The Jewish Chronicle

Extra £600k made available for Jewish security

- BY SIMON ROCKER

THE HOME Office has increased its grant for the protection of Jewish institutio­ns by £600,000 in the wake of last year’s record number of antisemiti­c incidents in the UK.

Speaking at the annual Community Security Trust dinner in London on Wednesday, Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, announced that the government would allocate £14 million for the security of synagogues, schools and other Jewish centres. Mr Javid said it was “totally unacceptab­le that antisemiti­c incidents are at a record high in Britain. They have absolutely no place in modern day society and we all need to act.”

More than 100 antisemiti­c incidents a month were reported to the CST last year, producing a total of 1,652 for the year.

The government’s new pledge will bring the amount it has allocated to the Jewish Community Protective Security Grant to £65.2 million since its introducti­on in 2015.

David Delew, CST chief executive, said it was “extremely grateful to the Home Secretary for announcing a further year of increased funding to protect Jewish schools and other sites”. At a time of rising antisemiti­sm, he added, This vital support will give renewed reassuranc­e to the Jewish community that we do not stand alone”.

Mr Javid told guests that despite being informed the dinner would clash with a Brexit vote, “I explained to them that it was the duty of a Home Secretary to attend and address the CST.” Expressing sympathy for Jewish Labour MPs who had suffered daily abuse, he said, “Regardless of our politics we all know how wrong this is. “Abuse is abuse, and this cycle of hate is creating a vicious circle.” Publicity over incidents attracted more “abusers to the fray”, he added. “The mob goes for anyone who sticks their head above the parapet.”

Some of the death threats received by Dame Margaret Hodge, he said, were “so vile, they made me catch my breath”.

Referring more widely to the spread of “the language of hate” and coarsening debate, he said it was “hardening into jagged edges that are ripping through the fabric of society”.

Pockets of extremism were “boiling over,” he said. “A tweet from Britain First shared by the US president. Mobs proudly screaming that the new Brazilian leader would ‘kill all queers’. Yellow vest protesters in France claiming a ‘global Zionist conspiracy’.”

He blamed the spread of hate not only on “the rise of the mob mentality” and social media trolls but also on “the apathy of those who accept this as the new normal, who shrug their shoulders and do nothing.”

The government’s forthcomin­g White Paper on “online harms” would further his mission to “clean up the darkest corners of the internet”, he said, containing plans to compel tech companies to do more to protect UK citizens.

Referring to his decision to proscribe Hezbollah’s political wing earlier this week, he said, “Britain should not — and will not — be a safe haven for anyone who supports violence against Jewish people.”

Noting the toasts for Israel and the Queen, he said, “This shows just how intertwine­d these two countries are, bound by a deep respect nurtured over many years.”

Concluding with a nod to the forthcomin­g festival of Purim, he said, “I urge you to follow the example of Mordechai and Esther in standing up against persecutio­n.”

This government would “stand with you,” he said. “I will stand with you.”

Unacceptab­le that Jew-hate incidents are at a record high in UK’

Follow the example of Mordechai and Esther’

 ?? PHOTOS: CST ?? Sajid Javid addressing the gathering
PHOTOS: CST Sajid Javid addressing the gathering
 ??  ?? Berger (left) and Riley at the event
Berger (left) and Riley at the event

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