For the first time in living memory, the Jewish community is deeply afraid of one of our two main parties. What makes matters worse is that this is the very party that, until recently, had felt like a natural home for many in the Jewish community. Labour is a party that is supposed to protect the interests of workers, ensure care and dignity for the vulnerable and advocate for marginalised groups. What has become clear is that the Labour party no longer considers that Jewish people require this support. And this is why I am standing against Jeremy Corbyn in Islington north.
There is a left-wing idea that power structures must be challenged. When this view is combined with the thought that Jews are a disproportionately powerful group, it is a small step in the direction of wanting to tackle supposed Jewish ‘power’.
Labour has often been regarded as the traditional home of black and ethnic minority voters. But there is a strange sense that the Jewish community is one minority group to whom the party’s aspirations of protection, advocacy and social justice simply do not extend. At times, it feels like Corbyn’s Labour even represents a diverse coalition of groups united by a shared belief in anti-Semitic tropes.
It was never my intention to enter politics. I am a social worker and have been an activist for the Iraqi Jewish community. My keen interest in Eurosceptic politics turned to ire when the Brexit vote was ignored by our parliamentarians. Like millions of people up and down the country, I was astounded by the impertinence of our parliament who have patronised, insulted and held in contempt the majority of this country.
After the decision by Nigel Farage to put country before party and stand down candidates from Tory-held seats, I put myself forward for Islington north. I am honoured that I have this opportunity to offer leave voters a political home. But let’s not have any misunderstandings, Corbyn has a huge majority. He took 73 per cent of the vote at the last election and Islington north is one of the most remain seats in the country, with 78.4 per cent backing continued EU membership in 2016.
Other than Brexit and promoting our people’s contract of policies, there is, as you might imagine another key motivating factor for standing against Corbyn: anti-Semitism on the far left.
Just by be being here – and looking as I do – I am holding up a mirror to the anti-Jewish racism that has been allowed to permeate Her Majesty’s’ most ‘loyal’ opposition. Residents of Islington north will have the opportunity to vote for a member of a community that is terrified of what could come to pass come 13 December.
I have been bemused by people who described themselves as Labour party supporters telling me that I am standing for an anti-Semitic party. Above all else, I want to defend and promote the longstanding tradition of open-mindedness and pluralism that attracted my family to this country. I want to show my deep-seated gratitude to the country that I love and that has given my family the opportunity to work hard and achieve on a level playing field.
Our entire country is at risk if this Labour party ever gets into power. The Jewish community would be alarmed and deeply afraid were Corbyn to become prime minister.
Yet the support my campaign has received has given me renewed hope for the future of our country. There are so many proud patriots who come from every community and want to make our society better. It’s time we work together to make Britain an even better for everyone, Jews included. And we can start by kicking Jeremy Corbyn out of parliament.
Yosef David is Brexit party candidate in Islington North