A member of the Jewish community walks in north London.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
British Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Wednesday pledged to continue budgeting £13.4 million for the security of the Jewish community, noting that Jews remain a target for terrorists.
“Daesh [ISIS] literature continues to identify the Jewish community as a ‘desirable and legitimate’ target,” she said, in an address to some 1,000 guests at the Community Security Trust’s annual dinner in London.
Rudd pointed to attacks against Jews in Paris, Brussels, Toulouse and Copenhagen in recent years, as well as a more recent case of a 16-year-old girl in Denmark who was charged for planning to blow up a Jewish school.
CST is a charity dedicated to protecting British Jews that received charitable status in 1994. Rudd lauded the organization as a trusted partner of the government, which supports it with grants for security guards and equipment at hundreds of Jewish schools, nurseries, synagogues and other Jewish facilities.
Addressing CST findings this year of record levels of antisemitism in the UK
, Rudd assured the audience that the government is taking action, pointing to the UK’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism, the jailing of an Internet troll who made antisemitic death threats against Labour MP Luciana Berger, and cooperation with Internet service providers to fight online hate speech.
“And it goes without saying that I wish antisemitism was a subject of the past – something for historians to be baffled by and scholars to debate the origins and demise of, but sadly that’s not the case,” she added. “But be assured, we are doing what we can to confine antisemitism to the history books.”
CST chief executive David Delew thanked the home secretary and the government for its “strong efforts to help combat terrorism and antisemitism.” CST chairman Gerald Ronson echoed this, saying: “Our community gets excellent support from government, but opposition to antisemitism must never become a party political issue. It should be a basic requirement of any political party and of any political leader. I have never expressed a preference for any political party, because I know that antisemites can come from the Left or from the Right; and I know that the strongest opponents of antisemitism can be as left-wing or as right-wing as they come.”
Last year the Labour Party became embroiled in an antisemitism crisis, which led to the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry into allegations of antisemitism and other forms of racism in the party.
Ronson made special mention of the Labour MPs present at the event, saying “I know that, despite it all, we still have many friends in the Labour Party and they know what is at stake every bit as much as Sharansky: Don’t blame Trump for hate we do.”
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