CST Annual Dinner 2018
7 March 2018
The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd MP, was CST’s guest of honour at our Annual Dinner in central London this evening. The dinner is CST’s main fundraising event of the year and was attended by over 800 guests, including donors, politicians, Police officers, communal partners and other supporters of CST’s work in protecting our Jewish community.
CST was pleased to host numerous politicians from all of the main political parties, including Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Yvette Cooper MP; Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid MP; Sir Eric Pickles, UK Special Envoy for Post Holocaust Issues; and John Mann MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.
CST was also grateful to be joined by so many Police officers and to have this opportunity to publicly thank them for their work on behalf of both the Jewish community and society as a whole. Those attending included Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick; Essex Police Chief Constable Steven Kavanagh; Hertfordshire Constabulary Chief Constable Charlie Hall; British Transport Police Chief Constable Paul Crowther OBE; Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey; Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling; and outgoing head of counter-terrorism Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley.
CST Deputy Chairman Lloyd Dorfman CBE paid tribute to Mark Rowley and led a warm thank you to all Police officers, saying:
"There have been five terrorist attacks - Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge, Finsbury Park and Parsons Green - as well as several more attacks which have been foiled.
We remember PC Keith Palmer, who lost his life protecting Parliament – the very heart of our democracy – in the Westminster terror attack last March.
We are in awe of the courage of the police, who, unarmed, took on the London Bridge attackers in June, and suffered serious injuries before armed police arrived quickly at the scene.
We see at first-hand the dedication, bravery and sense of duty of police officers every time they do their job.
The partnership between CST and the Police is at the heart of everything we do.
After the Manchester Arena attack in May, CST volunteers patrolled with police officers in Jewish Communities.
So tonight, we pay tribute to our outstanding Police and other Emergency Services who, every time, rush towards danger while the public flee.
We are with you every step of the way."
Next, Mr Dorfman introduced the keynote speaker Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP, thanking her for the Government’s continuing support for CST and the UK Jewish Community. His concluding words were:
"In this room, we have Jews, Christians, Muslims, people of no faith, left wing, right wing, women and men, all committed to fighting antisemitism, racism and extremism together.
And Home Secretary – you have the awesome responsibility of keeping our country as safe as possible.
This is the highest priority of any government.
Preventing terrorism, reducing hate crime and social division, tackling extremism, excluding foreign hate preachers and violent racists – please know, that CST is assisting your efforts in every way we can.
We do this as part of our contribution to keeping this country safe.
And, we do it because we regard the well-being of Britain and the well-being of British Jews as ultimately one and the same.
My lords, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our Home Secretary."
The Home Secretary then used her address to announce the welcome continuation of Government funding for Jewish community protective security during 2018/19. This funding of £13.4 million, which is administered by CST on behalf of the Government, pays for commercial security guards and protection at independent and state Jewish schools, nurseries, synagogues and community sites.
In her speech, the Home Secretary showed a keen understanding of historical and modern antisemitism, including the underlying reasons for the Holocaust. She expressed strong solidarity with CST and British Jews, also noting a wide range of initiatives that CST and the Home Office are currently undertaking with the shared goal of combatting antisemitism. She stressed the extent of the current threat, stating:
"Last year was the most challenging year for the police and security services for decades. As well as the five attacks, police and MI5 intervened to disrupt an unprecedented number of suspected plots.
Plots which came from the far right and Islamist extremists.
…It is absolutely essential that we all feel safe where we live, where we work, where we worship and where we meet our friends.
But let me be frank.
I hope that one day there will be no need for CST…
But until that day comes, CST is an important partner in ensuring that Jewish life continues unfettered in our country.
Of course, CST isn’t just concerned about terrorists. As you know, they also commit significant resources to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism.
And across the globe it seems that history’s oldest hatred is on the march. From far-right demonstrators in Virginia chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’, to arson attacks on kosher restaurants in France, to attacks on Swedish synagogues, anti-Semitism has shown that it is depressingly adaptable.
CST recorded 1,382 anti-Semitic incidents in the UK last year, the highest total they ever recorded for a calendar year.
…My plea to all political parties represented here this evening, is to take this problem extremely seriously as it must not be left unchallenged."
