The ‘alarming’ rise in anti-Semitism was the focus of a parliamentary delegation’s visit around Jewish community organisations last week.
Six politicians took part in a series of briefings and meetings with those at the forefront of tackling recent rise in hate, learning about the fears and concerns of the community.
Labour parliamentarians Sarah Jones, Alex Sobel, Tulip Siddiq and Yvette Cooper were joined by SNP politician Lisa Cameron, Sir Eric Pickles, the Post-Holocaust Issues Envoy and an official from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The delegation, organised by All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, began the tour by visiting the Community Security Trust, where they were briefed on security concerns and tackling modern anti-Semitism.
They then visited North West London Jewish Day School, met with officials from the Union of Jewish Students and concluded their day by meeting members of anti-racism groups, to discuss online hate.
The group heard from pupils at the school about their feelings on being young British Jews, with Yvette Cooper running a model House of Commons session, which she chaired.
Commenting on the visit, Sarah Jones MP said: “The rise of hate crime and antisemitism across the UK is alarming. Listening to young children talk about the antisemitism they have encountered was hard for us to hear. As MPs we have to act and this day has helped me understand the enormity of what we are dealing with.”
MPs then discussed the pressing issue of anti-Semitism on campus with UJS, including the effect of Israel Apartheid Week on Jewish students.
After meeting students, the delegation was briefed about anti-Semitism online by Dr Joe Mulhall from Hope Not Hate, as well as Roisin Wood, Director of Kick it Out who spoke about antisemitism in football and Caroline Hoare from the Anne Frank Trust about the organisation’s work in prisons.
Danny Stone, Director of the Antisemitism Policy Trust, drew together different policy concerns from the day and brought the visit to a close, say he was “delighted with the visit.
“Demand from parliamentarians was high and a number, from various parties, indicated that they would like to take part, diaries allowing. I hope that through these kind of interactive engagements, parliamentarians can begin to understand the impact of antisemitism in Britain and why its critical that they use their public platform to speak out.”