Video: Corbyn “only Labour can see off the Farage snake-oil” – and full speech transcript

Labour leader’s hard-hitting EU speech in Kent takes former UKIP front-man head on – and shows Labour only party fighting for the 99%

Jeremy Corbyn has delivered a frank and hard-hitting speech this morning in Kent, describing Nigel Farage as a ‘snake-oil’ salesman and laying out why the Labour Party – the only party with a plan to unite people on both sides of the Brexit divide – is the only one that can ‘see [him] off’:

Video clips courtesy of EL4C

Corbyn also addressed the raging inequality in this country that is driven neither by the EU nor by immigrants – but by a right-wing Establishment set against the many in favour of the few:

No one expected us to be holding these European elections but the government’s complete failure on. Brexit means they are going ahead against a backdrop of division and frustration.

A vote for Labour is a vote to bring our divided country back together. Labour is the only party with a plan to unite our country to make it work for the many, not the few.

We will end austerity invest in our economy and our communities and raise wages and living standards.

Labour’s alternative plan for Brexit which protects jobs, living standards and communities would end the chaos caused by the Conservatives and let us focus on the other big issues facing our country.

It’s a real and credible plan that would allow the next Labour government to rebuild our manufacturing industries. And restore pride and prosperity to parts of our country that have been neglected for too long.

That neglect was, I believe a major reason behind the vote for Brexit in the first place. Three years of botched negotiations between the Government and the European Union have left everyone frustrated.

Over 17 million people voted to leave the European Union. As democratic socialists, we cannot ignore that. We voted to trigger Article 50 in 2017 and promised to respect the referendum in our general election manifesto and again at our party conference last year.

But we cannot respect the government’s shambolic handling of Brexit that has caused huge uncertainty for people, businesses and jobs.

When Theresa May became Prime Minister she didn’t consult either Parliament or the country. Brexit policy was announced through a series of speeches declared, never discussed.

What we got was three years of the Tories spending more time arguing with themselves than negotiating with Europe.

What the Prime Minister finally cooked up led to the biggest government defeat in parliamentary history.

It wasn’t until that damaging deal had been defeated three times and the Government had already missed its own deadline for leaving that the Prime Minister finally admitted she needed to compromise.

Labour agreed to talks because we believed it was the right thing to do to see if we could get a better deal in line with our plan and the needs of businesses and trade unions a deal that would see us leave the European Union but keep a close relationship with our major trading partners. So far in those talks, there has been no big offer, and the red lines remain.

It’s difficult negotiating with a disintegrating government with cabinet ministers jockeying for the succession, rather than working for an agreement.

It’s in the country’s interests to try to get this sorted one way or another.

But we can never accept the government’s bad deal or a disastrous No Deal. So if we can’t get a sensible deal, along the lines of our alternative plan or a general election, Labour backs the option of a public vote.

I am very worried about how divided our society has become. Every week I go to a different part of the country to campaign to meet people and to listen and over the last year, I’ve seen the divisions around Brexit grow. In communities and families, there are real tensions.

So how do we go forward?

We could all retreat to our respective side of the argument and let bitterness drive us further apart.

We could allow ourselves to be defined only as ‘remainers’ or ‘leavers’ labels that meant nothing to us only a few years ago.

But where would that take us? Who wants to live in a country stuck in this endless loop?

What’s needed is a bit of understanding. Understanding of why so many people felt so frustrated with the system that they voted to leave. And understanding of why so many others believe that staying in the EU is the only way to protect our open and diverse society.

Some people seem to look at the issue the wrong way around. They tend to think the first question is leave or remain as if either is an end in itself.

I think they’re wrong. The first question is what kind of society do we want to be? And on that people can find so much common ground.

Labour and only Labour offer solutions, not scapegoats

Labour, and only Labour stands on that common ground in this election.

That’s why we insist the real divide in our country is not how people voted in the EU referendum. The real divide is between the many and the few. Whether you’re from Tottenham or Mansfield, Stockwell or Stoke here in Medway or Manchester so many of the problems you face are the same.

