With the polls closing in just a few hours, it is hard to determine what policies the electorate will prioritise when voting for their future government. Will it be the parties’ positions on Brexit? Will it be the NHS? Or will it be the parties’ track records on xenophobia and racism? There is no doubt that the UK Jewish community will be treating Labour’s failure to stamp out antisemitism as a deciding factor.
Over the last number of years, the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has catastrophically failed to handle its internal issue of anti-Semitic racism. Although numerous complaints were brought to the leadership, the reaction was slow and defensive, with the allegations being simply denied instead of resolved. It is therefore logical and reasonable that Jewish people who once called the Labour party ‘home’ are looking towards other alternatives in this year’s general election: ‘Anyone But Corbyn’ is a slogan you hear drifting throughout the community. According to a Survation poll conducted by the Jewish Leadership Council in 2019, Jewish support for the Labour party lies at a detrimental 6%.
Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, on the other hand, are favourites with 64%, but this figure appears to be highly controversial. If the Jewish population are voting against the Labour party in order to slam its institutional racism and defend their religion, then surely their vote should not go to the Conservative Party either? Not only has the party leader and current Prime Minister Boris Johnson been called out multiple times for his racist and xenophobic slurs (such as his comparison of Muslim women to ‘letterboxes’), but the Conservative party has had a long history of Islamophobia that still simmers to this day. Theresa May in her time in office had been called upon on numerous occasions to apologise on behalf of her party and to resolve the institutional dilemma, but failed to do so. The Conservative party’s islamophobic behaviour has been lost amongst Labour’s crisis, and for this reason has not received the same punishment. However, while the newspapers have rightly sought to undermine the Labour party at this time of complete embarrassment, the Conservatives have used Labour’s antisemitism as a weapon to blind their supporters and the rest of the electorate of their own corrupt social and political conduct which is inherently ridden with racist
and xenophobic slurs.
A British Jew voting for the Conservative Party in an attack against the Labour Party’s antisemitism would be awfully hypocritical. While condemning one party for their disgusting treatment of a religious community, they are simply endorsing another. Even though the Jewish community’s anger towards the Labour party is utterly intelligible and a vote for the Conservatives would be highly logical given their role as Labour’s main opposition, it would also oppose the original motivation behind the vote.
I will not be voting Labour in this election, and neither will I be voting for the Conservative party. A plethora of factors have helped me make my decision for my vote on the 12th of December, but one that certainly will not escape me is the exclusion and isolation promoted by political parties. I do not endorse any form of racism, and a party in government who fails to address and eradicate such behaviour does not deserve a legitimate rule.
Image - Unsplash.