World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder warned against a resurgence of antisemitism in Europe in a speech to the Board of Deputies on Sunday.
Mr Lauder said that there was “deep and well-founded concern” over statements by Labour Party leaders. He added: “The anti-Zionism and BDS movement on various campuses is more active here than in most other countries. Earlier this year, the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University voted to boycott Israel, and this was sanctioned by the university. Would London University, or any other school, tolerate the same sanctions against blacks, Muslims, or gay people?
“If it’s not ok to sanction these groups, why is it ok to sanction Israel? Why is it ok to sanction Jews?”
On the future of European Jewry, Mr Lauder said: “Some have suggested that all the Jews should leave Europe for Israel. Let me make one thing clear. If all the Jews left Europe tomorrow, this would be sad for the Jews, but it would be a disaster for Europe.”
Mr Lauder praised the work of the Board of Deputies in engaging with government and broadcasters, adding “I am heartened by the resolve of the Jewish community.”
Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush paid tribute Mr Lauder and the work of the World Jewish Congress. He said: “I am very proud to know Ronald Lauder in the year since my election as President. Under Ronald Lauder’s leadership the WJC has again found its mission and is increasingly successful in stating it and in influencing world leaders. He uses his power with discretion and clarity.