Michael Gove warns of ‘resurgent and lethal’ antisemitism


Michael Gove has described antisemitism as a “resurgent, mutating, lethal virus,” which needs to be combated “now more than ever”.

Addressing the Holocaust Educational Trust’s dinner last night, the Conservative chief whip also said anti-Israel protesters should be reminded that the Nazi boycott of Jewish goods ultimately led to the loss of Jewish lives.

Referring to the anti-Israel demonstrations and boycotts over the summer, Mr Gove told his audience: “The Tricycle Theatre attempts to turn away donations which support the Jewish Film Festival because the money is Israeli and therefore tainted.

“In our supermarkets our citizens mount boycotts of Israeli produce, some going so far as to ransack the shelves, scatter goods and render them unsaleable.

“In some supermarkets the conflation of anti-Israeli agitation and straightforward antisemitism has resulted in kosher goods being withdrawn,” he said.

Mr Gove also expressed his concern over figures from the Community Security Trust, which showed a five fold increase in antisemitic incidents since last summer.

“In 101 of those cases, there were explicit references to the Holocaust including attempts to equate Israel’s actions in self-defence with Nazi crimes,” he said. “On our streets our citizens have marched with swastikas super-imposed on the Israeli flag.”

He commended the valuable work done by HET. The trust “exists to help to ensure that no-one forgets: that no-one will ever forget. That is why you are needed, now, more than ever,” he said.

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