by Benjamin Kerstein – Algemeiner Journal
British Prime Minister Theresa May delivered an emotional and unequivocal broadside against antisemitism in her country during a House of Commons appearance on Wednesday.
May’s statement came in response to a question from John Mann, a Labour MP who has been outspoken on the issue of antisemitism in his own party and British society at large.
“For almost 400 years, this country almost uniquely in the world has been a place of safety and security and a place where Jewish communities have thrived,” Mann said during a Prime Minister’s Questions Time session.
“In 2018, many in the Jewish community are questioning whether this will be the case into the future,” he continued. “And a disturbingly large number of young Jewish people are questioning whether they should remain in this country.”
“Does the prime minister agree with me that 2019 has to be a year when we all stand up and be counted to ensure that those young Jewish people believe, and stay in this country, wishing to contribute and no longer fearing for their future?” he asked.
To shouts of “Hear! Hear!” May responded, “Can I say to the honorable gentleman that I absolutely agree with him? Jewish people should be able to feel safe and secure in this country. I never thought I would see the day when Jewish people living in this country questioned whether they should stay in this country. I think this is a terrible state of affairs that we have come to.”
Visibly moved, May added, “There’s no place for racial hatred in our society, it’s important that we all take every step to tackle it. … It is absolutely right when the honorable gentleman talks about the need for us all, every one of us, to stand up now, to stand up as we go into the new year, and say 2019 will be the year when we stand up and say there is no place for antisemitism or racial hatred in our society.”
Watch the full exchange below:
A strong response from the PM, 2019 is indeed the year we must all work to eradicate the scourge of antisemitism pic.twitter.com/u0cwrlc5TX
— SussexFriendsIsrael (@SussexFriends) December 19, 2018