And while the government’s incompetence and divisions over Brexit have created this deadlock the injustices in our society are deepening.

Those injustices aren’t to do with backstops implementation periods and all that obscure jargon.

They’re about whether your children will go to a school that can afford the basics or one that has to send begging letters to parents. Whether your relatives will be treated quickly and safely on the NHS or wait in pain and distress for months. Whether your parents will get a helping hand in old age or be left isolated and afraid.

And whether we as a country can end the burning injustices in our society that Theresa May once talked of but did nothing about.

Austerity insecure work and low wages cause anger and disillusion. Some want to use that to stoke further division. But it wasn’t the EU that slashed public services to pay for tax cuts for the richest it was Tory governments.

It wasn’t nurses and teachers who crashed our economy it was the bankers and hedge funds.

And it wasn’t immigrants who caused the biggest squeeze on wages since the Napoleonic Wars it was bad employers.

We need solutions, not scapegoats.

When you blame your neighbour rather than the powerful for problems with the health system or for overcrowded classrooms or for a lack of housing you’re letting those responsible off the hook.

You haven’t trained a doctor or a nurse you haven’t opened a new school you haven’t built a house you haven’t secured a penny of extra investment.

All you’ve done is fuel an atmosphere of division and nastiness.

It’s only by coming together and working together that we can improve people’s lives.

Labour will stand up for all workers black and white and we will guarantee the rights of EU citizens and students in this country and British people who want to work and study in the EU.

We are internationalists to our core.

So when we see the emboldened far right strutting its stuff across Europe and in this country too in the shape of UKIP and its hangers-on our response is to strengthen our ties with working class and progressive movements both at home and abroad.

The biggest issues facing us like tax avoidance and the power of multinational corporations are international issues that demand international solutions.

And the biggest issue of all the climate and environment emergency that threatens everyone’s future cannot be averted by one country alone. Climate breakdown air pollution and the frightening loss of species demand collaboration across borders and I am proud that Labour led the way last week to make the UK parliament be the first in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency.

I hope our action sparks a wave of declarations of a climate emergency by parliaments and governments around the world. So we will always cooperate closely with our progressive allies in Europe and across the world.

Farage peddling poison and a Trump Brexit

These elections are also a chance to challenge the poison being peddled by the likes of Nigel Farage.

He says Brexit is being blocked by the elite It’s not true. The large majority of MPs have voted for a Brexit deal in one form or another.

The Brexit party is in fact the No Deal party – and for millions, No Deal would mean no jobs. An economic shock threatening entire industries and here in Kent turning the M20 into a permanent lorry park, causing massive disruption.

It would be an elite Brexit that would only work for the richest, who wants to deregulate, slash public services and rights at work still further.

It would be a Donald Trump Brexit leaving us at the mercy of a reckless and bellicose US administration.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit is a Brexit for conspiracy theorists. For those who see Muslims and migrants or George Soros as the enemy.

Farage’s snake-oil or Labour’s plan for the 99%

Only Labour can see off the Farage snake oil in this election and stand by our country’s values of tolerance, openness and diversity.

It’s said that Labour is trying to offer something to everyone over Brexit. I make no apology for that.

Labour will never be the party of the 52 per cent or of the 48 per cent. We are the party of the great majority who reject the politics of smear and scapegoating in favour of unity for social justice.

Other parties appeal to just one side of the Brexit debate because they aren’t really committed to taking on the tax dodgers the big polluters or the financial gamblers who crashed our economy a decade ago.

To transform our country and tackle injustice, inequality and the climate crisis we need to unite the overwhelming majority of people and take on the privileged and powerful.

Labour will address the inequalities that helped fuel the Brexit vote by investing in our communities and people ending austerity and creating a fairer society – and we will lead the fight against racism at home and across Europe wherever and however it arises.

It is Labour that wants to bring our country back together.

