For years, we have been stating that anti-Semitism, wherever it is found, must be challenged and openly challenged. We have come across it beyond Muslim communities, though sadly, we also saw it rear its head during the Gaza war, where Twitter became a platform where Gaza brought out latent anti-Semitism into the open. Sadly, it still continues in some small sections of Muslim communities where it has become virulent and it needs to be challenged head-on.
In the United States, Trump has managed to be the lightning rod that has brought Muslims and Jews together, but we know that in the UK, unchecked anti-Semitism continues. It is both overt and covert and is seen through the inability to separate advocacy for Palestine from anti-Semitic discourse. Also, the glib use of Zionism against members of Jewish communities without any real knowledge of their opinions, rumbles on. The latter is nothing else but anti-Semitism.
In fact, just yesterday we came across a mosque council that has produced an openly anti-Semitic article thinking that it is free speech and opinion. It simply is not and this is what we come across and where our stance is also targeted by some groups who have been caught out using toxic references and rhetoric against Jewish communities through the guise of ‘Zionists’. As if this gives them free reign to smear Jews.
We simply cannot stand by and allow such toxins to seep into non-Muslim and Muslim communities. For far too long, the issue of Palestine has been used by some within Muslim communities to intimidate, abuse and smear groups who believe that Jews and Muslims can, should and must always find accomodation for the rights and dignity of each community. Frankly, enough is enough.
Whilst one of the beneficial side effects of Trump’s election may be that it has brought many US based Jewish and Muslim groups together, here in the UK it must energise us to stand with Jewish counter-parts and colleagues and defend Jewish communities and their security and space in society without any hesitation. Time and time again Jewish communities have done this for Muslims. For example, after the murder of Lee Rigby, the Bravenese Muslim centre was torched and local Jewish communities in Muswell Hill came to their aid. Just a few days ago, US based Jews gave shelter to Muslims whose mosque was burnt down. The reverse must also frequently happen.
It also means being bold and challenging those who attempt to undermine such relations and challenge them we must. Their negativity and their divisions on the basis of advocating for Palestine, are a ruse. The last thing that Palestinians need are anti-Semites, separationists and tin pot campaigners supporting their cause and in doing so, delegitimsing it further. Frankly, the Palestinians deserve better than such advocates.
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