Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has described the “weight of historic responsibility” he felt on his and other Jewish leaders' shoulders to speak out against Jeremy Corbyn.
In a speech to the Aipac conference in Washington DC, the Chief Rabbi revisited his unprecedented decision to speak out about Labour antisemitism during the General Election campaign, when he declared Mr Corbyn "unfit to govern".
WATCH: “Today I issue a call to the Jews of America, please take a leaf out of our book and please speak with one voice.”— Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) March 3, 2020
The Chief Rabbi speaking to the 18,000 delegates gathered at the @AIPAC General Session at their Policy Conference in Washington DC pic.twitter.com/BOkan9RA2O
He told delegates the “well received” intervention, in which he wrote an article for the Times setting out the scale of Labour's problem and asking people to "vote with their conscience", showed the benefit of “Jewish unity.”
The Chief Rabbi said: "I did so, not in a unilateral manner, but rather in concert with key Jewish figures and key Jewish organisations because, on the matter of antisemitism, we have always acted as one."
Rabbi Mirvis also told the conference of the fear during the campaign of a Labour victory.
He said: "Prime Ministers of Israel and key Jewish leaders have been warmly and graciously welcomed at 10 Downing Street, but during the last year we were filled with deep anxiety.
“What would happen if the next incumbent was Jeremy Corbyn? What would the consequences be for Jews and Judaism and the State of Israel?
“And we recognised that the weight of historic responsibility was on our shoulders because a Corbyn victory would send a negative message right around the world.
“But if Corbyn could be defeated, that would send a positive and encouraging message to Jewish communities and our many friends around the world...
"Not only was Labour defeated, it was an emphatic landslide victory."
The Chief Rabbi said he would now “call to the Jews of America, please take a leaf out of our book and please speak with one voice.”
He added: "The issue is urgent, it is critical, it is of huge importance to our future and we cannot afford to be divided.
“What this therefore means is that where there is antisemitism which is prevalent to our left, those who are politically active on the left must see it for what it is and must counter it.
“And where there is antisemitism which is prevalent on the right, those who are politically active on the right must see it for what it is and they must confront it.
“There is only one path for us and that is the bipartisan route.”