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London - UK Jewish Community Feels Under Attack, Says Peer

Published on: January 14, 2010 06:11 PM
By: AP
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London - The Jewish community in the UK feels under “constant attack”, a Labour peer warned today.

Lord Mitchell praised the multi-cultural nature of London but pointed to rising incidents of anti-Semitism.

Stickers such as “death to Jews” had been displayed at some of the UK’s leading university campuses and had been “slow to be removed”, he said.

He told peers in a debate on tolerance in British society that universities had a “duty of care to all students and in many cases they are slow to uphold this duty”, citing free speech as the reason for not interfering.

Lord Mitchell said: “It may well come as a shock that the Jewish community in this country feels under constant attack.

“I don’t want to overstate the case but many Jewish friends have said to me that they felt more frightened, more threatened, than at any time in their lives.

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“Incidents of anti-Semitic attacks are up, some are physical, some are verbal. The trend is rising.”

Attacks go up when there are conflicts in the Middle East because Jews are held by some to be supporters of the “more extreme elements in Israel”, he said.

All synagogues have constant security patrols and most Jewish social events have trained security personnel “prominently watching and checking”, he said.

But he praised London for becoming “truly the city of the world” and pointed to great improvements in race relations since the war.

“I remember my mother telling me how as a 15 year old she couldn’t get a job as a shop assistant at C&A in Oxford Street,” he said. “They unashamedly told her it was because her surname was Cohen and they had a policy of not employing Jews.

“For her and her generation they had to endure continuous anti-Semitism, most notably during the Mosley marches in the 1930s.”

Lord Davies of Oldham, for the Government, said: “There is a minority fascist element in our society that present threats to all minority groups.”

He said it was important that universities cherished “freedom of speech” but that they also dealt with the “element of fear” that threatened some of their students.


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1

 Jan 14, 2010 at 06:29 PM Anonymous Says:

What an amazing country: a shop owner can "unashamedly" (and, I can only assume, without fear of repercussion) refuse to hire someone as a matter of policy because they are Jewish, but Jews are not allowed to decide who can or cannot attend Jewish schools. Feh!

2

 Jan 14, 2010 at 08:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

What an amazing country: a shop owner can "unashamedly" (and, I can only assume, without fear of repercussion) refuse to hire someone as a matter of policy because they are Jewish, but Jews are not allowed to decide who can or cannot attend Jewish schools. Feh!

The not being able to get a job was in the 1930's NOT now. Jews also weren't hired by a lot of non-jews in the U.S. in the 1930's either. The anti-discrimination law that affected the publicly-funded jewish school was the result of the types of discrimination that jews and blacks had been subjected to.

3

 Jan 15, 2010 at 12:24 AM Anonymous Says:

Dear Londoners
You DO have a solution - your own country

ISRAEL

4

 Jan 15, 2010 at 01:33 AM Avi from Brooklyn Says:

The British university administrators who think that freedom of speech includes "Death to the Jews" signs, probably never heard of Justice Brandeis' comment that freedom of speech doesn't include crying "Fire" in a crowded theater. Everything has limits, even freedom of speech.

5

 Jan 15, 2010 at 05:39 AM Anonymous Says:

Racism and Reverse Racism will always exist. What is new is the normalization of anti-semitism cloaked as anti-Zionism. This is also manifested in the British Court system with the adoption into BRITISH LAW, CHRISTIAN admission standards for Orthodox Jewish Schools. Now, the Christian philosophy of religion as self-expression, rather than the Jewish halachah of Maternal descent is LAW in Britain. Imagine if British Courts ruled on ISLAMIC LAW. This is a violation of Jewish Civil Rights and must be struck down as "unconstitutional" -- if there is even such a concept in Britain? Britain is a violator of Jewish Civil Rights. Personally, this is similar to the Nazi anti-Jewish laws that were promulgated with the rise of the NAZI PARTY. Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

6

 Jan 15, 2010 at 08:13 AM Anonymous Says:

Now is the time to help all British Jews leave Britain for (hopefully) Israel or the US. Within 20 years, Muslims will overtake Europe.

7

 Jan 15, 2010 at 09:07 AM British Says:

Funny that I don't notice any antisemitism even though I live in London. Must be some more rubbish which the media likes to hype.

8

 Jan 15, 2010 at 11:01 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

Dear Londoners
You DO have a solution - your own country

ISRAEL

Only if you kow-tow to the left otherwise you have th esame problem in Israel.

9

 Jan 15, 2010 at 11:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

What an amazing country: a shop owner can "unashamedly" (and, I can only assume, without fear of repercussion) refuse to hire someone as a matter of policy because they are Jewish, but Jews are not allowed to decide who can or cannot attend Jewish schools. Feh!

It was in the 1930's!!! My great grandfather is Italian and had to change his name and try to cover his accent to try and get work when he came here in the 30's. There were signs saying 'no itlaians' all over. So, yeah, EVERYONE faced discrimination in those days, unabashedly, so relax.

10

 Jan 15, 2010 at 11:52 AM David Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

Dear Londoners
You DO have a solution - your own country

ISRAEL

Eh. The last time England expelled Jews from their homes was in 1290. It seems to me that Israel has a record of having done so far more recently.

11

 Jan 15, 2010 at 12:34 PM Reb Yid Says:

"Lord Davies of Oldham, for the Government, said: "There is a minority fascist element in our society that present threats to all minority groups." "

Unfortunately it's not exclusively the "fascist element" but just as frequently the left-wing pro-Arab element.

12

 Jan 17, 2010 at 10:33 AM Rachel Says:

Antisemitism is intolerable and should always be campaigned against- people should be vigilant when in modern times it is sometimes disguised as being anti-Israel or zionist. However, at the same time rascism of any kind, including islamophobia, is just as reprehensible. It's surprising to see so many comments condemning one kind of prejudice while happily endorsing another. Phrases like "Within 20 years, Muslims will overtake Europe." are just as bad and encourage hate as well. For those of you that think Britain is "pro-Arab" or something akin to that, I can tell you that the level of rascism directed against muslims is often quite frightening. What's even worse is how commonplace and accepted it's becoming in our society. Prejudice of any kind against any group is unacceptable.

13

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