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UK May pledges to protect British Jews

Sept. 19, 2018 4:00 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 23, 2018 9:39 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May emphasized that there was no excuse for anti-Semitism, pledging to protect British-Jewish identity and Israel's right to defend itself.

Theresa May saidو during, a United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) dinner and said that it "sickens" her that a number of British Jews were reconsidering their future in the UK, as an attack on opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, in the run-up to his Labour Party conference next weekend.

May referred to a recent poll in Britain's Jewish Chronicle, which found that almost 40% of British Jews would seriously consider emigrating if Corbyn becomes prime minister.

In August, UK's former chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, called Corbyn an anti-Semite and revealed comments from 2013 said by Corbyn about Zionists, which were labeled as the "most offensive by a senior UK politician in half a century."

The comments included "British Zionists don't understand English irony despite having lived in this country for a very long time."

May emphasized that "nothing excuses anti-Semitism – not comedy, not satire, not even irony."

However, Corbyn, a campaigner for Palestinian rights, recently pledged to eradicate anti-Semitism.

May said "If we are to stand up for the values that we share - then one of the things we need to do is give young Jewish people the confidence to be proud of their identity – as British, Jewish and Zionist too. There is no contradiction between these identities and we must never let anyone try to suggest that there should be."

She stressed "You can also count on my commitment to Israel’s security. I am clear that we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself. Criticizing the actions of Israel is never — and can never be — an excuse for questioning Israel's right to exist."

May concluded "Under my leadership the UK will always be a real and trusted partner for Israel, supporting Israel’s security and prosperity, not just through our words but also through our actions."

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