London's Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan wished a happy Rosh Hashanah to the city's Jewish community on Monday, saying they "should celebrate – and be proud of – the enormous way [they] contribute to making London the greatest city in the world".
Khan, London's first Muslim mayor and a member of the Labour party, who has spoken against antisemitism within the party, calling out its attitude toward Jews, sent his "warmest wishes to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah.""I want to send my warmest wishes to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah. This is a special time for Jewish families," Khan said. "An opportunity to reflect on the past, but also look forward with hope."
"But I know it is also a worrying time. Antisemitic incidents have hit a record high. We've seen attacks on places of worship – like the horrific Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting," Khan said.
"There has been an increase in far-right, nativist populism in the US and around Europe, the likes of which we've not seen since the 1930s. We know from our history that we ignore these incidents at our peril. And where antisemitism can lead when left to fester. So, as Mayor, I am committed to continuing to fight against the scourge of antisemitism – wherever we find it – with City Hall and the Metropolitan Police taking a zero-tolerance approach.""But, despite these challenges," Khan said, "I believe we should still be optimistic. Optimistic that – if we unite people of all faiths and backgrounds – we can win this battle against antisemitism, bigotry and hatred. And that we can move forward, not backwards, in creating a safer, fairer, more inclusive city for all. ""I wish you a peaceful and happy year ahead. From my family to yours – Shanah Tovah."
Warmest wishes to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah. London's Jewish community should celebrate – and be proud of – the enormous way you contribute to making London the greatest city in the world. From my family to yours - Shanah Tovah. pic.twitter.com/TWnfoH9Vy5— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) September 29, 2019
Earlier this month, Khan voiced his concern about antisemitism at a Jewish Labour Movement rally inside the Middle Street Synagogue in Brighton. "To me – racism is racism, there are no shades," Khan said. "Antisemitism is racism, and my concern about our party is that there appears to be a hierarchy when it comes to racism."
According to The Jewish Chronicle, he was confronted by Labour activists after the rally who berated him for "supporting Zionists." The activists demanded to know why Khan chose not to speak at an event organized by the pro-Jeremy Corbyn Jewish Labour group.
According to The JC, when asked by the two women "Why would you show support for Israeli Zionists?" Khan said he decided to speak at the event to "show solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters," questioning why the two had assumed that "members of the British Jewish community support every action of the Israeli government."
Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar also sent their wishes to the US' Jewish community on the holiday. "Happy Rosh Hashanah," Tlaib wrote. "Wishing you a joyful year. Shanah Tovah!"
Happy New Year to my Jewish neighbors celebrating #RoshHashanah! Wishing you a joyful year. Shanah Tovah!— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) September 29, 2019
Tlaib was recently banned – alongside Omar – from entering Israel due to their support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Omar was greeted in New York on Monday with a pomegranate for Rosh Hashanah by the pro-Palestinian Jewish Voice for Peace group, whom the Israeli government accused of supporting BDS and "aiding Palestinian terrorists."
❤️ Thank you for the gift and for welcoming me. Happy New Year! https://t.co/6zo8jRWnxy— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 30, 2019