Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis told the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that “the walls of prejudice are closing in” on Jews from the left and the far-right.
Speaking in London at Lambeth Palace, rabbi Mirvis took part in a roundtable discussion with the US Secretary of State during his visit to the UK.
The meeting, which was chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, was also attended by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and religious leaders from different faiths.
Rabbi Mirvis said: “As Jews, today we feel particularly vulnerable. The walls of prejudice are closing in on us from both the far left and the far right.
“Here in the UK, we have particularly struggled with anti-Jewish racism on the left in recent years and we are witnessing a disturbing increase in far right extremism right around the world.
“It is tragic that when we enter into our synagogues and schools we do so via security barriers, but it is a necessary deterrent.”
As part of his opening address, Pompeo said: “President Trump has made clear that he wants religious freedom to be a central part of what his administration stands for, and so you’ve seen us do that at the American State Department.”
“In the United States it’s in our constitution, the first amendment, it’s central to our founding,” he said.