On Tuesday 13 October Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner addressed over 900 leaders from Citizens UK outside Parliament at a vigil for refugees. The vigil called on the Prime Minister to break the deadlock between central government and local councils to enable Syrian refugees to be brought to the UK before freezing temperatures see more children die in refugee camps in the region.
In her address, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said:
“Britain has always been a country that welcomes. Britain is enriched by our mixture of the old and the new. We’re ennobled by our history of helping those at their very very lowest ebb. Recently, I spoke to Syrian refugees in Europe. Before my visit, I just didn’t know. I just didn’t know that there’s no legal way to apply for asylum outside of Britain – to have this request accepted or rejected. There are no safe and legal routes for asylum seekers to seek sanctuary here. In 21st century Britain, it’s a disgrace, a collective sin, that we don’t run a system of asylum that gives the persecuted a fair chance even to have their stories heard.
“Taking only 11 refugees a day in the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, is simply not enough – it is too low, too slow and too narrow. Jews know what it’s like to be strangers, to have no safe place to go. What it’s like to be bent low and then to be restored to our humanity through the great compassion of the British people.
“I pray that we don’t turn away, but that we help lift those up in their darkest hour. In the words of the prayer that Jews say every morning: Blessed are you, our Living God, Sovereign of the universe, who lifts up those bent low. Baruch atah Adonai, zokef kefufim”.
Also addressing the vigil were Bishop Paul Butler, Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi of Liberal Judaism, Sheikh Abu Sayed from Darul Ummah Mosque, Yvette Cooper MP, Angus Robertson MP and Tim Farron MP.
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