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Amber Rudd pledges millions for Jewish security at CST annual dinner

Ms Rudd said the money was intended “to ensure the security of Jewish faith schools, synagogues and communal buildings, following concerns raised by the Jewish community".

    Gerald Ronson, CST chair, with Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, and CST's chief executive David Delew (left to right)
    Gerald Ronson, CST chair, with Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, and CST's chief executive David Delew (left to right)

    Amber Rudd has called for online trolls to face “the full force of the law” and be treated the same as those committing crimes offline.

    The Home Secretary also used her speech at tonight's Community Security Trust (CST) annual dinner to pledge £13.4 million towards security measure for British Jews in the coming year - matching last year’s funding.

    Ms Rudd told the more than 800 attendees at the central London dinner that the money was intended “to ensure the security of Jewish faith schools, synagogues and communal buildings, following concerns raised by the Jewish community.

    “It is absolutely essential that we all feel safe where we live, where we work, where we worship and where we meet our friends,” she said.

    “If you feel victimised, I will be there for you. And if you need my support, I will give it to you.”

    Ms Rudd said CST had highlighted how 18 per cent of antisemitic incidents last year were on social media and acknowledged “there is more work to be done and I will not tolerate this sort of terrible abuse.

    “What is illegal offline is illegal online, and those who commit these cowardly crimes should be met with the full force of the law”.

    Lloyd Dorfman, CST deputy chair, paid tribute “to our outstanding police and other emergency services who, every time, rush towards danger while the public flee. The partnership between CST and the police is at the heart of everything we do.

    “After the Manchester Arena attack in May, CST volunteers patrolled with police officers in Jewish communities. We are with you every step of the way.”

    Dinner guests included Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis; Israeli ambassador Mark Regev; Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner;  and the chief constables of police forces from across the country.

    Leading politicians from every majory party also attended. The most senior Labour frontbencher at the dinner was Chris Matheson, the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister.

    Around 800 people attended the dinner in central London
    Around 800 people attended the dinner in central London

    Gerald Ronson, CST chairman, warned that “the last two years have been the worst ever recorded by CST, and that is without a war.

    “This isn’t some random event. Antisemitism isn’t like the weather. You don’t wake up in the morning and discover that it’s suddenly turned antisemitic outside. It comes down to the state of British society and politics.

    “Fundamentally, it’s not just because of Brexit, or because of who leads the Labour Party — but the experts told us these things could never happen — and then they did.

    “They happened because people are angry, alienated, frustrated, and looking for scapegoats.

    “Those are the conditions that all forms of antisemitism feed off, including anti-Zionism, which draws people in by replacing the word Jew with the word Zionist.

    “Right now, it is especially popular with those who preach equality for everyone, except for Jews, not unless we condemn Israel — and reject gatherings such as this.

    “So, when we plan ahead, it is absolutely clear that our community will need more protection, not less. Whether it is from terrorism, or from the spread of antisemitism, nothing will stand still.

    “If, like me, you believe in the future of this Jewish community, then you need to invest in CST. That is our communal building block right now.”

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