October 2016 Blog Archive
20 Oct 2016 by Dave Rich
The Home Affairs Select Committee report into anti-Semitism, published this week, is a serious body of work that should set the template for action against anti-Semitism in this country for the next few years. Ten years ago, a previous all-party Parliamentary inquiry into anti-Semitism, set up by John Mann MP and chaired by Denis MacShane, concluded that anti-Semitism was on the rise and had taken on new forms. Islamist extremists and obsessive anti-Zionists had joined the old-style neo-Nazis in posing new threats to Britain’s Jews.
20 Oct 2016 by CST
Paki. It’s a hard, ugly word, and it’s one I heard too many times in the high streets and playgrounds of the 1970s and 80s. Today it’s considered completely unacceptable, sitting alongside the N-word in the dictionary of bigotry. I’m sure many of you will even have done a double-take simply when you saw it in print. After all, such racism, prejudice and hatred has no place in decent society.
19 Oct 2016 by CST
Just what did Hitler think about the Jews when he was a young, struggling politician in the aftermath of the First World War, long before he came to power? It’s an important question to ask, especially in the light of recent political controversy about the Nazis and the Jews.
16 Oct 2016 by CST
At the end of World War II, when I was liberated from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, the revelation of what had been happening in the occupied countries to Jews and others brought about such revulsion that I thought that antisemitism would be a thing of the past.
14 Oct 2016 by CST
The Jewish community in Scotland is a small but vitally important part of our national life. We are proud of the contribution that Scottish Jews make to our communities, to our national life and as active members of the Scottish National Party. As parliamentarians and political leaders we must be unequivocally clear that there can be absolutely no room for complacency when it comes to tackling antisemitism.
13 Oct 2016 by CST
On his recent visit to London, the Chief Rabbi of France, Haïm Korsia, shared with me what his father used to tell him when he was a child: “a country that tore itself apart about the fate of an obscure Jewish artillery captain is a country where there will always be hope and room for us”. These words resonated with me.
11 Oct 2016 by CST
One of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had was my very first official engagement as Mayor of London. Along with the Chief Rabbi and many Londoners from the Jewish community, I joined over a hundred Holocaust survivors for Yom HaShoah. It was a privilege to meet Holocaust survivors and their families and to hear their remarkable stories - stories that will stay with me forever. That day, we stood together to reflect, honour and remember the six million Jewish lives that were lost during the Holocaust and the lives lost in subsequent genocides.
10 Oct 2016 by CST
No-one enjoys being on the receiving end of an insult. Yet, it is a sad indictment of our times that insults of a certain mode can become the norm. In politics and the celebrity world they are widespread and likely to be considered the ‘price of doing business’. Prime Minister’s Questions offers a useful illustration of this phenomenon. Once a week, the men and women whom we have elected to represent us in Parliament trade jibes and insults. It is rarely out of genuine malice – in the modern world, that is just how the game is played.
9 Oct 2016 by CST
Today sees events marking the 80 th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, when antisemitic fascists were prevented from marching through what was then the Jewish East End of London. Former CST Chief Executive, Richard Benson, has the following article, summarising the memory of the event and what it means to CST.
9 Oct 2016 by CST
Antisemitism is an insidious evil. The habits of antisemitism have been burrowing into European and British culture for as long as we can remember. In England, during the late mediaeval period, the Jewish community faced constant persecution: Shylock, the great villain of the Merchant of Venice, was a cliché of his time. By the time Cromwell reopened England to Jewish settlement under the Commonwealth in the 1650s, antisemitism had mutated within common parlance and culture.
7 Oct 2016 by CST
I have spent my entire adult life opposing antisemitism and fascism. In that time, much has changed, but the fundamentals of the problem and how to deal with it have not. In the 1950s and 60s, Jews in post-war Britain faced antisemitic abuse and attacks from fascists and open Nazis. Jews needed to be physically defended on the streets, which meant standing up and fighting back. That is what we did and I am proud to have played my part.
6 Oct 2016 by Dave Rich
One of the more curious things said by Jackie Walker, recently suspended by the Labour Party and removed as Vice-Chair of Momentum (although retained on its Steering Committee) for comments she made at a Labour Party training event on antisemitism, was that she hasn't "heard a definition of antisemitism that I can work with".
2 Oct 2016 by CST
CST would like to wish the community and our volunteers and safe, happy and peaceful new year. CST would also like to thank all our volunteers who are giving up their time during the High Holy Days to keep our community safe.
2 Oct 2016 by Dave Rich
This first Labour Party conference of the Jeremy Corbyn era was a dispiriting place for those committed to the fight against anti-Semitism. The most telling moment came during the debate on anti-Semitism at the Momentum fringe festival. Anti-Zionist campaigner Jonathan Rosenhead recounted hearing the Chief Rabbi being interviewed on the radio about anti-Semitism. As Rosenhead told it, when the Chief Rabbi said that anti-Semitism is a serious concern, the presenter then asked if he personally had experienced any anti-Semitism, to which, Rosenhead said, the Chief Rabbi answered that he hadn’t – drawing a round of laughter from the Momentum supporters in the room.