So whether you voted leave or remain in 2016, I urge you to vote Labour the party that is determined to bring the many together and take on the entrenched power of the few.


Farage is peddling poison and slogans with no substance or policy, while appealing to the basest instincts and demonising the ‘other’.

Only Labour has the solution. Only Labour is working for everyone, not just a few or one half against the other.

Vote Labour on 23 May for a better future for the UK.

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    Now we need to ram home that message until the GE.
    MSM, Tories, Israel and the Trump US will ramp up the smears but we have truth on our side.
    We just have to keep on telling it loud everywhere we can.
    Oh – and this year vote in automatic reselection at conference.

    1. David, as you’ve mentioned smears and Skwawky hasn’t opened comments about the response to the Hobson, can I mention that I found that twitter exchange with Steven Pollard very revealing. Pollard clearly will argue black is white if it means he can try to smear JC.
      ..and imagine the hysterical response if JC had referred to the closure of a Jewish cemetery as ‘trivial’. Yet it appears to be ok for the editor of the Jewish Chronicle to do so.

      1. Yep, Pollard’s the kind of charlatan who when challenged uses diversion or obfuscation to avoid awkward points.
        Question him on even a simple one and rather than offer a simple reply he refers people to ‘his writings’… not that anyone over six needs to trawl ‘Pollard’s Compleat Works’ to figure out that he’s full of shit.

    2. Jeremy Corbyn, the REAL Prime Minister of the UK making a great speech to bringing unity among the majority on both sides of the Brexit divide.

      Theresa May’s intransigence and her abject failure to conclude a viable agreement with the EU negotiators risks the resurgence of forces even further to the political right than the vicious, neo-liberal
      Tory government she professes to lead, now falling into a level of chaos and disarray that beggars belief.

      I voted “leave” in 2016, and would do so again, but greatly fear both “No Deal” and May’s apology for a deal. Europe is our major trading partner and this relationship needs to continue post-Brexit for the sake of jobs and the taxation revenue that will allow the next Labour government to build a more equitable society and make our public services truly public again. For this reason I will cast my vote for a Labour MEP.

      It is absolutely essential that the threat posed by the so-called Brexit Party. led by Farage is taken on and defeated. Our problems are caused by the wealthy few and the corporations who dodge taxes, endanger the planet and put short-term profit before people. They are most definitely not caused by refugees, asylum seekers and ‘foreign’ workers who must be supported and defended as our sisters and brothers.

      1. First paragraph of item above should read,

        “..making a geat speech to bring unity among the majority on both sides of the Brexit debate.”

        Missed the typo. Apologies.

  2. Jeremy’s speech was bollocks. To “transform this country and tackle injustice and inequality” and “to take on the privileged and the powerful” we need drastically to change the OWNERSHIP of British society.

    To do so we need to be out of the EU and out of the Single Market because only then will a socialist Labour government have legal freedom over extending public ownership in order to implement a comprehensive national plan.

    Labour’s legal powers over public ownership needs to include:
    (a) freedom to nationalise sectors liberalised by EU directives – EU legislation forbids public monopoly in gas, electricity, rail, post and telecommunications.
    (b) freedom to extend nationalisation beyond the classic utilities sectors regardless of whether such new public monopolies deny to firms in other Member States their “Freedom of (corporate) Establishment”;
    (c) freedom over how the State treats its new publicly owned entities in terms of subsidies and other privileges.

    For all Jeremy’s Tory-bashing and Farage-bashing, injustice and inequality actually stems from the operation of capitalism, regardless of who is in office. A Corbyn government would end up generating inequality and injustice if all it does is manage capitalism.

    No substantial extension of economic planning and public ownership means no end to injustice, inequality, privilege and monopolisation of power by the few. By its restrictions on nationalisation the EU entrenches that existing concentration of power. And by supporting the EU/BRINO the Labour Party, for all the fake-lefty rhetoric, makes itself the Party of the status quo.