CST Chief Executive David Delew introduced the evening’s short film presentation and referenced the pressures faced these past 12 months, when 5 attacks took place in the UK.
CST’s Chief Executive David Delew made reference to the pressures the organisation has faced these past 12 months when five attacks took place in the UK and took the opportunity to publicly thank the “staff and every single security volunteer who time after time, when on security duty go out looking for danger.”
CST Chair Gerald Ronson CBE ended the evening with a strong appeal speech in which he stressed the need for security to be taken seriously, amidst the current terror threat. This included:
"…But let me be very clear. If we do not protect what we have built, we risk having nothing. The scale of the terrorism and the antisemitism, means that our first and foremost responsibility is to protect our community. That is the role of leadership and that is your role here tonight.
CST touches every part of our Jewish community. Every communal building will have been helped by CST, and we secure 1,000 events every year. There is no part of Jewish life that is not supported and secured by CST.
A Jewish community without CST is unimaginable.
…[CST’s future] planning begins with a deep analysis of the state of our Community and of our country. It is not a pretty picture.
The terrorism drives what we do. When the Government, Police and security services say 'the threat has never been anything like it is now', we have to pay attention.
…CST does not have the luxury of being bored with terrorist attacks.
Maybe you see ISIS losing ground in Syria and you think the terrorism is about to stop. Actually, they are desperately telling their supporters to stay here and carry out whatever attacks they can.
That is why you are seeing so many attacks by cars, and by knives. Think what it means for CST when we see Policemen attacked outside Parliament. Pedestrians run over on bridges because there’s nowhere to escape to. And worshippers being run down outside a mosque after religious services.
…That is what dictates every single one of CST’s actions, including my request that security must be the priority right now."
Mr Ronson then noted the “intellectual battle” and “the mood music of modern antisemitism”, before ending with an appeal for donations to enable CST to undertake its work:
"As well as physical security, there is also an intellectual battle that must be fought and understood. That is why CST commissioned the largest and most detailed UK survey of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes [with the Institute of Jewish Policy Research]. It is why we commissioned the analysis of almost 3 million British tweets about Jews and antisemitism [with academics from Cardiff University].
Do not underestimate why we need to do this research.
The last two years have been the worst ever recorded by CST, and that is without a war in the Middle East.
This isn’t some random event. Antisemitism isn’t like the weather. You don’t wake up in the morning and discover that it’s suddenly turned antisemitic outside. It comes down to the state of British society and politics.
Fundamentally, it’s not just because of Brexit, or because of who leads the Labour Party, - but the experts told us these things could never happen - and then they did.
They happened because people are angry, alienated, frustrated, and looking for scapegoats.
Those are the conditions that all forms of antisemitism feed off, including anti-Zionism, which draws people in by replacing the word Jew with the word Zionist.
Right now, it is especially popular with those who preach equality for everyone, except for Jews, not unless we condemn Israel - and reject gatherings such as this.
Even then, we will never really escape from their suspicion and doubt.
Because, all of this comes from the old antisemitic myth of Jewish power. That we connive together. That we control the money, the media and the politicians. That is why we are the only minority treated in this way.
As this moves to the centre, consider what is now moving to fill the extremes. That is why the Grenfell Tower disaster ends up being described as a Jewish sacrifice by fire. And I could give dozens of other examples.
What was in the centre also becomes worse. Amnesty International refused to host the JLC [Jewish leadership Council], because JLC opposes the boycott of Israeli goods. That is the template, right there, for the exclusion of British Jews from decent society.
That is the mood music of modern antisemitism. None of us know where it will end up, but if or when there is another war in the Middle East, you can be sure it will get even worse.
So, when we plan ahead, it is absolutely clear that our community will need more protection, not less. Whether it is from terrorism, or from the spread of antisemitism, nothing will stand still.
…If, like me, you believe in the future of this Jewish community, then you need to invest in CST. That is our Communal building block right now.
Take your responsibility with pride and with dignity. Give CST what it needs to do our work, and tell others to wake up, and follow the lead that you have set.
…Don’t sell us short. Give us what we need to get the job done.
CST thanks all those who attended the CST Dinner to show their support for our work, and to help us in our mission of facilitating Jewish life in Britain by protecting our Jewish community.
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