John Mann

Pure and simple, this is a rise in hate

July 27, 2017 11:26

The CST’s figures for antisemitic incidents from January-June 2017 are a wake-up call for people across the country, particularly for those who insist antisemitism is not a growing problem.

The data shows a 30 per cent increase in incidents compared to the same period in 2016: over 750 individual acts of hate took place in the first six months of this year.

Such a rise can no longer only be attributed to more reporting and improved shared data agreements with the police.

This is an increase in hate.

Of course, before asking others to act, we must first look at our own backyard. Our responsibility in Parliament is to ensure strong leadership and responsible debate: a discourse that steers well clear of antisemitic tropes and themes.

As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, I commit to continuing our work to educate and empower MPs and policy makers from all parties to address antisemitism wherever it occurs.

Everyone in society must call out antisemitism and act; MPs, councillors and leaders must stand up and be counted. The growth in antisemitism must be addressed head-on and reversed.

Antisemitism is too prevalent in society, media and politics. The All-Party Group will continue to improve policy and legislation.

But work does not stop in Parliament. To take just two disparate examples, the fight against both hate online, and racism in sport, is ongoing and a major priority. While some improvements have occurred, there is still a long way to go.

I intend to bring forward legislation, putting Britain in line with best practice elsewhere, making social media companies more responsible for their platforms through economic incentives and other measures.

By reporting and forcing social media companies to constantly assess hateful material, you too can help ensure systems are improved.

In Germany, football fan groups have taken the fight against antisemitism and other discrimination into their own hands, promoting inclusion within their clubs. While advances have been brought about by the FA, there is much to learn from Germany and elsewhere. Fans can collectively ensure terraces are free from hate, so that football remains a beautiful game.

Some steps to be taken are outlined in the inquiries we have produced over the years; these reports won’t sit on a shelf collecting dust. Over the next year, the APPG will work with all parties and relevant stakeholders to implement our inquiries’ recommendations, and will press the Committee on Standards in Public Life to consider our electoral conduct recommendations in its forthcoming electoral abuse investigations.

We will also engage students and university authorities to ensure our higher education sector is doing its utmost to combat antisemitism on campus.

We must all do our bit: you do not have to be Jewish to oppose antisemitism ‑— quite the opposite, in fact. Antisemitism is not just a Jewish problem. Online or offline, if you see antisemitism, speak up and speak out. Together we’ll make sure that the trend seen in the CST report is reversed.


John Mann is Labour MP for Bassetlaw


July 27, 2017 11:26

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