UOHC Rabbi Shmiel Tambur says claims Orthodox Chief Rabbi was not in fit state to sign letter condemning attacks on Labour leader are a lie – and gives detail of the process by which letter issued
Yesterday the SKWAWKBOX published a letter signed by the head of Orthodox Jewish umbrella organisation UOHC that condemned attacks on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and distanced his organisation from them.
Since then, Corbyn’s opponents have spread claims that the letter was a fake – and then that it had been signed by the Rabbi, Ephraim Padwa, when he was not in a fit state to know what he was signing.
The Jewish Chronicle – which, along with other publications went as far as to claim Rabbi Padwa was ‘deceived’ into signing the letter – even published a quote attributed to Charedi Rabbi Shmiel Tambur stating that his community feels endangered by Labour whether the party wins or loses the election on Thursday:
“Whether Labour win or they lose, we are worried about it being a danger for us. If they win, it’s a danger for us. If they lose, it’s a danger. We’ll be blamed either way.”
The paper – which was recently slammed by regulator IPSO for its reckless disregard for truth in its attacks on a Labour woman – then said that Tambur:
claimed Rabbi Padwa had advised him on the contents of the letter before changing his mind about it being released. “Someone leaked it after that,” he said.
Rabbi Tambur has courageously gone on record to say that the attacks on the letter are a lie – and that he did not make the comments attributed to him by the Jewish Chronicle.
And he has spoken at length to the SKWAWKBOX to make clear that his Chief Rabbi was completely aware of what he was signing – even asking for a sentence to be removed before signing the final version – with his own son, also a rabbi, there as a witness.
Not only that, but the Chief Rabbi told him to get the letter out quickly, because the general election polling day is imminent:
This is not the first time that a letter in support of Jeremy Corbyn has been attacked as fake.
At the end of November this year, a different Orthodox organisation, United European Jews published an open letter to Jeremy Corbyn that condemned ‘in no uncertain terms’ the attacks on him.
That letter was also attacked as fake – and the senior rabbi who signed it received death threats if he did not withdraw it, a situation confirmed by the local police.
The Jewish Chronicle’s editor Stephen Pollard was contacted for comment on the Rabbi’s statement that he had not said what was attributed to him. He did not respond.
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