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The JC Leader: Reset the story

The Jewish Chronicle Leader column, April 13th, 2018

    It has been an uncomfortable few weeks, with our community’s fears over antisemitism dominating the news agenda for days on end.

    British  Jews are hardly characterised by a readiness to take to the streets. But if doing so helps defeat the antisemites, so we must. And from the moment that 2,000 people gathered in Parliament Square some three weeks ago, Labour’s refusal to tackle antisemitism properly has at last been widely reported on the front pages and on TV news bulletins. 

    That must surely help. But it is one of the more pernicious aspects of the re-emergence of Jew hate that it defines British Jews through the prism of antisemitism. That is in itself an outrage — and one we must always seek to counter.

    So while it is vital that we tackle antisemitism, we should make an equal priority of asserting our identity — proudly.

    That identity is  multi-layered — including, among many other things, patriotism, charity, education and energy. It also, of course, includes a deep attachment to Israel.

    Next week sees Yom Ha’atzmaut and the start of the celebrations of Israel’s 70th anniversary. Here, those celebrations will culminate with ‘Platinum’ — in which the whole community can come together for what promises to be a fabulous celebration of contemporary Israel at the Royal Albert Hall on 24th May.

    Three weeks ago we demonstrated against antisemitism outside Parliament. Next month, let’s demonstrate something far more positive and uplifting — our pride in Israel and in our own community. Let’s fill the Royal Albert Hall with happiness. And in doing that, let’s send a message to the antisemites that their hate is no match for our joy.

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