UK Jews respond to the view that there is a wave of anti-semitism sweeping Britain in the wake of increasing criticism of Israel.
Letter from UK Jews to the Guardian, 22 January 2015
WE ARE shocked and alarmed that the home secretary has been swept up in the wave of hysteria deliberately whipped up by the so-called Campaign Against Antisemitism, claiming that a quarter of British Jews were considering leaving for Israel and that 45% believed that Jews had no long-term future in Britain.
The CAA’s scaremongering report quotes from its own poll which, according to the Institute of Jewish Policy Research, was methodologically flawed and unreliable. Another poll by Survation, from a representative sample of more than 500 of Britain’s Jewish population, found that 88% of Jews had not considered emigrating.
The home secretary must know that the CAA was set up last summer, not to fight antisemitism but to counter rising criticism of Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza.
Its first big success was bullying the Tricycle Theatre into withdrawing its objection to Israeli embassy funding of the UK Jewish Film Festival.
The CAA and the home secretary conflate anti-Israeli and antisemitic views, convenient cover for her desire to legislate for a snooper’s charter and criminalise opinions she disagrees with.
Accusing critics of Israel and Zionism of antisemitism merely devalues the currency, while claiming the right for Jews to censor what others say about Israel is hardly the way to combat prejudice against them.
We do not deny that there are fears abroad among Jews in Britain, ourselves included, but we see far greater racist threats to other minorities in this country, in particular the beleaguered Muslim community.
Seymour Alexander, Craig Berman, Rica Bird, Prof Haim Bresheeth, James Cohen, Mike Cushman, Deborah Fink, Kenny Fryde, Carolyn Gelenter, Michael Gold, Tony Greenstein, Abe Hayeem, Selma James, Michael Kalmanovitz, Paul Kaufman, Rachel Lever, Dr Les Lewidow, Susanne Levin, Prof emeritus Moshe Machover, Miriam Margolyes, Diana Neslen, Roland Rance, Frances Rifkin, Sheila Robin, Prof emeritus Steven Rose, Prof emeritus Jonathan Rosenhead, Leon Rosselson, Michael Sackin, Miriam Scharf, Ruth Tenne, Stanley Walinets, Sam Weinstein, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi