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Calls for JNF UK chief to resign over incendiary Islamophobic remarks

Samuel Hayek, the chairman the Jewish National Fund (JNF UK) [@PhillipsBarrie/Twitter]
Samuel Hayek, the chairman the Jewish National Fund (JNF UK) [@PhillipsBarrie/Twitter]

British Labour MP Alex Sobel has called on Samuel Hayek, the chairman the Jewish National Fund (JNF UK), to resign or be removed from office for offensive anti-Muslim remarks.

Speaking to the Jerusalem Post in early December, Hayek said Jews should start planning to leave Britain because "Jews who are unable to protect their assets, Jews being discriminated against badly is something that could quite easily happen – that is happening."

Hayek claimed one of the reasons for the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK is shifting demographic patterns and that Muslim immigration threatens the future of Jews in the UK and Europe as whole.

"I am not against any minority or against Muslims in the UK or Europe, but against anyone who spreads hatred that harms Jews," Hayek said; adding, "That is how I see the near future evolving."

READ: Jewish National Fund plans to buy land to expand illegal settlements 

The JNF official's remarks were widely condemned across the religious divide.

Alex Sobel, the MP for Leeds North West, has called for Hayek's immediate resignation or removal from office.

Jewish News report quoted Sobel as saying: "If this doesn't happen then the Charity Commission must investigate."

In a related matter Hayek also told the Jerusalem Post that "Jews feel more comfortable that [former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn] did not win. But the underlying issues have not gone away."

"Let's assume that Corbyn would have become prime minister," Hayek said. "We all know our lives would have changed without recognition."

Although some Jewish officials from the Board of Deputies and Union of Jewish Students have distanced themselves from Hayek's remarks, it remains to be seen what measures the JNF will take against Hayek. Its patrons include former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

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