Patrick Christys: People can’t get their heads around the idea it’s not just white people who can be racist sometimes
We’re right to highlight issues of racism, but I’m worried that when Jews in this country are racially abused, it all too often gets swept under the carpet.
Why is one kind of racism ‘ok’ but others aren’t? I’m massively concerned about the undercurrent of antisemitism in this country and I’m concerned that the police don’t seem to take it as seriously as other forms of racism.
We sat through a day of testimony from former Yorkshire Cricketer Azeem Rafiq where there was a lot of anecdotal and unsubstantiated allegations of racism that have led to the complete tarnishing of various peoples reputations and the destruction of their careers.
This is not a comment on whether or not I believe Azeem Rafiq, I’ve got no reason not to, but it’s a question about why we take one form of racism, Islamaphobia, more seriously than we take anti-Semitism.
A car full of men waving Palestinian flags drove through St John’s Wood shouting at Jews saying things like they want to kill their mothers and rape their daughters.
The Israeli Ambassador was hounded out of the London School of Economics by an enraged gang of pro-Palestine demonstrators.
This summer saw a record number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the UK. From 8 May to 7 June, 460 incidents were reported to the community security trust - the highest monthly total since records began in 1984 - with 316 happening offline and 144 online.
The previous record was 317 in July 2014 - coinciding with the last major eruption of violence between Israel and the Palestinians as part of a decades-long conflict.
In the month before 8 May, 119 anti-Semitic incidents were reported to the CST. And arguably nothing articulates my point that I think one type of racism is taken more seriously than another like a video of a mob of pro-Palestine thugs walking through London shouting: “We’ll find some Jews. We want the Zionists. We want their blood”.
It appeared in that video that the police officers next to them just did nothing. There was a certain former leader of the Labour Party who, and I’m being generous here, appeared not to quite grasp the seriousness of anti-Semitism or, perhaps, even understand exactly what it is… Jews in this country must be looking around and wondering what’s going on.
They could be forgiven for being terrified – it looks as though there is a rising number of anti-Semites here, a police force that potentially doesn’t seem to take anti-Semitism that seriously and a major political party that simply didn’t get the state of the problem.
Why do Jewish primary schools have permanent security guards outside them? Did your primary school have that? Mine didn’t. Why do synagogues have permanent security – does your church? Or mosque? Or temple? What does that say?
There have been numerous studies, surveys and academic reports published that appear to show a real problem with anti-Semitism amongst the British Muslim community.
The Institute for Jewish Policy Research found that 27% of British Muslims in their study believed Jews have too much power, 25% think they exploit the Holocaust for their own purposes. Dr Rakib Ehsan, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society and a stand-out, leading voice when it comes to integration, race and culture.
He summed it up best in one article he wrote. Ethnic minority groups can be racist too. The issue is, confronting this growing problem doesn’t suit the liberal, woke narrative.
We’re right to highlight issues of Islamophobia, we’re right to highlight issues of racism against black people, but I’m worried that when Jews in this country are being racially abused it, all too often, gets swept under the carpet because people can’t get their heads around the idea that it’s not just white people who can be racist sometimes.