UK Anti-Semitism Report 'An Important Step'

Natan Sharansky praises UK parliamentary step to stop anti-Semitism, says it confirms Jewish Agency's own reports 'from years ago' on hate.

Tova Dvorin , | updated: 9:27 AM

Natan Sharansky (file)
Natan Sharansky (file)
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky welcomed recent efforts by a group of British MPs to bolster the fight against anti-Semitism in the UK, he stated Tuesday, one day after the report proposed a multi-step front to combat hate. 

"I welcome the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism's publication of its new report on anti-Jewish hatred, as well as the report's important conclusions," Sharansky stated. 

"For many years, The Jewish Agency published its own reports on European anti-Semitism, but the data in these reports was disputed and, at times, rejected in disbelief," he added. "Recently, however, surveys and reports in France and the UK have started confirming information we released years ago. National governments and civil society now recognize the gravity of the situation.

"This recognition is an important step in the struggle against all manifestations of anti-Semitism – in the streets, on the internet, in the media, on university campuses, and in schools," he continued. "But it is not enough to deploy armed policemen and soldiers around synagogues and Jewish schools. The problem must be addressed at its very roots, through education, legal steps, and social action.

"The new anti-Semitism, which fuels many of the violent attacks against Jews, feeds on the delegitimization, demonization, and double standards applied to Israel. It becomes even more pronounced and vicious when Israel is forced to defend itself and protect its citizens.

"The hotbeds of incitement and the root causes of anti-Israel hatred must be dealt with in order to quell all forms of anti-Semitism and ensure that Jewish life may thrive in safety across Europe."

MPs in the group issued a report calling 'urgently' on the police, the government, and the Jewish community to protect Britain's Jewish community, including calling for government funding for synagogue security, ensuring a balanced view on the Middle East in classrooms, and establishing an independent council on anti-Semitism. An additional step includes issuing "asbos," or restraining orders, against repeat offenders of anti-Semitic bullying online.