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Golders Green voters express concern about Corbyn in wake of fresh criticism

The Finchley and Golders Green constituency has one of the largest Jewish communities in London.

Musician Gili Goldberg (Jess Glass/PA)
Musician Gili Goldberg (Jess Glass/PA)

By Jess Glass and Thomas Hornall, PA

Voters in Golders Green have expressed concern about Jeremy Corbyn in the wake of fresh criticism of the Labour Party’s approach to anti-Semitism.

On Tuesday the Labour leader faced staunch criticism from the Chief Rabbi of the UK, Ephraim Mirvis, as well as former MPs, over allegations of systemic anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.

The Finchley and Golders Green constituency has one of the largest Jewish communities in London.

Speaking to the PA news agency on Tuesday, several voters were concerned about the forthcoming election.

Rachel Hannah Dobrik, 28, a politics student and manager at Falafel Feast in Finchley, said that British Jews would be “put on the front line” if Labour were in government.

She said: “I believe anti-Semitism would also be moved upwards and legitimised within our own areas.

“It would cause us to consider leaving, it would cause us to consider our future in this country.

“Though [Mr Corbyn] says he speaks about combating racism, we have not seen him do anything to help our community in the country.

“It’s his fault that Labour has been destroyed and that Labour is unelectable.”

In a column in The Times on Tuesday, the Chief Rabbi said the “overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety” ahead of the December 12 General Election.

Some voters in the north London constituency shared the Chief Rabbi’s concerns.

Elia Baderman, 23, a student in Finchley and Golders Green, said he would be voting Lib Dem and added that he completely agreed with the Chief Rabbi.

He told PA: “I have absolutely no intention of voting for the two big parties.

“I find it reprehensible the way [Mr Corbyn] has dealt with the anti-Semitic allegations against him and his party and his colleagues.

“I feel that the majority of Jews in the UK are extremely concerned with the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn being elected.

“The attitude of, seemingly, tolerance towards how Jews are being increasingly treated negatively is concerning.

“I think that’s possibly only due to increase with his potential election.”

However some voters were more split about Labour and the other political parties.

Musician Gili Goldberg, 22, said he was “really torn” about which party to vote for.

For me it's a bit difficult, being a Jew and hearing about the Labour Party and what's going on Gili Goldberg

He said: “For me it’s a bit difficult, being a Jew and hearing about the Labour Party and what’s going on.

“I personally can’t see Jeremy Corbyn as a strong leader for this country and neither the Conservatives with Boris.

“I think that’s why I also find it so difficult to vote for a party I can believe in.”

Mr Goldberg tempered the Chief Rabbi’s remarks.

He continued: “I think there’s a lot of anxiety.

“To say gripped with anxiety, no, everyone’s still themselves.

“I know Jewish people who will vote Labour and I also know Jews who can’t fathom the idea of having a Labour government.”

Public services adviser Adam Fineberg, 53, who is also Jewish, told PA the rabbi’s comments did not reflect the views of the entire community.

“The Chief Rabbi is the Chief Rabbi of the orthodox communities. He does not represent the majority of the Jews,” Mr Fineberg said.

“The Chief Rabbi doesn’t speak for me, I think it’s very detrimental because it isolates and suggests the whole of the Jewish community are against the Labour Party.

“I don’t think any of this does any favours for anyone.”

Other voters in the constituency, who were not Jewish, expressed concern about anti-Semitism in the party.

Retired Finchley resident Jerry, 69, said the modern Labour Party were “unreconstituted Marxists”.

He said: “The damage that Corbyn would cause with his mad economic plans is just too much to bear, I don’t think the country could take it.

“I don’t like the fact that Momentum have effectively taken over the party. Today’s Labour Party I find really quite scary.”

He added: “I’m going with Mike Freer, the Conservative, because I really don’t want Labour to get the seat. That would frighten the life out of me if I’m honest.”

PA

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