Corbyn Sends Hanukkah Greeting With Message of Compassion for Refugees

Labour Party leader said the holiday celebrates sharing, adding: 'Jewish communities, often drawing on their own experiences of persecution, have supported refugees'

File photo: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview, London, November 19, 2018.
Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Leader of the U.K. opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn posted Sunday on social media a Hanukkah greeting, mainly focusing on a message of 'kindness, sharing and welcoming' refugees. Amid allegations of anti-Semitism in the party, Corbyn's message did not discuss relations with British Jews.

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In his message, recorded in a London shop run by the Help Refugees NGO, Corbyn said "Hanukkah celebrates a miracle. When the Maccabees retook the Temple they found only enough oil to light the lamps for one day, but it lasted for eight."

"Stories told in Jewish communities reflect on this message, that we can see in the Hanukkah candlelight, the message that just enough can be plenty, especially when shared with a stranger in need," addded Corbyn.

According to him, "Jewish communities across the world, often drawing on their own experiences of fight and persecution, have supported refugees."

"Among the fried foods and chocolate coins," said Corbyn, "Hanukkah reminds us of what we have and how we can share it with others. And that is what Choose Love is doing right here, it brings out the best of our humanity".

Help Refugees is a British NGO working in several locations across Europe and the Middle East, focusing on aid and refugee rights advocacy. Its shop in London allows customers to shop for items that are then delivered to refugees in need.

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Last month, British police launched a criminal investigation into allegations of anti-Semitic hate crimes within the opposition Labour Party.

Corbyn himself has over the past couple of years struggled to rebut persistent charges of anti-Semitism in his party ranks, including complaints raised by some party legislators who are Jewish. He has said the party deplores all racism, but the issue has lingered.