Luciana Berger has paid tribute to murdered Jo Cox after being honoured for standing up to the hate she and others have faced for being Jewish.
The MP for Liverpool Wavertree picked up an award named for her former colleague at the largest ever No2H8 Crime Awards in central London, media partnered by The Mirror, Jewish News and a host of other national titles.
Berger has also been at the forefront of challenging anti-Semitism in her party over recent months, speaking out over anti-Semitic mural whose removal Jeremy Corby had once questioned and taking to the stage at the historic Enough is Enough demonstration a few days later.
Earlier this year, she was applauded by MPs from across the House of Commons after speaking movingly of the sickening abuse she has suffered online since the age of 19 – from both the right and the left. Addressing anti-Semitism within her own party, she said: “Being a bystander who turns the other way is not an option,” she said. “The time for action is now. Enough really is enough.”
She told the Jewish News: “I am deeply honoured to have won this award. Jo Cox was a friend and she embodied courage and fortitude. To receive an honour in her memory is a great privilege. What Jo taught us is to stand up for our beliefs, no matter how daunting or insurmountable the obstacles may seem. That’s what I shall continue to do.”
She has seen five men in court over anti-Semitic abuse directed towards her, with four of them receiving prison sentences. So bad has been the abuse she has faced online that she was forced to turn off notifications. One recent tweet attracted 1,000 messages of hate – overwhelmingly from men.
The awards, recognising those at the forefront of tacking hate against all communities, brought more than 360 people to the Intercontinental Hotel. The CST is among a host of event partners.
Awards Chair Richard Benson said: “Luciana is a tireless campaigner who has been attacked because she is Jewish. In today’s world, we need more people like Luciana to stand up and be counted and this is why we developed the No2H8 Crime Awards. So people can be motivated, energised and driven to say ‘enough is enough’ and to stand up against hatred, prejudice and intolerance. Luciana is a hero against hate for many.”
Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of Faith Matters and creator of the awards, said: “I have known Luciana since she was in the National Union of Students. She was a fearless campaigner then and she is even more fearless now. As an MP, woman and advocate who happens to be Jewish, she is an inspiration at a time when we need role models. I also want to add that if anyone thinks Luciana will keep quiet because she is targeted. Think again.”
— No2H8 Crime Awards (@No2h8Crime) September 13, 2018
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