Home Secretary Theresa May and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles have reassured the Jewish community that the government is doing everything it can to fight antisemitism.
Speaking at#NousSommesJuifs, a Board of Deputies event to commemorate the lives lost in the Paris terrorist attacks, Ms May said: “I know many Jews are feeling anxious. I never thought I would see the day that Jewish people would say they are fearful of remaining here in the UK – which means we must redouble our efforts to wipe out antisemitism in the UK.” You can read the full text of Ms May’s speech here.
Mr Pickles said that he stood, “Shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community, shoulder to shoulder with fellow British citizens” and described antisemitism as “a cancer”.
He added: “Modern Britain without a thriving Jewish community would not be Britain. The Jewish community is a vital part of what makes Britain tick, whether it is leadership through business and commerce, arts like dance or literature, or something more humble like members of the JLGB who give so much to the Jewish community and others.” You can read the full text of Mr Pickle’s speech here
The event also featured prayers for the dead led by UK-based French Rabbi Mordechai Fhima. There was also a minute’s silence for those who lost their lives. The event was attended by representatives of CRIF – Conseil Representatif des Institutions Juives de France, as well as a representative from the French Embassy.
Board Senior Vice President Laura Marks thanked both cabinet ministers for their attendance , saying: “We so desperately appreciate you both coming along. This support makes so much difference to us.”
Board President Vivian Wineman said: This has been a clear demonstration of the government’s and the country’s solidarity with the community at this critical time.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. sent in a message of support which was read out at the meeting. He wrote: “I would like to commend the leadership shown by the Board of Deputies at this difficult time for the Jewish community…In London we continue to do all we can to tackle antisemitism so the Jewish community can live their lives free from persecution. I have set a clear expectation that the police treat all harassment and hate crimes very seriously.”
To read the full letter, please click here: Message from the Mayor of London.