Europe

PM May: “I have no time for equivocation. Antisemitism is racism…”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May delivered an impassioned speech condemning anti-Semitism and misogyny at the end of Monday’s Sara Conference on gendered anti-Jewish bigotry in Westminster, which explored the relationship between hatred of Jews and discrimination of women, Jewish News reported.

Addressing a reception in Downing Street, the Prime Minister said, “I have no time for equivocation. Antisemitism is racism – and any ‘equality’ movement that indulges or ignores it is not worthy of the name.”

May observed that it was “clear that in 2018 Jewish women are under dual attack.” The Prime Minister referenced the research produced by the conference and said it showed “that Jewish women politicians are more likely to attract the attentions of far-Right hate groups, was deeply disturbing. But I doubt it came as much of a surprise to those who have been on the receiving end.”

However, the Prime Minister clarified, anti-Semitism was not a phenomenon limited to the far-Right. In a thinly veiled attack on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, she noted that “As is so often the case with antisemitism, bigotry directed at Jewish women also comes from those who would never consider themselves to be racist, including within the women’s rights movement itself.”

The climate within the Labour Party is now so hostile that at a party conference in September a Jewish MP, Luciana Berger, required special police protection from violent anti-Semitic Labour members. In a different incident, a Jewish woman was kicked in the face outside a pro-Corbyn event in North London, where she demonstrated against the party’s handling of anti-Semitism charges.

The Prime Minister also mentioned Claire Kober, a former Council leader who had stepped down “after facing a torrent of abuse in which she said the only thing worse than the sexism was the antisemitism.”

The Prime Minister said: “Some Jewish women have been told that they’re not ‘real’ feminists unless they publicly disavow Israel’s right to exist or been thrown off pride marches for flying rainbow flags that feature the Star of David.” American-Palestinian activist, Linda Sarsour, charged in May 2017 that Zionists who are not critical of Israel cannot be feminists because they ignore the rights of Palestinian women.

In response to heightened levels of anti-Semitism, the Prime Minister vowed that her government was “removing all hiding places for antisemitism, becoming the first government in the world to adopt the [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] IHRA’s working definition – and all its examples.”

Concluding her speech, May said, “Thank you for refusing to tolerate antisemtism and misogyny.

“Freedom of thought and freedom of speech have never meant freedom to abuse and freedom to threaten. Antisemitism and misogyny have no place in this country. Hatred can be defeated. Hatred must be defeated.”

[Photo: Theresa May / Twitter ]