Sunday, January 01, 2006

UK Chief Rabbi warns of anti-Semitic 'tsunami'

From the Telegraph, by Chris Hastings, Arts Correspondent, (Filed: 01/01/2006)...

Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, fears that a "tsunami of anti-Semitism" is threatening to engulf parts of the world.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme...Dr Sacks admitted he was "very scared" by the rise in anti-Jewish feeling, which had led to Holocaust denial, attacks on synagogues and a boycott of Jewish groups on university campuses.

...Figures produced by the London-based Community Security Trust and the Israeli government show that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Britain. The trust recorded 532 anti-Semitic incidents in 2004, including 83 physical assaults.

Meanwhile, some groups opposed to Israeli government policy have organised boycotts of Jewish academics and student groups. Since 2002, Jewish student groups on 17 British campuses have faced the threat of expulsion from fellow students opposed to Israeli action.

In April, the Association of University Teachers became the latest in a line of academic bodies to announce action against Israel. It declared a boycott of two Israeli universities at the request of Palestinian leaders, but later changed its mind after widespread condemnation.

...He said that while the Jewish experience in Britain was in general a "real cause for celebration", British Jews were experiencing a globalised anti-Semitism through satellite television, the internet and e-mail. He was also worried by the strength of anti-Jewish feeling in some European states including France.

"A number of my rabbinical colleagues throughout Europe have been assaulted and attacked on the streets. We've had synagogues desecrated. We've had Jewish schools burnt to the ground - not here but in France … So it's the kind of feeling that you don't know what's going to happen next, and that is making some European Jewish communities feel uncomfortable."

Dr Sacks, who was being interviewed to mark the 350th anniversary of the re-entry of Jews to England, said he hoped that the Jewish voice would become more "articulate" over the coming year.

No comments: