European elections — we ask the major parties their positions on the issues affecting British Jews

Which one deserves your Euro vote?

May 1, 2014


How will you defend religious practices?

Conservatives firmly subscribe to the ideals of respect and diversity within our communities.

How will you challenge the Far-right?

Conservatives fully endorse measures that aim to prevent and prosecute any form of hate crime or act of terrorism among all communities. We seek to challenge any group that promotes or condone such crimes, be they from the far right or any other group.

Where do you stand on Israel?

Conservatives fully support a two-state solution brought about through a negotiated agreement leading to a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable and sovereign Palestine. We believe in the ongoing peace talks and will do all that we can to support them.

Dan Sames, Conservative MEP candidate in the West Midlands:

As a Jewish candidate in this year’s European elections I believe that there are clear reasons why a vote for the Conservative Party is the only sensible option.

Of all the political parties only the Conservatives have a plan to deliver real change in Britain’s relationship with Europe.

Against the odds David Cameron and the Conservative Party have secured a reduction in the EU budget, extracted us from the European bailout scheme, vetoed a European fiscal treaty that was bad for British businesses and secured changes to European fisheries discards policy.

We want to continue to stand up for British interests, make Europe work for businesses and jobs, cut the costs of Europe and work to take back control of justice and home affairs.

The choice is therefore clear. Only Conservatives represent Britain in Brussels rather than Brussels in Britain, only Conservatives can give you your say in a referendum and only Conservatives can deliver real change.


Where do you stand on Israel?

Labour is opposed to boycotts of Israel, including of Israeli goods and services, Israeli exports including cultural exports, academic institutions and individuals. That is why Labour has called on those – especially within the Labour movement - to desist from a language of de-legitimisation; stop the movement to sever academic and trade union links.

The EU is working to prepare EU-wide guidelines on the labelling of settlement produce. We support steps to ensure there is proper implementation of EU consumer protection and labelling legislation.

How will you defend religious practices?

Labour defends the rights of Jews to practice shechita. We do believe that there should be greater transparency on how all meat is slaughtered so that consumers can take an informed view on the meat they buy. However we do not think it is right to single out either shechita or halal practices.

That is why in the EU Parliament, Labour MEPs have supported transparent food labelling, but do not support a ban on meat slaughtered according to shechita.

How will you challenge the Far-right?

Labour resolves to take what action we can to confront the rise of extreme-right neo-nationalism. Defeating antisemitism is the responsibility of every one of us.

Alex Mayer, MEP candidate Eastern Region

In the European Parliament, Labour will continue to stand up for our shared values, fight antisemitism and defend religious rights and freedoms.

Across Europe, the far-right is on the rise, with parties like Jobbik in Hungary and Golden Dawn in Greece, predicted to make gains in the elections. History has taught us that economic hardship provides fertile terrain for a politics of hatred to take hold.

There is a heavy burden of responsibility on democratic politicians to call out antisemitism for what it is, and to be willing to speak on behalf of a more decent politics. Labour will not shy away from this task.


How will you defend religious practices?

The Liberal Democrats will always defend religious freedoms. Nick Clegg did recently when he stood up for the rights of the Jewish community to practice shechita.

How will you challenge the Far-right?

Our MEPs have always strongly opposed any kind of antisemitism and supported a motion last year calling for a strengthening of EU hate-crime legislation.

The Liberal Democrats will always stand up for a Britain that is open, tolerant and diverse. But we must not take these values for granted. In difficult times, it is natural for people to look inwards and for fear and suspicion to gain a foothold.
That is why we believe Britain is better off when we are outward facing and open to the world.

Where do you stand on Israel?

We are committed to a two-state solution, ensuring Israel’s peace, security and freedom from the threat of terrorism, alongside an independent Palestinian State.

Baroness Sarah Ludford, MEP for London:

The Jewish community has good friends in the Liberal Democrats. We work hard to combat antisemitism, including through European co-operation against hate crime.

The initiative by local Liberal Democrat councillors in Hackney to extend the work of the Jewish community patrol group to protect Muslims as well as Jews from hate crime brought communities together.

In the European Parliament I have firmly opposed discriminatory attempts to label meat from animals not pre-stunned. I also believe that attempts in some EU countries to ban circumcision of male babies are wholly wrong.

We strongly believe in a two-state solution, acknowledging that both Israelis and Palestinians have to make painful compromises for both to be winners.

I have fought hard in the European Parliament against boycotts and for EU-Israel free trade to be extended to pharmaceutical products.

As a vice president of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel I will continue if re-elected as MEP for London to be a strong ally of the Jewish community.

UKIP failed to respond to our questions

Last updated: 5:49pm, May 1 2014