UK Home Secretary vows to ‘stand up to antisemitism’

Priti Patel made the comments after meeting with British Jewish organization who shared concerns about rising antisemitism in the country.

August 28, 2019 17:46
2 minute read.
Protesters hold placards and flags during a demonstration, organised by the British Board of Jewish

Protesters hold placards and flags during a demonstration, organised by the British Board of Jewish Deputies for those who oppose antisemitism, in Parliament Square in London. (photo credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS)

The UK’s newly appointed Home Secretary Priti Patel has vowed to stand up to antisemitism following a meeting with British Jewish organizations on Tuesday.

Patel said in a statement late Tuesday night that she was “delighted to meet with the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

“I look forward to working with them to stand up to the threat of antisemitism, and ensure the security and safety of Jewish communities,” she said.

The meeting with the organizations was organized by the board.

They discussed topics that included “tackling antisemitism, countering extremism and safeguarding Jewish interests in the context of Brexit.”

Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl, together with Community Security Trust (CST) chairman Gerald Ronson and Jewish Leadership Council vice chairwoman Debra Fox, said in a joint statement that they were, “very pleased to meet the new home secretary and congratulate her on her appointment to this crucial role.

“We very much look forward to working with her on our shared objectives of making the UK safer and more secure for Jews and every part of our society, particularly in the context of rising antisemitism and the uncertainties posed by Brexit,” the leaders said. “We were very pleased to hear of the home secretary’s strong commitment to tackling antisemitism and extremism, and her willingness to work with us to eliminate the potential challenges posed by Brexit.”

Earlier this month, the CST released a report showing that there had been a record number of antisemitic attacks in the UK during the first six months of 2019.

The CST, which monitors antisemitism and provides security for British Jewry, said that 892 antisemitic incidents were recorded nationwide.

The group said that this was a 10% increase over the same period last year. In 2018, 810 incidents were reported between January and June.

Of the 892 incidents recorded, 323 were related to social media, comprising 36% of the overall total. The report recorded over 100 antisemitic incidents in each of the six months from January to June 2019, the third consecutive year in which this has occurred.

Following the report, Van der Zyl said that it shows a 46% rise in incidents of anti-Jewish racism on social media, with over a hundred specifically related to alleged antisemitism within the Labour Party.
“This makes shameful reading for the party’s leadership,” she continued. “Defeating the evil of antisemitism will take a concerted effort by the country’s political leadership and civil society to ensure that this country remains a safe and happy place for the Jewish community."

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