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Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner on anti-Semitism

We will defeat anti-Semitism by soundly condemning those who perpetrate it, by discussing the most challenging topics and by engaging with those who have rejected it.

Anti-Semitism is wrong and must be fought wherever it is encountered. It is not just a racism found on the political left, nor solely in the political sphere.

When somebody shows genuine remorse for their past actions and offences, we, as a society, must be prepared to listen. If someone once expressed anti-Semitic views, and today apologises for them, it is vital that we continue a dialogue with that person.

The comments Naz Shah MP made in 2014, were unacceptable. They were anti-Semitic views and although expressed in a time of raised tension within her community in Bradford, it is not possible to defend them.

The full and, I believe, genuine apology she has given clearly indicates that she has changed her views. She is an example of an individual we must work with in the fight against prejudice.

We can today contrast her contrition with the words of the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, who not only stated that he had never heard any anti-Semitism from within the Labour party, but in the same breath proceeded to declare that “Hitler was supporting Zionism”.

I hope that the troubling views we have heard this week will be the launchpad for a new direction in the discourse on anti-Semitism in Britain.”

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, BBC 2’S Victoria Derbyshire and LBC radio discussing anti-Semitism.

Click on the links below to listen or watch again

Today Programme

Victoria Derbyshire  (32:35 into the programme)

 

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