Jewish National Fund UK chair: ‘Jews have no future in England’
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Jewish National Fund UK chair: ‘Jews have no future in England’

Samuel Hayek made the startling claim during a newspaper interview, praised by Board of Deputies officer Gary Mond who spoke of his 'respect' for the businessman

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Samuel Hayek
Samuel Hayek

The chairman of one of the UK’s leading Jewish charities has made the startling claim that “Jews do not have a future in England”.

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post earlier this month, Jewish National Fund UK chair Samuel Hayek warned British Jews may “feel more comfortable” after the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn but “the underlying issues have not gone away”.

Hayek also claimed thousands of Jews would have emigrated from the country if Corbyn had become Prime Minister.

In addition to suggesting British Jews should consider emigration, he said: “Let’s assume that Corbyn would have become prime minister. We all know our lives would have changed without recognition. We cannot even understand it fully.”

“Is it easy to sell their businesses?” he asked. “Could they do it quickly? Where would they go? To South Africa, the United States, Canada – hopefully, Israel.”

Board of Deputies Honorary Officer Gary Mond this week spoke of his “respect” for Hayek over the comments.

Mond – who chairs the Board’s Communities and Education Division and acts also as a trustee of JNF UK  –  responded to a question from Bromley Reform Synagogue Deputy Joe Millis at Sunday’s Board Plenary, saying: “Samuel Hayek has been an outstanding chairman of JNF UK.

“I have been and remain honoured to serve as a trustee of JNF UK under his leadership.

“He has been a real force in the UK for standing up for Israel and I respect his approach for not being frightened to speak his mind.”

Mond stressed at the Plenary it was “my job to ensure the British community does have a future in this country.”

He also said he believed that debate with the community was stifled when some were seen to hold views that were “beyond the pale.”

Mond said this led to what he described as a “pernicious cancel culture.”

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies hit back at Hayek’s claim, saying: “While all members of the community are entitled to their own opinions, the Board of Deputies firmly believes that the British Jewish community has a strong future in this country and is dedicated to ensuring that this is the case.”

 

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