    1. “only then will a socialist Labour government have legal freedom over extending public ownership in order to implement a comprehensive national plan.?”
      You are both right and wrong.
      Right that the EU rules essentially banning socialism need to be swept aside.
      Wrong because you do not recognise that a popular socialist government will have the mandate it needs to withdraw unilaterally from the EU-not on the spurious grounds the tight proffers but on the basis of popular sovereignty, besides which the ramshackle treaties, imposed by politicians in the dark and nodded through legislatures against the will of the people cannot hold up.
      The UK has to take the lead here: a popular Brexit from neoliberalism will lead to serial withdrawals and the end of the current ‘community.’ Then the possibility of founding a democratic socialist international organisation of Europe, a union from below rather than an economic NATO scheme imposed by the few, will be up for discussion.

      1. Great in theory but in practice a break up of the EU would be an opportunity only for populist authoritarians and the sort of hard line capitalists who regard the EU as far too left wing and concerned with workers’ rights.

      2. You’re back to front Simon. The people you’re talking about are right wing libertarians. They hate the EU because of all its laws and lack of elected lawmakers. They liken the EU to the Soviet Union because they see it as basically the same and the opposite of freedom, personal responsibility and national culture.
        I think they have it horribly wrong, but it does you no favours to fail to comprehend them so spectacularly.

      3. ” the EU rules essentially banning socialism need to be swept aside.”

        Even though it’s not quite as simple as that, few will disagree with the sentiment.

        But what is forgotten in the rhetoric is that most of those supporting ‘Remain’ do not disagree. The difference lies in the fact that they see clearly that any trading agreements with our largest trading partner will still have such constraints – but with no input.

    2. @Danny 3:49 pm
      Amazing really, given that Jeremy can access advice from internationally-renowned experts on EU law, British law, International law, economics and so forth … that he doesn’t seem to agree with your fully-researched and peer-reviewed appreciation of what can and can’t be done within the EU … innit?

  3. An excellent speech.

    … except on Brexit, which was La La Land, and I can’t believe that somone as intelligent as Corbyn can’t see that.

    1. Corbyn is in a very precarious place. Most leave voters were from the Labour heartlands in the north? What does he do? He and I think millions of others suffering horrendous hardship would rather he prioritised a General election while he has the chance.The fact that many have changed their minds and are bored with Brexit a GE seems the best option! Let’s face it,he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. The Electorate are being browbeaten into believing this is all Corbyns fault by the media, god knows how when Cameron called it and May has completely lost the plot with her it’s my way or the highway? What does he do? I don’t envy him.

      1. He blows it…

        In that a second referendum will be part of a healing process? Almost word for to what Bliar said recently.


        “Be happy with what ya got.

        Because the owners, the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now, the BIG owners! The Wealthy… the REAL owners! The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.

        Forget the politicians. They are irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice! You have OWNERS! They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls.

        They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want:

        They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests.

        Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that!

        You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this fucking place! It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it! You, and I, are not in the big club.

        By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care! Good honest hard-working people; white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means, continue to elect these rich cock suckers who don’t give a fuck about you….they don’t give a fuck about you… they don’t give a FUCK about you.

        They don’t care about you at all… at all… AT ALL. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Thats what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick thats being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth.

        It’s called the American Dream,because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

        So with this in mind, I’ll be voting for Farage.

        Because it scares the shit out of my owners and their mates…

      2. He’s doing well in appealing to non extremists on both sides and advocating a compromise that includes the CU and regulation. It’s where the majority are- a Brexit there has to be but protect jobs and our rights. And don’t get into bed with Trump. As a bonus you get Reform. It’s a winner in a GE when Farage will split the Tories and the Remainers squabble.

      3. “Most leave voters were from the Labour heartlands in the north?”

        Simply : No.

      1. Yes. And?

        We’re not talking about pronouncement from the Politburo or tablets of stone (both of which models never end well).

    2. … and my post and Danny’s together illustrate why the Brexit bit doesn’t work. You can’t just wish away really fundamental differences where, by definition, there isn’t a compromise to be had. Polyanna isn’t really a workable model in the real world where fundamental differences are involved.

