Lessons Learned: From post-war British fascists to modern day antisemitism

7 Oct 2016 by CST

This article by CST Chairman Gerald M Ronson CBE originally appeared in the Holocaust Education Trust and CST booklet ‘Lessons Learned? Reflections on Antisemitism and the Holocaust’. Read the full article in the booklet here.

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.

Nowadays, Jews are no longer an immigrant community and we consider ourselves well integrated into British society. Of course it helps enormously that racism itself is no longer legally or socially acceptable, even if current trends raise the worrying prospect that Britain may be sliding backwards in that particular regard.

Fast forward to today and you have Jihadi terrorists, including our fellow British citizens, choosing Jews as one of their primary targets for murder. Our community still needs protecting and I am proud to lead this through my chairmanship of CST.

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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