British PM promises to stand by the Jewish community

In a message for Hanukkah, PM Theresa May vows to defend Jews' right to practice their faith.

Ben Ariel ,

Theresa May
Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday vowed to always stand by the Jewish community, in a special message she released for Hanukkah.

“As we confront the horrors of growing anti-Semitism and the appalling hate fuelled terrorist attacks that we have seen across Europe, so the themes of freedom and liberty at the heart of the Hanukkah story remain as relevant as ever,” said May.

“For just as the Maccabees resisted oppression and kept their faith, to be rewarded by the miracle of a light that burnt for eight nights, so too must we today have the courage to stand up for our values and hold sacred our way of life.

“For as long as I am Prime Minister,” she promised, “I want you to know that I will stand alongside you and passionately defend your right to practice your faith, free from question or fear. I will do everything I can to keep you and your families safe and to fight the divisive prejudice and extremist ideology that lies at the heart of anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred. And I will celebrate proudly the extraordinary contribution that our Jewish communities make to our country, for as I have said before, Britain would simply not be Britain without its Jews.

“So as our Jewish communities come together for this special time, let us take confidence and pride in our values and in doing so let us draw hope from the Chanukah message that light will always overcome darkness and that joy and peace will always overcome hatred,” concluded May.

The message comes as the British government is set to be among the first to formally adopt an international definition of anti-Semitism that includes over-sweeping condemnation of Israel as an anti-Semitic manifestation.

Recently released statistics found that there has been a 61 percent increase in anti-Semitic crime in Britain over the last year.

Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd pledged last month to spend millions to provide guards for all Jewish schools, colleges, nurseries and synagogues.

May recently addressed the British parliamentary group Conservative Friends of Israel, where she praised Israel and pledged Britain's ongoing support while attacking the opposition Labour Party for “turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism.”

The British Prime Minister called anti-Semitism in Britain “unacceptable.” She acknowledged and decried the rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the country, and said, “It is disgusting that these twisted views are found in British politics.”