August 3rd, 2015 by CST
CST's Dave Rich has an essay on antisemitism and European society in the latest issue of World Affairs Journal. The essay begins:
There are lots of different ways to talk, and think, about European anti-Semitism, and most of them have been heard at one time or another over the past year.
You can look at the jihadist murders of Jews in Brussels, Paris, and the Danish capital of Copenhagen over the past 12 months, and in Toulouse, in southern France, three years ago, and at the murder of Ilan Halimi in Paris in 2006, and conclude that Europe generally, and France in particular, has a problem with homicidal anti-Semitism.
You can look at the thousands of Jews who have left France in recent years, traumatized by successive anti-Semitic murders and wearied by the weekly grind of anti-Semitic abuse, threats, and violence that rarely makes the international news, and wonder if Jews have a future in Europe at all.
You can look at the electoral success of the neo-fascist Jobbik in Hungary, and the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in Greece, and the far-right National Front in France, and worry that Europe has forgotten the destruction wrought on the continent by fascism and Nazism, with all their attendant anti-Semitism, during the last century, and is destined to repeat the errors of its own history.
Or you can listen to the heartfelt and compelling support for European Jewry expressed recently by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, the leaders of the three most powerful states in the European Union, and feel reassured that Jews, despite the attacks they suffer and dangers they face, are nonetheless valued and protected in the new Europe.
You can look at National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who regularly tries to appear philosemitic and to distance herself from the party’s fascist past, even at the cost of breaking from her own father, and—whether she is sincere or not, whether this is cosmetic or not—you can wonder what it means, that in order to be electable she feels compelled to reach out to French Jews.
And you can look at a city like London, where new Jewish schools and community centers thrive, where Jews play a full role in a diverse, multicultural city, and where the prospect of the United Kingdom electing its first Jewish Prime Minister (Ed Miliband) since Queen Victoria sat on the throne was barely discussed (outside Jewish circles, of course) during the recent election, and imagine that anti-Semitism is something in the margins, an unfortunate relic of outdated prejudice that only rarely intrudes upon the daily lives of ordinary Jews.
Or, most confusing of all, you can imagine that all of these things are true, and accurate, and are happening simultaneously in today’s Europe, and that the good and bad stories about anti-Semitism and Jewish life in Europe do not even contradict each other. And you would be right to do so.
You can read the rest of the essay here.
July 30th, 2015 by CST
CST’s Antisemitic Incident Report for January to June 2015, published today, shows a 53% increase in antisemitic incidents compared to the same period last year. Read more…
July 28th, 2015 by Dave Rich
On Friday the Guardian published a lengthy interview by Peter Oborne with Abdul Wahid, a leading British member of the Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir. Read more…
July 22nd, 2015 by CST
CST’s security volunteers are crucial for CST’s work keeping the Jewish community in the United Kingdom safe in these challenging times. With an increase in antisemitic attacks across Europe, including the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen at the beginning of this year, CST has been inundated with applications to join our growing pool of security volunteers. Read more…
July 21st, 2015 by Dave Rich
The Prime Minister gave an important speech yesterday to set out the framework, and much of the detail, of the government’s counter-extremism strategy for the next five years. It was a landmark statement in Britain’s efforts to challenge and reduce the appeal of Islamist extremism. Read more…
July 8th, 2015 by Dave Rich
The appearance of Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn MP at a hustings for the Jewish community later this month is likely to focus more attention on his reported remarks praising Hamas and Hezbollah. Corbyn will be speaking alongside the other three leadership candidates and, with the hustings chaired by Jonathan Freedland, he can expect some difficult questions. Read more…
July 7th, 2015 by CST
20-25 neo-Nazis (including five Poles) turned up in Whitehall and were loudly jeered by 150-200 anti-fascists of various political and religious affiliations, including Jews and Christians. 220 CST volunteers and staff helped secure our Golders Green Jewish community from the evening of Friday 3 July (ie erev Shabbat) through to Sunday 5 July. They were sincerely thanked by many members of our community, and CST has received many phone calls and emails of gratitude. Read more…