The Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky hailed efforts by British members of parliament who have begun to fight the rising tide of anti-Semitism in their own country as well as the swelling tide elsewhere in Europe. Not all UK lawmakers share the views of their colleagues, making the effort far more difficult.
The recent report released by the UK’s Community Security Trust, which has reported figures for anti-Semitism in Britain annually since 1984 noted that in 2014 incidents against Jews more than doubled.
“I welcome the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism’s publication of its new report on anti-Jewish hatred, as well as the report’s important conclusions,” Sharansky stated. He pointed out that for many years it was the task of The Jewish Agency to publish reports on European anti-Semitism.
“The data in these reports was disputed and, at times, rejected in disbelief,” he added. “Recently, however, surveys and reports in France and the UK have started confirming information we released years ago. National governments and civil society now recognize the gravity of the situation.
“This recognition is an important step in the struggle against all manifestations of anti-Semitism – in the streets, on the internet, in the media, on university campuses, and in schools,” he said. “But it is not enough to deploy armed policemen and soldiers around synagogues and Jewish schools. The problem must be addressed at its very roots, through education, legal steps, and social action.
“The new anti-Semitism, which fuels many of the violent attacks against Jews, feeds on the delegitimization, demonization, and double standards applied to Israel. It becomes even more pronounced and vicious when Israel is forced to defend itself and protect its citizens.
“The hotbeds of incitement and the root causes of anti-Israel hatred must be dealt with in order to quell all forms of anti-Semitism and ensure that Jewish life may thrive in safety across Europe,” Sharansky said.Hana Levi Julian