Tackling Anti-Semitism

    Tackling Anti-Semitism

     The Jewish community in the UK and around the western world has been the most persecuted group in modern history and, today, Jewish people come under attack from all angles, and both extreme flanks of the political spectrum.

    To be fair to the swivel-eyed pioneers of the far right, they don’t seem to like anyone from any culture, whereas the extreme wing of the left have recently spit their own bile, most commonly, in the direction of Jewish people and institutions. As any student of politics will know, the Horseshoe Theory suggests the far left and far right are close bedfellows in terms of intolerance and totalitarian ideology.

    Let’s be clear about this: any contrasting view of world politics is no excuse for intolerance in our local communities.

    Shamefully, anti-Semitism has been brushed under the carpet for too long by too many; but the plight of former Labour MP Luciana Berger brought the scourge to the public consciousness, as she recounted the torrent of pressure and anti-Semitic abuse from activists in her Wavertree constituency, leading to her leaving the party.

    The desecration of cemeteries, verbal taunts and stereotyping, as well as vicious references to the Holocaust are examples of what members of the Jewish community suffer in the UK and in Europe. There has been a worrying rise in anti-Semitism in recent years with a new peak in offences reported to the police in 2017. Community groups have noted that dangerous political extremism is threatening to divide societies, as ever, but Jewish people have the biggest target on their backs.

    Under-reporting of incidents masks the true scale of the racism towards Jews, but as with any form of prejudice, one incident is too many.

    The ability to stand in someone else’s shoes is so vital to enable anyone to empathise, understand more clearly the issues, and help people from all sectors of society. By nature of their stance, people at the extremes of the political spectrum find it impossible to understand a ‘dissenters’ point of view.

    I suppose they can just carry on agreeing with themselves and leave the rest of us, the vast majority, to try to get on.

    The Jewish population in the UK numbers close to half a million people and we’re going to be discussing their hopes and concerns in our Being Jewish Webinar. Our expert panel is chaired by Suzanne Wolf, former chief executive of Industrial Dwellings Society and the panel includes Rabbi Daniella Kolodny of the New North London Synagogue, and sociologist Dr Keith Kahn-Harris.

    If you can make it, on 26th July at 11am – we’d love to see you there.


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