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Secure Our Shuls

February 19, 2015 10:03

Last week, we reported on the findings of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into Antisemitism. Among its main recommendations was that “a governmental fund be established to cover both capital and revenue costs for the security of British synagogues”. Within days of the report being published, the importance of that recommendation was brought home with tragic clarity. Dan Uzan, an economist with the Danish Treasury, was doing what so many of us do regularly — acting as a security guard outside a synagogue. And for that — for being a Jew, in Europe in 2015 — he was murdered. It is no wonder, with two murderous attacks on Jews within a month, that our community is fearful. That fear is perfectly rational; it is easy for one man with a gun, on the lookout for Jews, to know where to go. Which is why it is so important that the all-party group’s recommendation is implemented as a matter of urgency. The first duty of government is the protection of citizens. Given that there are now, in our midst, Islamists whose driving passion is the murder of Jews, we do not request the protection the state; we demand it as our right.

The CST and Shomrim are admirable organisations whose work is needed now more than ever. But it should not be left to donors to fund synagogue security, to protect British citizens who wish to practise their religion. That is why the JC is today launching the “Secure Our Shuls” campaign, with one simple aim: the setting up of a taxpayer-financed fund to cover costs for the security of British synagogues. This should not be controversial, and we have little doubt that the government will support it — as indeed, surely, will the opposition. British Jews, like any other minority (and indeed any majority group, too), have every reason to expect that our government will protect us. No protection is going to be absolute. But the parliamentarians behind the idea are right to argue that, at the very least, the state should provide security measures outside places of worship that are now targets.

February 19, 2015 10:03

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