Politicians against antisemitism
8 February 2010
CST's latest Antisemitic Incidents Report showed a record high of 924 incidents during 2009. CST was grateful to receive the following public statements of opposition to antisemitism and support for the Jewish community in relation to the report.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP:
Anti-semitism is one of the most ancient of hatreds and yet it constantly adapts to modern times, requiring ever greater vigilance from all of us who are determined to stand up for tolerance and for the truth. Whether online, on campus or on the streets there is absolutely no place for racism or discrimination of any sort and the Community Security Trust has my whole-hearted support in its work with the police and the Jewish Community.
The increase in anti-semitic incidents recorded by CST in the early part of last year is deeply troubling and I want to be unequivocal today; I am a proud friend of Israel and welcome a robust debate about how we ensure both a secure Israel and a viable Palestinian state existing side by side. The debate is welcome, but no strength of feeling can ever justify violent extremism or attacks and we will stand firm against all those who would use anti-Israeli feeling as an excuse or disguise for anti-semitism and attacks on the Jewish community.
Cohesion Minister Shahid Malik MP:
I am deeply concerned by this worrying rise in Antisemitic attacks. This country will not tolerate those who seek to direct hatred towards any part of our community. Everyone, irrespective of their faith, race or background, should be able to go about their business without fear of attack or abuse.
We all understand that for many there is genuine frustration about the Middle East peace process. But there is no frustration that can justify hatred being directed at innocent people simply because they happen to be Jewish. "We have taken, and will continue to take, steps to address this issue. Community leaders, Police and Local Authorities are working together to manage and resolve any tensions that may arise and we are in close contact with community organisations to provide support wherever possible.
Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Michael Gove MP:
Britains Jewish citizens face a real and growing danger. The dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents over the last year proves that the oldest of prejudices has been given a new lease of life. Every one in public life politicians, media figures, academics and community leaders has to recognise that this growth in antisemitism is a stain on our society. History tells us that whenever Jewish individuals feel less safe, society as a whole is becoming less free. We must learn the lessons of the past, recognise that prejudice against the Jewish people leads to a growth in hatred and intolerance overall and therefore we have to be tough on both antisemitism and the causes of antisemitism.
The Conservative Party is pledged to work with the Community Security Trust, the police and others to counteract antisemitism wherever it is found. We need to be more vigilant in countering extremist groups such as the BNP and Hizb-ut-Tahrir, more determined to counter extremism on campus and intimidation of young people, more aware of the new ways in which hatred is spread. Crucially, we need to understand that preachers of hate are exploiting events in the Middle East to peddle prejudice on our streets. It is up to all of us to challenge those spreading hate against British citizens.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Chris Huhne MP:
This steep rise in anti-Semitic crime is shocking and shameful.
We must do everything we can to prevent foreign conflicts from spilling over onto British streets and campuses.
The police must work with all communities to stamp out anti-Semitism and hate crime in all their forms and to promote cohesion and tolerance.
Chair of the All-Party Group Against Antisemitism, John Mann MP:
This report makes for disturbing reading. While incident figures continue to climb, we must be doing all that we can to ensure such hatred is met with our resolute determination to stop it.
This underlines the need for all the recommendations of our All-Party Inquiry report to be implemented without delay.
Chair of 2006 Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism; current Chair of European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism; & author of Globalising Hatred. The New Antisemitism, Denis MacShane MP:
This sudden rise in antisemitic incidents should be a warning sign that hate against Jews is on the march. But when the antisemitic BNP win seats as MEPs, when university campuses host preachers of anti-Jewish hate, or when a British ambassador says Jews should not serve on public inquires why should we be surprised? The open hate of Israel fanned by jihadi Islamist ideologues is creating an unacceptable climate of fear for Jews. Politicians need to take the lead and say loudly and clearly that British Jews should not have to face intimidation and threats.