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September 15, 2019 8:01 pm

UK Communities Secretary Announces Funding of New Program to Fight Antisemitism Online

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

UK Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. Photo: Twitter screenshot.

Britain’s Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced on Sunday that the UK government will fund a new program to fight antisemitism online.

The £100,000 grant will go to the Antisemitism Policy Trust’s campaign to combat racist attitudes and narratives directed against Jews, an announcement at the UK government’s website stated.

The money will go toward making educational videos that will be disseminated online to counter antisemitic materials.

Jenrick said, “Online hatred can be a pernicious force that not only causes immediate harm to its victims but can embolden its perpetrators.”

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“By funding innovative programs that educate future generations and stem the spread of harmful ideologies we will stamp out this scourge, wherever it appears,” he added.

He stated, “Antisemitism has absolutely no place in our society and I am committed to tackling it at its root.”

Jenrick also called on government councils and British universities to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, which has been widely adopted by the international community.

In a speech to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jenrick said, “As our Prime Minister has said: our nation would be less without our Jewish citizens. Married to a Jew and with three Jewish daughters, I cannot imagine a Britain without our Jewish friends, neighbors and loved ones.”

“But I am all too aware of the challenges you face,” he added. “The scourge of antisemitism is a stain on our society.”

He also expressed his opposition to boycotts of Israel, saying, “I will not tolerate them on my watch.”

“On behalf of the Prime Minister and I, Toda raba. Anachnu itchem tamid,” he said, using the Hebrew for “We are with you always.”

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore commented, “There is no place in our society for hatred or any form of harassment and it is frankly appalling that the battle against antisemitism still exists.”

“Universities should recognize the internationally renowned IHRA working definition of antisemitism accepted by the government,” he stated.

“I have already written to all vice chancellors earlier this year urging them to do so, but in recent weeks there have been alarming incidents demonstrating the need for further action and for universities to protect the welfare and act seriously on the concerns of Jewish students,” he added.

He said, “Universities must not risk damaging their reputation by not acting swiftly to root out antisemitism when it reveals itself.”

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