The Holocaust Educational Trust has urged MPs to avoid “tokenism and empty gestures” on Holocaust Memorial Day as it warned against the “expanding poison of antisemitism” in the UK.
“We cannot ignore the difficult year we leave behind us, where we faced adversity and sometimes felt abandoned by some we thought we could count on,” warned the trust’s chief executive Karen Pollock on Monday.
“We are not interested in tokenism and empty gestures but in sincerity and truth,” she wrote in a strongly-worded email to MPs.
The stark message comes ahead of 27 January, a national day organised by Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, to commemorate victims of genocide and mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
MPs have been invited to sign the trust’s Book of Commitment in a symbolic pledge to preserve the memory of the Holocaust. The book, which will be placed in Parliament over three days this month, received hundreds of signatures last year.
“So, we invite you to sign the book this year, but as we reflect on the past year which was not without its challenges, we would like to remind you that antisemitism is on the rise again. Online, on our streets, on our football terraces and sadly in our politics,” Pollock wrote.
“The fact is that we have witnessed with fear and increasing anxiety the growing and expanding poison of antisemitism permeating the mainstream here in the UK, moving from its previous home in the radical fringes of society,” she added.