Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has told a Board of Deputies meeting that the Government is to provide £100,000 of funding to tackle online antisemitism.
Mr Jenrick said: “This funding will support the Antisemitism Policy Trust’s ongoing work to tackle the spread of antisemitic tropes online and challenge harmful narratives about the Jewish community.”
He also spoke about the responsibility of local councils to stamp out antisemitism wherever they find it. He said: “I will be writing to all councils insisting that they adopt the IHRA definition at the earliest opportunity and use it on all appropriate occasions, including in disciplinary proceedings.”
He added: “Councils should not be wasting time and taxpayer’s money pursuing their own foreign policies – often seemingly obsessed with Zionism – to the detriment of delivering high quality services for residents.”
Mr Jenrick, whose wife Michal was born in Israel, said: “We are in dangerous times when some, including those in prominent positions in public life, cannot distinguish between legitimate criticism of the policies of a democratically elected government and blatant antisemitism.
“Replacing the word ‘Jew’ for “Zionist” when peddling vile and offensive views can never sanitise them. Rejecting Israel’s right to exist is antisemitic and suggestions that the IHRA definition of antisemitism curtails legitimate criticism of the Israeli government must be countered.”
Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman thanked Mr Jenrick for his words. She said: “We welcome your announcement of an additional £100,000 to tackle antisemitism and we will continue to work with you and support you in the work you are doing.”