Britain Must Become Hotly Intolerant of Anti-Semitism

February 21, 2024 | Stephen Daisley
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Recently, the Community Security Trust, the UK’s leading organization for combating anti-Semitism, reported that, in the past twelve months, there was a 147-percent increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents, and an even steeper increase since October 7, 2023. Stephen Daisley writes:

The report is particularly useful for documenting how swiftly news reports of the October 7 atrocities were followed by targeting of British Jews. The first air siren sounded in Israel at 8:30 am UK time and the first incident in the CST report was at 12:55 pm.

The targeting of British Jews during Israeli military operations in Gaza, something seen in 2014 and 2009, has been joined by another disturbing phenomenon: attacks on Israeli Jews inspiring anti-Semitism against British Jews.

Which leaves us with a question: do we want to be this sort of country? A country where Jews are pelted with bricks and beaten with bars, where Jewish children are targeted on their way to school, where synagogues and even cemeteries are desecrated. I don’t want us to be this sort of country. One of the most admirable qualities of the British is their tolerance of even the most obnoxious ideologies. We need to become much less tolerant—hotly intolerant, in fact—when it comes to anti-Semitism.

The day after the above article was published, news broke that someone had affixed a small Palestinian flag sticker on a statue of the popular Anglo-Jewish singer Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011. The flag was placed directly over the Star of David on the statue’s neck. Daisley writes in a follow-up article about this incident:

This is another reminder to British Jews that their holy emblems are not welcome, that they are a target for those who want to remove signs of Jewishness from public view. The person who placed the sticker there was sending a message: over there, it’s Israel versus Palestine; over here, it’s us versus you.

It is not insignificant, I think, that a statue of Amy Winehouse was chosen. The late singer was neither religious nor outspoken about Israel. She was a thoroughly secular London Jew, and that’s the point. . . . They hate you because you’re Jewish. They hate you because you won’t be their kind of Jew, willing to denounce Israel, renounce Zionism, and debase your people and yourself for their approval. They want you to submit.

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