The Archbishop recognized that the Chief Rabbi’s public post represented an “insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews.”
Following a column by Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in The Times on Monday in which he justified rising Jewish anxiety in the UK in the face of rampant anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby backed the rabbi Tuesday on Twitter.
Though neither religious leader explicitly stated who one should vote for, it is clear from the content that both are concerned about the future should the Labour Party win the UK’s election on December 12.
The Chief Rabbi wrote, “The way in which the leadership of the Labour Party has dealt with anti-Jewish racism is incompatible with the British values of which we are so proud – of dignity and respect for all people. It has left many decent Labour members and parliamentarians, both Jewish and non-Jewish, ashamed.”
He also noted, “What we do know from history is that what starts with the Jews, never ends with the Jews.’”
The archbishop tweeted:
“That the chief rabbi should be compelled to make such an unprecedented statement at this time ought to alert us to the deep sense of insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews. They should be able to live in accordance with their beliefs and freely express their culture and faith.
As a Church, we are very conscious of our own history of antisemitism. None of us can afford to be complacent. Voicing words that commit to a stand against antisemitism requires a corresponding effort in visible action.”
In a major report last week, the Church of England acknowledged its own history of anti-Semitism.
Since acknowledging their sentiments, both the Archbishop and the Chief Rabbi have faced vile attacks online from supporters of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“It is heartbreaking to see a party [Labour] so many of us joined to fight racism and which had such a proud record of fighting for equality reduced to this,” Former Minister Ian Austin tweeted, according to the Daily Mail. “Utterly shameful. A complete disgrace. Corbyn & co should be so ashamed.”