Rabbi Jonathan Romain makes a heartfelt plea not to put Jeremy Corbyn in No10

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There used to be a time when, after a service in my synagogue in Maidenhead, my congregants would come up and ask me seemingly trivial questions, such as whether Jews can have tattoos.

But in recent months, their concerns have been of a more urgent, personal nature: 'Will we be safe?'

They are, of course, referring to the terrifying stench of anti-Semitism.

And its origin is the disturbing possibility that Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party may win the election, or at least secure enough seats to form a governing coalition with the Scottish Nationalists.

For those of us in the Jewish community, it is a deeply worrying prospect. Indeed, I believe that Corbyn poses such a threat to Britain's Jews that it is incumbent on all Jewish leaders to speak out.

Indeed, I believe that Corbyn (pictured with John McDonnell) poses such a threat to Britain's Jews that it is incumbent on all Jewish leaders to speak out

Indeed, I believe that Corbyn (pictured with John McDonnell) poses such a threat to Britain's Jews that it is incumbent on all Jewish leaders to speak out

I have never written an article like this before. In the past, I — along with most other clergy of all faiths — have avoided being party political. We may have tackled issues such as poverty or homelessness, but we have never been in the business of taking sides.

But this week — after Corbyn's right-hand man, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, spuriously declared that Labour has been 'rapid and at times ruthless' in stamping out anti-Semitism — I decided that I could no longer keep silent.

And I am not the only one. This week, two other senior rabbis have also spoken out, while Britain's leading Jewish newspaper, The Jewish Chronicle, bravely published a front page editorial urging voters to shun Labour.

Rabbi Jonathan Romain (pictured) makes a heartfelt plea not to put 'the man that would poison Britain' in No10

Rabbi Jonathan Romain (pictured) makes a heartfelt plea not to put 'the man that would poison Britain' in No10

And so, for the first time ever, I have emailed everyone in my community — which covers a wide area, including Labour constituencies such as Reading and Slough — about the election.

I told them that the threat of Corbyn is such that they should put aside all other considerations and vote for whichever party is most likely to defeat Labour in their constituency — even if they would never normally vote for that party.

Despite the fact that many in my congregation have been life-long Labour supporters, my intervention did not come as a surprise.

Few can be blind to the fact that, if Corbyn gets into No 10, we will have a Prime Minister who is at worst anti-Semitic, and at best content to tolerate anti-Semitic behaviour.

I do not exaggerate when I say that, in my congregation, elderly worshippers are questioning why they bothered to fight Hitler, only for the country they were defending to one day be governed by people, some of whom, while definitely not Nazis, allow anti-Semitism to fester at the heart of their party.

Our younger members, meanwhile, whose knowledge of anti-Semitism has come from history books, are suddenly feeling its icy grip for the first time in their lives.

How naïve I was to think that my generation would be the last to have its childhoods blighted by this oldest of hatreds.

One of my earliest memories is of my mother showing me a photo album of her as a child in Germany in the Thirties. When she pointed to pictures of her aunts, uncles and cousins, I blurted out: 'But I have never met them!'

'No', she said, 'and you never will,' and closed the book without saying another word.

For me, the bitter truth about Corbyn's own anti-Semitism was made clear for all to see last year, when he waded into a discussion about a grotesque mural that had appeared in East London (pictured), depicting rich Jewish financiers playing a Monopoly-style board game which rested on the backs of naked downtrodden workers

For me, the bitter truth about Corbyn's own anti-Semitism was made clear for all to see last year, when he waded into a discussion about a grotesque mural that had appeared in East London (pictured), depicting rich Jewish financiers playing a Monopoly-style board game which rested on the backs of naked downtrodden workers

It was only years later that I learnt that, while my mother had been fortunate enough to escape Germany via the 'kindertransport' rescue operation for Jewish children, much of her family was murdered in the extermination camps.

Despite this tragic history, I have never had much cause to think my religious beliefs could imperil my safety.

Yes, there were a few idiots at school, but they shouted abuse at everyone who was the slightest bit different — regardless of whether they were Jewish, wore glasses or had freckles.

It never occurred to me that anti-Semitism might rear its ugly head once more, especially in mainstream politics.

Surely, I assumed, the centuries-old traditions of British justice and fair play meant that it was unthinkable that Jews in Britain would have anything to worry about.

And yet, the unthinkable has now happened.

What is so shocking about this possible threat to our existence is that its genesis lies in the hands of just one man: Jeremy Corbyn.

Anti-Semitism was never allowed to thrive under previous Labour leaders, be it Tony Blair on the Right or Michael Foot on the Left.

But since Corbyn's election as leader, it has spread like a fast-growing cancer, worming its way into the very heart of Labour and infecting the rest of its body.

On a local level, his seizure of power has been followed by an influx of new activists, whose hard-Left policies came hand-in-hand with anti-Semitic outbursts. Just this

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