Nearly 40 per cent of British Jews would ‘seriously consider’ emigrating if Corbyn became PM
Nearly 40 per cent of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister, a JC poll has found.
British Jews between 35-54 are most concerned about the prospect of a Labour government under Mr Corbyn with over half saying emigration is a serious consideration.
And amongst Jewish women, fear of the impact of Mr Corbyn becoming PM is so great that over 44 per cent say they would give serious thought to leaving the country.
51.77 per cent of British Jews said they would not seriously consider leaving, with a further 9.7 per cent saying they do not know.
The results, in the latest survey of British Jews carried out for the JC by polling company Survation, support claims made by the former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks at the weekend that the Labour leader is contributing to Jews openly questioning whether Britain is still a safe place to raise their children.
With recent population surveys suggesting there are now upwards of 290,000 Jews living in the UK, the poll results means that the election of a Labour government would leave around 115,000 seriously considering a new life abroad.
The full results:
At Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Theresa May told the House of Commons: “Jewish people living in this country should feel safe and secure – and not have to worry about their futures in their own country.”
Commenting on the poll, Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, said it was “deeply worrying” that “members of our community would even consider leaving Britain because they feel threatened by the prospect of our potential next Prime Minister.”
Pollsters Survation carried out their fieldwork between August 13 and September 4 – during which the Labour leader’s past speeches attacking British ‘Zionists’ and his attendance at a wreath laying ceremony in Tunisia for Palestinian terrorists connected to the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre made headlines.
Asked to react to two statements, “If Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister I would seriously consider emigrating” and “…I would not seriously consider emigrating”, 38.53 per cent of the 710 British Jews who were quizzed for the survey said they would consider emigrating.
In January 2015, in the week after the Paris murders – and nine months before Mr Corbyn was elected Labour leader – Survation asked British Jews: “Have last week’s events in Paris made you consider leaving Britain?”
Just 11 per cent said then that they would consider leaving, meaning there has been a huge rise in the number worried about their future in Britain since Mr Cobyn became Labour leader.
The new poll makes it clear that younger and female Jews are most likely to consider leaving should Mr Corbyn become PM.
44.07 per cent of all women quizzed for the survey say they would seriously consider emigrating – against 32. 7 per cent of men.
The survey also reveals that British Jews aged between 35-54 are most concerned about any Corbyn-led Labour government – with 50.83 per cent suggesting they would seriously consider emigrating.
Amongst those aged 18-34 the figure dips to 28.86 per cent – while amongst those aged over 55 35.84 per cent would seriously considering leaving the country.
Regionally there are small variations on the perceived threat posed by a Corbyn government. For Jews living outside the two most highly populated regions of London and the North West, 40.8 per cent say they would seriously consider emigration. In the North West this figure is 32.21 per cent – while in London it is 38.5 per cent.
JLC chair Jonathan Goldstein added: “As someone who has always been a proud British Jew, it saddens me that almost 40% of our community would consider emigrating if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister. This is deeply worrying.
“ Our community is open, confident and proud of our traditions, while at the same time also being proud how we are integrated across society and public life. The current difficulties with the Labour leadership serve as a sharp reminder that our values and our people have often needed defending.
“The Jewish Leadership Council and its members will always work to ensure that our community is protected and secure both physically and otherwise.
“Ultimately, we must also remind everyone that antisemitism is the world’s most reliable early warning sign of a major threat to freedom. If members of our community would even consider leaving Britain because they feel threatened by the prospect of our potential next Prime Minister, this should worry everyone.”
On Sunday, in an interview on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, Lord Sacks said: “When people hear the kind of language that has been coming out of Labour, that’s been brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier speeches, they cannot but feel an existential threat.”
He added: “Jews have been in Britain since 1656, I know of no other occasion in these 362 years when Jews – the majority of our community – are asking ‘is this country safe to bring up our children?’
“Now, this is very, very worrying.”