devil.’
Writing in today’s Mail, Mr Davis accuses Miss Sturgeon of ‘putting her own narrow political agenda ahead of the urgent need to challenge the destructive prejudice that is bringing Labour to its knees’. Mr Davis adds that many Jews would see the proposed SNP-Labour pact as an ‘abject surrender that would effectively throw their community under a bus in a bid to fulfil the SNP’s core mission of splitting apart the UK’.
Yesterday, he said: ‘British Jews are fearful, they look at the support Corbyn has garnered from both far-Left and far-Right; they are aware of the growing violent threats, and they are concerned for their safety and for the safety of their loved ones.
‘They look at Corbyn’s words, his actions (and inactions), and are in no doubt about his complicity in the racism scandal engulfing Labour. He has never shown any empathy for the vast majority of British Jews, who also incidentally believe in Israel’s right to self-determination.’
Labour is under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission over alleged institutional anti-Semitism.
Commenting on Mr Davis’s remarks, a Scottish Labour spokesman said: ‘Labour is committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community.
‘We are taking robust and decisive action to root out anti-Semitism in our party and wider society. Reforms over the last 18 months have led to an increase of more than four-fold in the rate at which cases are dealt with.
‘Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal for fast-track expulsions is now being implemented and Jeremy has launched an education programme to better educate members and supporters about the various forms of anti-Semitism.’
An SNP spokesman said: ‘The SNP has signed up to and fully supports the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism and we will not tolerate it in any way. The SNP has made clear our disappointment in and opposition to both Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson, and we call on all parties to show leadership in calling out anti-Semitism.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday accused Mr Corbyn of failing to stamp out the ‘virus’ of anti-Semitism.
Asked about Rabbi Mirvis’s comments and how Miss Sturgeon should respond given that she is prepared to do a deal with Mr Corbyn, he said: ‘That’s a matter for Nicola. All I’ll say about that is I do think it is a very serious business when the Chief Rabbi speaks as he does.
‘I’ve never seen anything like it and clearly it is a failure of leadership on the part of the Labour leader, who has not been able to stamp out this virus in the Labour Party.’
Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw said: ‘I’ve met the Chief Rabbi, he’s an enormously dignified and humble man, he is not somebody who would feel it necessary to intervene in a General Election campaign lightly – and I think everyone should respect what he has to say.’
Chief Rabbi: Ephraim Mirvis