Tory minister blasts ‘dinner party anti-Semitism’

Tory minister blasts ‘dinner party anti-Semitism’

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid criticised people who are happy to repeat 'modern takes on age-old myths about Jews'

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid

A Tory minister has blasted “dinner party anti-Semitism” in a booklet featuring a series of essays from political, civic and faith leaders.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid took aim at “respectable middle-class people” in ‘Lessons Learned,’ a collection produced by the Holocaust Educational Trust and Community Security Trust and published on Sunday.

Javid said “dinner party anti-Semites… would recoil in horror if you accused them of racism, but are quite happy to repeat modern takes on age-old myths about Jews”.

He said they “can’t condemn the murder of Jewish children in France without a caveat criticising the Israeli government” and “demand that a Jewish-American artist declare support for Palestine if he wants to perform at a festival in Spain”.

He added: “I can’t remember the last time I spoke to a Jewish friend or colleague who hasn’t, at some point, found themselves sitting awkwardly at a party while a fellow guest railed against the international ‘kosher conspiracy’.”

Elsewhere in the booklet, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said that there were “lines which must not be crossed” in acceptable discourse.

He said: “Public debate… must be respectful and sensitive. In a Jewish context, that means recognising that both the Holocaust and the idea of Jewish self-determination are at the very core of mainstream Jewish identity.”

In his essay, London Mayor Sadiq Khan says: “Whenever anti-Semitism rears its ugly head, I’ll be the first to call it out, condemn it and then work to stamp it out. I’ve been clear – we must do all we can to root out antisemitism wherever we find it – and, yes – that includes within the Labour party.”

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