It may be a new year, but sadly what we are seeing on our streets is still the same old hate.
Last week, there was an illegal anti-Israel protest, which our Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit captured on film, and during the week there were genocidal calls outside the Houses of Parliament. Yesterday, there was another large protest, which our volunteers also monitored.
But even as these demonstrations take place week after week, the Mayor of London has failed to speak out and take action. Perhaps Sadiq Khan did not want to provoke the ire of antisemites, as the Mayor of Bristol did when he expressed solidarity with the victims of Hamas terror.
But Mr Khan is also London’s equivalent of a police and crime commissioner. He is the elected official in charge of policing in our capital city at a time when 90% of British Jews say that they are feeling intimidated and bullied into staying out of city centres, according to our representative polling of the Jewish community.
This weekend, Campaign Against Antisemitism called on the Mayor finally to speak out against the marches on our streets that regularly feature antisemitism, glorification of terrorism and incitement to intifada.
The Mayor is not above criticism. After all, why is it that it is okay to criticise the Mayor over, say, knife crime but not okay to criticise him over antisemitic hate crime? Why do some people seem to think Jewish Londoners do not have a right to expect solidarity and action from their city’s mayor at a time of record antisemitism?
There seems to be a cynical double standard, which we do not accept. We will continue to hold politicians and police chiefs to account, without fear or favour.
100 days in captivity
Today, British Jews have gathered at Trafalgar Square to mark 100 days since the brutal Hamas terror attack.
Contrary to the claims of antisemites, Zionism and a strong connection to Israel are core to the identity of most British Jews. Over the winter break, we published polling that shows that a near-unanimous 97% of British Jews feel personally connected to events happening in Israel, and eight in ten British Jews consider themselves to be a Zionist. Only six percent do not. That is why so many turned out today.
For 100 days, the hostages taken by Hamas have been held in captivity by the terrorist organisation, in unimaginable conditions.
Among them is Kfir Bibas, who turns one year old this month.
Campaign Against Antisemitism is proud to join the call of the Jewish community and its allies to Bring Them Home!
This week has seen a variety of welcome developments in the House of Commons:
- The Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill passed its third reading. Once it becomes law, it will ban public bodies from imposing their boycotts, divestment, or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries. Year after year, our polling has shown that an overwhelming majority of British Jews consider the tactics of the BDS campaign to be intimidatory.
- MPs debated a proposal by Nickie Aiken MP relating to the contribution of British Jews to our country. Campaign Against Antisemitism provided a submission to all MPs in advance of the debate.
- Andrew Percy MP raised the critical issue of antisemitism in schools. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak agreed that “there is no place for antisemitism or the glorification of terrorism in Britain, especially not in our classrooms.”
Our volunteers also met with MPs this week, and our Policy Unit continues to engage with parliamentarians and the Government on a regular basis as part of our policy advocacy.
Wiley performance cancelled
You may recall that, in 2020, the rapper Richard Cowie, known as Wiley, published antisemitic and potentially criminal posts on social media. Numerous platforms suspended his accounts in response to the scandal.
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues to seek criminal prosecution against Mr Cowie in relation to these posts, which he published from abroad.
In the meantime, we have made every effort to prevent his hate from being normalised. This week, for example, we wrote to a venue that was due to feature him in a gig. Following our correspondence, he has been dropped from the lineup.