The election result has removed a major threat to Britain’s Jewish community
by Charles Gardner
The devastating blow to Labour’s fortunes in December’s election is somewhat reminiscent of the way the Jews of ancient Persia were saved from annihilation through the intervention of Queen Esther.
And with the Jewish festival that celebrates this great deliverance just around the corner (9 March), it is an appropriate time to reflect on its ongoing lessons – especially in view of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz (27 January) on the eve of Germany’s humiliating defeat in World War 2.
Haman, one of the Persian king’s ministers, was plotting to destroy the Jewish people and had built a gallows on which to hang Esther’s guardian Mordecai. But it came back on his own head when news reached the king of the latter’s part in thwarting an assassination plot, and it was Haman who was hanged.
In the same way, the Labour Party made a rope with which to hang itself, taking sides against the God of Israel through an effective alliance with Middle Eastern terrorist groups committed to wiping the Jewish state off the map while also posing a threat to Britain’s Jewish community.
In doing so, they suffered a wipe-out at the polls from which they may never recover. They had touched the “apple of God’s eye” (Zechariah 2:8), which blinded them to virtually all other realities.
Even the Chief Rabbi had intervened ahead of the general election. In an unprecedented move, Ephraim Mirvis warned that the soul of the nation was at stake over the prospect of the Labour Party winning power.
Author Giles Udy, writing in the Daily Mail, was particularly struck by the last Labour rally of the campaign when supporters gathered to cheer Corbyn while, across the road, activists protesting against the party’s handling of anti-Semitism had unravelled a banner saying ‘Never Corbyn’.
“Labour Party supporters taunted their Jewish fellow citizens and implicitly threatened them with genocide”
But the Corbynites jeered and chanted: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – effectively calling for the eradication of Israel.
“Supporters of the Labour Party thus taunted their Jewish fellow citizens and implicitly threatened them with genocide – on British streets,” Udy noted.
This kind of scenario had been witnessed before, most shockingly during the 2018 Labour Conference in Liverpool when the same chant was heard amid the waving of Palestinian flags.
The party’s political arguments had thus been reduced to chants about ‘Palestine’, demonstrating little concern for real issues either at home or abroad. Ross Clark, in the same paper, wrote: “The Palestinian terrorist group (Hamas) has lost their most high-profile political ally in the Western world”.
As further evidence, a Jeremy Corbyn Facebook page with 72,000 followers was until recently managed from the Gaza Strip, with the involvement of the Hamas leadership.
At last, it seems that not only were traditional Labour voters fed up with dilly-dallying over Brexit, but most of the electorate had finally got the message that Corbyn was not to be trusted with high office.
This Esther-like rescue is due in no small measure to the fervent prayers of many Christians
Unsurprisingly, most of the 300,000-strong traditionally Labour-backing Jewish community have deserted the party. Their decision was vindicated by a Labour election campaign video which promised to value certain named minorities without mentioning the Jews.
So we praise God for this Esther-like rescue due in no small measure to the fervent prayers of many Christians desperate for a turnaround in our political and spiritual fortunes. We should have been dancing in the streets for being spared a Jew-hating, Marxist government, just as the Jews of Persia celebrated with joy and gladness following their deliverance through Esther (Esther 8:16).
Standing with Israel is an important step in the right direction (Genesis 12:3, Isaiah 60:12, Joel 3:2) and Boris Johnson has made it clear that he is a friend of the Jewish state.
He has also struck a conciliatory note with his opponents, displaying a degree of humility which bodes well for the opportunity of righting past wrongs where Israel is concerned.
Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt made a start by apologising for the way we treated Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust by denying them entry to the Promised Land when Britain held the mandate for the territory.
Boris needs to take this further, as we have repeatedly betrayed Israel over the years in exchange for oil and Arab appeasement. And a chance to do something positive on this score is close at hand with the forthcoming centenary of the San Remo Conference on the Italian Riviera.
A chance to do something positive is close at hand with the forthcoming centenary of the San Remo Conference
The treaty signed there in April 1920 by the allied victors of World War 1 represents Israel’s ‘earthly deed’ to their ancient land – yes, all the way from the river to the sea! Yet most nations (apart from the US) are still pushing for a ‘two-state solution’ which is nowhere to be found in this key document.
A change of heart – and policy – is urgently required as a right relationship with Israel is essential to a nation’s success. But it doesn’t end there.
Once we’ve re-established that our support for Israel is foundational to a nation built on biblical precepts, we are on the path towards recovering our Judeo-Christian ethos across the whole spectrum of national life.
For in serving the God of Israel, we will surely find ourselves re-connected to the Jewish Messiah, on whose principles our great country was built.