The editor of the United Kingdom’s leading Jewish newspaper hailed the Brexit vote on Friday, arguing that it will reduce anti-Semitism and extremism in British society.
“It’s certainly a truism that when times are troubled, the Jews are often the first target,” wrote Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle. “But the referendum demand from voters that we regain control over immigration isn’t an attack on immigrants, on foreigners – or on Jews. It’s an attack on people being denied any say on a core issue of politics.”
While acknowledging that anti-Semitism exists in British society, Pollard posited that problems for minorities are exacerbated “when the mainstream loses touch with people and the only vehicles left to make a point are extremists.”
“That has been the EU’s fundamental flaw,” he continued. “It regards voters as uncouths who need to have what’s good for them imposed on them. Just look at Greece. That’s how and when extremists prosper – and that’s when the Jews suffer.”
“Our freedom from the EU will make extremism less, not more, likely, as the pressure cooker is released,” he asserted.
Pollard also acknowledged in the course of his editorial that British Prime Minister David Cameron had “grown into one of Israel’s staunchest allies, defending her when there was no political gain.” Pollard’s praise for Cameron echoed that of a number of Israeli and Jewish leaders, who expressed their admiration for the British premier after he announced Friday that he would resign from his position in the coming months.
Notably, not everyone agrees with Pollard’s position on Brexit — David Patrikarakos, for example, warned last week in The Tower that fringe, pro-Brexit groups that contain “racists and anti-Semites of all kinds … will be empowered, and their bigoted policies could threaten to become mainstream,” if the UK voted to leave the EU.
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