Political leaders supporting CST

4 Nov 2011 by Dave Rich

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and Mayor of London Boris Johnson, both expressed their support for CST at fundraising events this week.

Nick Clegg, speaking at the CST Northern Region dinner in Manchester last night attended by 400 supporters of CST, expressed his admiration for CST and the wider Jewish community:

I never fail to be inspired by the Jewish Community. The depth of your religious traditions, spanning thousands of years. Your rich cultural heritage, your contribution to British life. Indeed the history of Jews in Britain is, itself, a history of some of the greatest figures in British arts, education, business and politics. And when you look at the Jewish community todayi t is difficult not to be impressed.Whether at your pride in being part of a community that generates so much warmth, kindness and generosity. Your charitable work. Your volunteer networks – people who work tirelessly towards the goal of Tikkun Olam. And your phenomenal capacity to work in coalition: Orthodox, Reform, Liberal, Masorti...I’d be grateful for any tips.

Tonight we are here to pay tribute to the CST. It is profoundly disturbing that some people still wish to harm the Jewish community. By vandalising Jewish buildings, graffiti-ing Jewish gravestones, even attacking Jewish people. The CST stands up to those people – you are the protective cloak over communal Jewish life. Whatever the weather, whatever the time, CST volunteers will be at every event, outside every building. Providing reassurance, deterrence. Providing that vital link with the local police – and Manchester is an excellent example of that partnership.

Not everyone outside the community understands that it is normal for small children to be perfectly comfortable with men on walkie talkies guarding their Hebrew classes, or synagogues having CCTV, or major events involving airport style security. And, if I’m honest, I would like to put the CST out of business. We all crave a time when none of this is needed. But, for now, you provide a hugely important service. Not just for the Jewish community – I know you do a lot of work to help other faith groups tackle hate crime too.  And, on behalf of the Coalition Government – Gerald let me thank you for your outstanding leadership - and let me thank the whole CST team very, very much.

Boris Johnson addressed an audience of 150 CST supporters from the property and financial sectors in London on Tuesday. The Mayor thanked CST "for the work it is doing to fight hatred, prejudice and discrimination in this city", and added:

It's absolutely vital that Jewish people in London are able to live, work and go about their daily lives without fear. The CST does a wonderful job and I am very proud to be a supporter. I urge those working in the financial and property sectors to continue to support the CST's work, which is of critical importance.

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“Since 2003, CST has been a stalwart supporter of ODIHR in its efforts to effectively monitor antisemitic hate crime in the OSCE Region. With its rigorous methodology and innovative partnerships with the British police, it is viewed by many as representing the gold standard for NGO responses to all forms of hate crime. I wish CST all success in its exciting new phase of work.”

Michael Georg Link
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights