I spent much of this morning watching yesterday's anti-Semitism debate in the House of Commons. Members of Parliament really rose to the occasion and there were many fine speeches. I have highlighted two below because the two MPs in question have both been the subject of vicious anti-Semitic abuse.
Luciana Berger (Labour, Liverpool, Wavertree) and Ruth Smeeth (Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North) both gave moving and passionate speeches which highlighted the abuse they have had to face. Here is a snippet of Luciana Berger's speech:
"I was 19 when I received my first piece of hate mail—it described me as a dirty Zionist pig—and so started my 18-year experience of contending with anti-Semitism. As a university student and activist, I was attacked from all quarters from the far right to the far left. I had members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an anti-Semitic and homophobic organisation follow me and camp outside my house. I received countless anti-Semitic emails and letters condemning my work as the convenor of the National Union of Students anti-racism campaign."
Ruth Smeeth listed some of the things that have been said about her. They included, "Hang yourself you vile treacherous Zionist Tory filth. You are a cancer of humanity", "#JC4PM Deselect Ruth Smeeth ASAP. Poke the pig—get all Zionist child killer scum out of Labour", and "The gallows would be a fine and fitting place for this dyke piece of Yid shit to swing from.”
The cancer of anti-Semitism has always been present in our society. We have never been able to eradicate it, and the virulent hatred of some people towards Jews is on the rise. Since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader it has become the norm on the nasty hard left of British politics.
Do watch the speeches below, and please share them with your family, friends, and colleagues. And if you have time, go onto Parliamentlive.tv and watch the debate in full.