Ed Miliband will make anti-Semitic crimes a specific offence as part of new hate crime measure if he becomes prime minister, writes Justin Cohen
The Labour leader revealed the plan in an exclusive article for the Jewish News in which he set out three commitments to Anglo-Jewry on tackling rising anti-Semitism, protecting religious practises and striving for Middle East peace.
He wrote: “My first commitment to you is that a new Labour Government will take every opportunity to ensure that no expressions of anti-Semitism will be tolerated. There can be no no-go areas in our struggle against anti-Semitism. Our Government will strengthen hate crime laws, so crimes motivated by anti-Semitic hate are clearly marked on the criminal records of perpetrators and are an aggravating factor in prosecutions.
“We will review police and Crown Prosecution Service guidance to ensure anti-Semitism and other hate crimes on social media are adequately covered. We will ensure central government funding is allocated to protect the security of Jewish faith schools.”
Community sources welcomed the proposal as being of “symbolic and perhaps practical importance”.
Earlier this month, Tory home secretary Theresa May said: “A Conservative Government would require the police to be recording anti-Muslim hate crime, as well as anti-Semitic incidents.”
The Labour chief sais he doesn’t deny there may be moments when he disagrees with Israeli Government policy.
But he added: “As Prime Minister I will always strive towards helping deliver a peaceful future for Israel and its citizens. And be assured that I will do so as a friend of Israel, as a Jew and as a proud member of this community.”