Fine words over antisemitism mean nothing

JC Leader, 21 May 2021

May 20, 2021 11:04

Shocking as it was to see a convoy of antisemitic hate drive around London last weekend, it should have surprised no one. The foul imprecations shouted through a megaphone, calling for the rape and murder of Jews, are part of a continuum of hate which is familiar to everyone. In 2015 the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader unleashed a torrent of latent antisemitism both inside and outside the party. That specific form of Jew hate allied with the Islamist antisemitism which has been openly espoused for many years. We have now reached the stage at which ISIS-style convoys drive through areas with large Jewish populations with impunity. There are many questions which arise, but one of the most important is why it took the police so long to intervene. They did, eventually — but only after the convoy had spent hours roaming the streets.

But there is a more general issue prompted by the weekend’s events. Mainstream politicians speak fine words about their zero tolerance of antisemitism. And yet it is tolerated. Often. On Saturday, marchers chanted: “Khayber Khayber Ya Yehud jaish Mohammed Sauf Ya’ud” (“Khayber Khaybar oh Jews, Mohammed’s army is returning”). An inflatable Jewish caricature with horns and a hook nose was hoisted by the podium. Such open antisemitism on our streets is entirely normal. Every year on the ‘Al Quds’ (Jerusalem) Day protest, central London is festooned with antisemitic banners and chants. In schools and on campus, Jews are verbally assaulted. On and on it goes, and the usual response is to stand by and watch. The message is thus sent to Jew haters that they are free to spout their bile. Is it any wonder it is getting worse?

May 20, 2021 11:04

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