Professor Deborah Lipstadt has described the threats made to the Jewish community on the streets of London in recent weeks by pro-Palestinian activists as “antisemitism pure and simple.”
Addressing a Holocaust Educational Trust hosted an event for its Ambassadors on Wednesday the eminent Holocaust historian and activist said: “When you begin to attack Jews in the streets of London and begin to say horrific things like ‘rape Jewish women’ that is antisemitism pure and simple.”
The American academic also spoke of how some anti-Israel protesters had resorted to what she said was “softcore denial” of the Holocaust during the current outcry over Israel’s actions against the Palestinians in Gaza.
She said: “Someone who says there was no gas chambers is looked upon as an idiot or a hater.
“But there is softcore denial that we see very strongly. It doesn’t deny the facts of the Holocaust, it changes and mould the facts.
“One need not agree with the policies of the state of Israel. But when you begin to depict Israel and the giver of genocide, when you begin to talk about Israel as Hitler, that is softcore denial.
“That is a form of distortion.”
Lipstadt, best known for winning the libel suit filed against her by the Holocaust denier David Irving in 2000, had spoken to HET ambassadors who are exploring recent projects on antisemitism, Holocaust distortion and misconceptions of the Holocaust alongside experts in the field.
Karen Pollock CBE, Chief Executive, Holocaust Educational Trust said:““Sadly antisemitism remains engrained in our society. Recent weeks show there is a lot of work to do: There are those determined to denigrate the memory of the Holocaust at any opportunity and as antisemitic incidents have risen by 568%, we know the scale of the challenge.
“Amidst these febrile times, I am proud that we have a generation of young Ambassadors committed to learning more about the Holocaust and modern-day antisemitism. Together, we can build the next generation of allies, who stand side-by-side with the Jewish community in our battle to end anti-Jewish hate.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.