Newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson wooed British Jews with a very friendly Chanukah message. In a two-minute video, he said, among other things:
“I know that recent years have not been easy ones for British Jews. In the media, on the streets and particularly online, anti-Semites have in alarming numbers been emboldened to crawl out from under their rocks and begin, once again, to spread their brand of noxious hatred far and wide.…
“Today as Britain’s Jews seek to drive back the darkness of resurgent anti-Semitism, you have every decent person in this country fighting by your side. Because Britain would not be Britain without its Jewish community.”
Queens Speech Calls for Fighting BDS
The new Conservative government called for combating boycotts in the Queen’s Speech last week. In the speech, which is written by the government, Queen Elizabeth II said, “We will stop public institutions from imposing their own approach or views about international relations through preventing boycott campaigns against foreign countries and those who trade with them.”
The Board of Deputies welcomed the move. President Marie van der Zyl said, “The Board of Deputies has long called for action on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. This divisive activity intimidates Jewish communities in the Diaspora and does nothing to build peace in the Middle East.”
MP Defends Violent Remarks
A newly elected MP, a convert to Judaism, has defended saying that Nazi-saluting football fans should “get their heads kicked in.”
Charlotte Nichols, Labour MP for Warrington North, made the remark before an October match between Italian club Lazio and Glasgow Celtic.
She told the BBC, “As a Jewish person whose grandfather fought in World War II, ultimately sometimes I believe that fascism has to be physically confronted….”
Police Arrest Man For Harassing Frum Jew
A 48-year-old man has been arrested for hurling anti-Semitic abuse at a 36-year-old davening from a siddur on a Stamford Hill bus on December 6. The attacker then went on to harass a group of teenage girls on the bus. When the first man tried to intervene, he was punched in the arm.
Detective Superintendent Adam Ghaboos said, “We have a large Jewish community in Hackney who have the right to live peacefully without being victimized because of their faith.”
Two teenagers have also been charged and held in custody for attacking an Israeli rabbi walking home from a Sheva Brachot at the Bobov Synagogue in late November. The halachic authority was punched and beaten to the ground.
Oftsed Downgrades Three Charedi Schools
Three charedi schools in London, Manchester, and Gateshead have been downgraded by Ofsted for failing to teach about LGBT issues.
Inspectors found that London’s Beis Rochel d’Satmar Girls’ School did not “pay sufficient attention to the protected characteristics as set out in the Equality Act 2010.” The school had improved in many areas but was still said not to “meet the independent school standards.”
Ofsted made similar remarks regarding Gateshead’s Ateres Girls High School: “Leaders refuse to allow pupils to be taught about all the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010, for instance those relating to sexual orientation and gender reassignment.”
Also not meeting independent school standards was Manchester’s Mechinoh School. Inspectors wrote, “Leaders remain clear that the school does not actively develop pupils’ understanding of all the protected characteristics.”
Rabbi Avrohom Pinter of Chinuch UK told The Jewish Press, “Ofsted are out on a mission. Schools just recognize that this is going to happen. They are focusing on excellence in other areas. They don’t take much notice of Ofsted.”
He added, “We have seen that the general public are not prepared to accept anti-Jewish prejudice. Let’s hope that they realize that a whole community is being demonized by Ofsted. It took a long time for the general community to reject anti-Semitism in politics. Enough is now enough [for] anti-Semitism in education.”
Investigation Open on Conservative Councillor for Anti-Semitic Posts
A Conservative councillor is being investigated for anti-Semitic posts. Mohammed Aslam of Pendle shared posts decrying “Radical Jewish Terrorism” and describing Israel as a “Terrorist State.”