Rishi-Shanah and Starmer Tovah! Politicians share new year message with Jewish community

The prime minister and Keir Starmer hailed the community, with Sunak pledging to champion anti-BDS legislation in the new year


Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer have wished British Jews a happy new ywar, with the prime minister vowing to "champion" legislation banning boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) in the new year.

In a message shared ahead of Rosh Hashanah, Sunak said: “To Jewish families in the UK and around the world, I want to wish you a very Happy New Year. British Jews play an integral part in the success of this nation, and I am delighted the vibrant and diverse Jewish faith continues to thrive across the country.”

He continued: “Over the coming year, I will continue to support you in this valuable work. I will always stand with you.

“You can count on me to keep you safe, to champion the ban on boycotts, divestments and sanctions, and fight antisemitism in any form.”

Earlier this year, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove introduced legislation to parliament to block local council and public bodies from divesting from Israel.

He said “disruptive” campaigns to boycott Israel lead to “appalling” antisemitic rhetoric and abuse. 

In his new message, the prime minister added: “May this coming year be filled with peace and prosperity. L’Shanah Tovah U’Metuka.”

Sir Keir, whose wife Victoria is Jewish, also offered the community his good wishes, saying his family would mark Rosh Hashanah with a “festive meal”.

Reflecting on a visit he made to the Independent Jewish Day School in Hendon last week, the Labour leader said: “What I took away from that conversation was a sense, not just of [the children’s] excitement to hear the shofar and eat apple and honey, but also how important spending time with friends, family and loved ones is."

Sir Keir said: “Like the children I met in the classroom, I’ll be reflecting on the past year as well as the year ahead and preparing for a period of celebration with the people closest to me.”

He added: “As we enter the solemn days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, may you all be inscribed in the Book of Life.”

Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf extended his good wishes to the Jewish community too.

The SNP leader said: “I send my warmest wishes to our Jewish communities here in Scotland and around the world, as you begin this special season of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

“Your contribution to civic life in Scotland is greatly valued, and I look forward to working with you over the coming year to ensure we live in a society without division and hatred.

“May the year ahead be sweet and good. On behalf of the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland, I wish you Shanah Tovah!”

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