      1. There is a compromise though. It’s accepting the result of the referendum while negotiating a business friendly Brexit. It’s not my choice, but it represents an acceptable start. In my opinion, the EU is going to change and the Euro looks like going. I see that as the time to dump trade agreements that tie us into globalism and neoliberalism. Believe me RH, this isn’t going to go away, it crosses political barriers and unites people from across the political divide. As the middle class loses its professionalism and their wages drop, there will come a tipping point and and former enemies will be united by common need and the recognition we are being fucked over.

      2. @Lundiel.

        I sincerely doubt it. They can’t see the writing on the wall, and won’t until it’s too late. Meanwhile, those they currently stand have to enjoy the fallout of their selfish desires.

        A few will be kind to them, but many, (like me) will remember previous experience (people like certain posters here) and just laugh at them and their new found status.

        The division is going nowhere. (You ever taken a wonder around the guardian?)

      3. The Guardian represents for me, a conversation I overheard the other day. One woman was telling another about her daughter’s efforts to get into uni. She was hoping her daughter’s “fantastic” portfolio would tip the balance in a top uni for a position on a fine art degree course. The uni had told her many would not get high enough grades so she should be hopeful and if selected her daughter should go on and take a masters. Not satisfied with 40 grand, the leeches wanted another 20 on top for a useless degree and the woman was bursting with pride about the future.
        This is Guardian readers relationship with neoliberalism……blind faith in the face of a fucking nasty shock heading their way.

      4. I’m not sure what ‘Guardian Readers’ (just a pet generalised obsession) has to do with it. You vitiate a perfectly reasonable point about the way in which competition imposed on the HE system works. Which is related to wider issues about the competitive model.

        Whether the woman was a Guardian reader or not, she was responding to the way in which the qualification trail and is actually working at the moment, and the inflationary pressures being imposed on students and HE institutions as a result. Your ire is misdirected.

  4. It’s good to see him locking horns with the Crazies in Washington. The outrage and ‘disgust’ expressed will fall flat because most thinking Brits can only agree – America is becoming dangerously reckless and arrogant

  5. His Brexit comments make perfect sense; the extremists are in the Tory party which is forced by Farage’s success to became ever more No Deal Brexit while the Lib Dem’s and other Remainers are at the other extreme. And a year or so off for another Referundum with every chance of increasing the bitterness is certainly extreme. Labour heads to the Centre and don’t be too surprised if that’s exactly where voters are heading.

  6. The “enemy” is very much everything Soros represents: globalism/neoliberalism. It’s ridiculous to call a climate emergency while giving a nod to those who support economic systems that demand year on year growth because the whole thing is powered by debt. I won’t be voting for some greedy careerist centrist so he/she can pocket 8 grand a month plus expenses and pension.

  7. I really believe in Corbyn and the general election is only alternative way to make the country to move on, not a new referendum. We need a strong leader who coud sincerely think of majority of people. That is Jeremy Corbyn.

  8. Soros is just one of the 1% and they’re all playing the same system that’s been in place almost for ever – and they’ve mostly played it within the laws of their times – mostly because they get to instruct governments on what laws make most money.
    They just happen to be good at greed or were born privileged or both – luck or accident of birth, it doesn’t matter.
    The system is the whole world’s enemy but people like Soros who milk it can either stay enemies or not, depending on whether or not they give it up gracefully and help us out when the time comes.
    Their knowledge and insights can be useful to us in our battles with the rest of their ilk.

    The US has been for 100 years by far the biggest enemy of socialism and the EU is one of the few structures that can resist it.
    A UK with a seriously socialist government will be no less vulnerable to global/US ‘market forces’ and CIA dirty tricks than Venezuela.

    1. Your last paragraph pins the illusory notion of ‘sovereignty’ very well. If I’m worried about US influence in UK politics now, I’m f.ing terrified of the subservience that Brexit implies.

