Four in ten
Jews would ‘seriously consider’ emigrating if Corbyn became PM
NEARLY 40 per cent of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister, a JC poll has found.
And in the 35-54 age group — those most concerned about the prospect of a Corbyn government — over half say emigration is a serious consideration.
Amongst Jewish women, fear is so great that over 44 per cent say they would give serious thought to leaving the country.
51.8 per cent of British Jews said they would not seriously consider leaving, with a further 9.7 per cent saying they did not know.
The results of the latest survey carried out for the JC by polling company Survation support claims made by the former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks at the weekend that the Labour leader is contributing to Jews openly questioning whether Britain is still a safe place to raise their children.
With recent population surveys suggesting there are now upwards of 290,000 Jews living in the UK, the poll results means that the election of a Labour government would leave around 115,000 seriously considering a new life abroad.
At Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Theresa May told MPs: “Jewish people living in this country should feel safe and secure — and not have to worry about their futures in their own country.”
Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, said it was “deeply worrying” that “members of our community would even consider leaving Britain because they feel threatened by the prospect of our potential next Prime Minister.”
Survation carried out their fieldwork between August 13 and September 4, while Mr Corbyn’s past speeches attacking British ‘Zionists’ and his attendance at a wreath laying ceremony for Palestinian terrorists connected to the 1972 Munich massacre made headlines.
Asked to react to two statements, “If Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister I would seriously consider emigrating” and “…I would not seriously consider emigrating”, 38.5 per cent of the 710 who were quizzed said they would.
In January 2015, the week after the Paris murders — and nine months before Mr Corbyn was elected Labour leader — Survation asked: “Have last week’s events in Paris made you consider leaving Britain?”
Only 11 per cent said then that they would, meaning there has been a huge rise in the number worried about their future in Britain.
The new poll makes it clear that younger and female Jews are most likely to consider leaving.
Of all women quizzed, 44.1 per cent said they would seriously consider emigrating — against 32. 7 per cent of men.
And of those aged 35-54, 50.8 per cent suggested they would seriously consider emigrating.
Amongst those aged 18-34, the figure dips to 28.9 per cent — while amongst those over 55, 35.8 per cent would seriously considering leaving the country.
Regionally, there are small variations. For Jews living outside the two most highly populated regions of London and the North West, 40.8 per cent said they would seriously consider emigration. In the North West, the figure is 32.2 per cent — while in London it is 38.5 per cent.
Jonathan Goldstein added: “This is deeply worrying. Our community is open, confident and proud of our traditions, while at the same time also being proud of how we are integrated across society and public life. The current difficulties with the Labour leadership serve as a sharp reminder that our values and our people have often needed defending.
“Ultimately, we must also remind everyone that antisemitism is the world’s most reliable early warning sign of a major threat to freedom.”
On Sunday, in an interview on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, Lord Sacks said: “When people hear the kind of language that has been coming out of Labour, that’s been brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier speeches, they cannot but feel an existential threat.”
He added: “Jews have been in Britain since 1656, I know of no other occasion in these 362 years when Jews — the majority of our community — are asking ‘is this country safe to bring up our children?’”