Nick Clegg speaks to EISCA

15 Jun 2009 by CST

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg MP will deliver the annual lecture of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism later today. According to the Times, he will use it as an opportunity to warn of the “lazy acceptance of Jewish stereotypes” that has “crept back into everyday, British life”:

Mr Clegg, whose own mother was held in a Prisoner of War camp in the Second World War, believes anti-Semitism remains a problem in Britain and abroad for both the Jewish community and the nation as a whole. It is particularly so because the country's "collective vigilance" against it has slackened and the battle against it has lost momentum, he believes.

In the annual lecture of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism, he will warn that the problem is "getting worse" and that this "enduring prejudice" continued to mutate and adopt new guises.

He will comment critically on the success of the BNP in the European elections with the recession and the political crisis over MPs' expenses.


Speaking of his horror at the murder of a security guard outside the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington last week, he will say: "I abhor the violence that makes Jews feel unsafe in their own homes; the poisonous threats; the desecration of synagogues and cemeteries. And I also cannot abide the less explicit, lazy acceptance of Jewish stereotypes - the casual anti-Semitism - that has crept back in to everyday, British life. So I share the sense of disappointment felt by many British Jews who believe we should have dealt with this by now."

He will argue that Britain should be a place where no Jewish person feels threatened but that instead, attacks on Jews and on their property are up, not down and the feeling of vulnerability within Jewish communities is spreading, not receding.

Earlier this year, the Community Security Trust reported that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK fell for the second year running in 2008, but that this fall was subsequently overshadowed by an unprecedented increase during the recent Gaza conflict with 250 anti-Semitic incidents reported in four weeks alone, meaning 2009 is likely to become the worst year on record for anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish people and property.

"The paradox of all this is that although anti-Semitism is growing, it is becoming harder to becoming increasingly commonplace anti-Semitism is becoming better concealed," Mr Clegg will warn.

Nick Clegg also had an article in this week’s Jewish Chronicle, in which he discussed how to respond to the BNP’s success in the European Elections.

To apply for tickets for his lecture to EISCA in the House of Commons on June 15, email

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