      Some of it is gut reaction – I reckon I could live quite happily in most European countries that I have visited. The two places where I would not want to live (that I’ve experienced) are the US and Israel.

  9. Snakeskin oily Farage isn’t the answer! He’s on mega money, a €200,000 a year job that he never does, €45,000 a year to the wife! 7 x tried to win a seat in this god forsaken country and never won one! Beaten by a pollock in a dolphin suit last time! He’s an ex Tory, son of a banker, and an all out slimy snide of a man! Why anyone would vote for the replica of a used car salesman makes them a cretin.

    1. Very few will vote for Farage. Many will vote to undermine the fake democracy and centrist gravy train that is the EU parliament. Many will vote again to register their disapproval of neoliberalism globalism.

      1. … but more will vote to repeat the crap they swallowed in the bog paper Tory press.

      2. You may be right or wrong on motivations for a threatened massive vote for the Far Right ex banker, populist scoundrel , Farage’s, rag tag, Brexit Party, lundiel, but the latest Opinium poll gives this newly concocted , no doubt US Far Right-funded, “party” a voting intention figure greater than BOTH the Labour and Tory vote combined ! https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/11/brexit-party-may-get-more-eu-election-votes-than-tories-and-labour-combined-poll

        And a terrifyingly high voting intention polling figure in a General election ! Now this certainly isn’t the same as a real turnout to vote in either the EU or General Elections. But these are real voting intention figures, by a reputable pollster, even if massively inflated by eventual non voters. If even vaguely accurate this now represent the real threat of the death of the hopes we socialists who rejoined the Labour Party around Jeremy’s 2015 Leadership victory, had that the toxic neoliberal centrist consensus of the last 30 years could be broken by a revived Left Wing pro working class Labour Party. Labour’s “Greek Pasok and French Socialist Party, and German SPD, moment” ( ie, suddenly massively outperformed by an insurgent Far Right populist party built on xenophobia and a simplistic narrative of betrayal) could well be just round the electoral corner . Sneering at the very real rational economic reasons why so many millions of working class people , actual or potential Labour voters, voted to leave the neoliberal EU in 2015, as the privileged knowall Guardianista class , including so many middle class Labour Party members, have over the last three years, and betraying our 2017 clear commitment to “respect the outcome of the 2016 Referendum” , with our fudged “BINO” (Brexit in name only) offer to the electorate , is now in real danger of yielding truly poisonous electoral fruit for our party.

  10. The view of many ‘non political’ Jews in London is that the rightwing Tory Board of Deputies and others are missing a huge point in attacking pro Palestinian activists in the Labour Party while ‘real’ hard line anti semitism sweeps Europe from Belgium to Spain to the East where the WW2 extermination’s took place. Labour have for many years been influenced by Jewish socialism but in order to pursue Israel’s policies they are now shunned.

    1. Paul, yes, and it’s not just the Board of Deputies. Excellent post on today’s JVL website about the way that ex chief rabbi Sachs is distorting history to attempt to equate anti zionism with antisemitism.

      1. Yes, Simon, the JVL website has a marvellous collection of well-argued pieces to counter the knee-jerkery on sup[posed ‘antisemitism’ that has the media round the throat. It’s not only the content – it’s the quality.

        … which makes it all the more significant that you will find it come across any journalist referencing its articles in preference to the propaganda of the BoD etc.

        Worth noting the actual address of the article on Sacks :


        I’m not jewish, so the reputation of Sacks obviously doesn’t have any distinctive pull for me. But I was often incensed by the bland assumption that his voice had intellectual authority as he burbled portentious and pretentious moral hypocrisy over the airwaves during one of the many Palestinian crises.

        It’s good to see that bankruptcy of rhetoric being authoritatively put into context.

      2. Yes, the JVL posts are rather higher quality than most – and I’ve found that,apart from the incisive arguments, I’ve picked up and learned quite a bit about Jewish history, culture and experience as a side benefit.

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