We demand protection for shuls

February 26, 2015 07:01

Last week we launched our campaign to Secure Our Shuls. We demanded action to implement the recommendation of the All Party Inquiry Into Antisemitism that “a governmental fund be established to cover both capital and revenue costs for the security of British synagogues”.

In response, the security minister, James Brokenshire, says that the government is “considering the issues raised” and that it is “carefully considering what more can and should be done to protect the community and its institutions in the current climate”.

We should expect no less. It is the government’s duty to protect British citizens.

But this is not an issue that can wait while civil servants and ministers set up taskforces and ponder possibilities.

Every day we face the risk of attack. Every day without extra security is a day of extra risk. Our sense is that the government knows that and will act.

But there has been a far less promising response from MPs.

Over the past week, we have contacted every MP in the House of Commons — all 650 of them — to ask if they would support the campaign.

Shockingly, only 42 have been willing to put their name to the idea that the government should pay for the security of places of worship for British citizens who happen to be Jewish.

Many of the rest are good MPs who are supportive and friendly towards our community. They will have their reasons for not putting their names to the campaign.

But the fact is that only 42 out of 650 MPs are willing to back spending money on shul security.

And the message that sends is clear. Jewish security is not important enough to prompt them to act.

So we say again: the first duty of government is the protection of citizens.

With Islamists in our midst, whose driving passion is the murder of Jews, we do not request the protection of the state.

We demand it as our right.

The MPs who support our campaign

Diane Abbott
Tariq Ahmad
Ed Balls
Guto Bebb
Sir Alan Beith
Bob Blackman
Graham Brady
David Burrowes
Alistair Burt
James Clappison
Yvette Cooper
Ed Davey
David Davies
Nick De Bois
Nigel Dodds
Louise Ellman
Mike Freer
George Galloway
Mike Gapes
Lilian Greenwood
Mike Hancock
Fabian Hamilton
Tristram Hunt
David Lammy
John Leech
Ivan Lewis
Ken MacIntosh
John Mann
Anne McGuire
Matthew Offord
Eric Ollerenshaw
Neil Parish
Andrew Percy
Mark Pritchard
Lee Scott
Andrew Smith
Graham Stringer
Andrew Stunell
Theresa Villiers
Angela Watkinson
Stephen Williams
Phil Wilson

February 26, 2015 07:01

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