Britain’s minorities must not be divided

Statement by the Jewish Socialists' Group on Britain First, the Jewish community and anti-Muslim racism

The Jewish Socialists’ Group is committed to fighting all forms of racism including antisemitism, and condemns any attempts to exploit the recent tragic events in France to set Britain’s Jewish and Muslim communities against each other. We call for solidarity between our communities and with all people beyond our communities who oppose racism.

We condemn and oppose the activities of Britain First, a split-off from the BNP, who take their name from a slogan popularised by the antisemite and fascist, Sir Oswald Mosley in the 1930s, and we call on Jewish communal organisations to do likewise.

Britain First was also the name of the newspaper of the National Front, Britain’s largest far right organisation of the 1970s.

The new organisation calling itself Britain First has a record of antagonising and abusing Muslim communities, through its “Christian Street Patrols”.  It has leafleted Jewish areas, claiming to support Jews against antisemitism, while actually working to turn Jews against their Muslim neighbours and sow tension all round.

It is encouraged by Tory government ministers such as Theresa May and Eric Pickles, who have made unequivocal statements in support of Jews against antisemitism, while calling on Muslims to prove themselves worthy of support by statements of disavowal from actions for which they are not responsible. Theresa May and Eric Pickles are leading members of a government whose policies have marginalised and undermined minorities, migrants and refugees.

The Jewish Socialists’ Group is committed to strengthening a Jewish future in pluralist, multicultural societies based on mutual respect, in Britain and elsewhere. We completely reject attempts by Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to exploit insecurities in an attempt to recruit diaspora Jews to his “demographic wars” in Israel.

We will also continue to fight against austerity and inequality in our society, recognising that this provides the breeding ground for racist movements.

Posted: 2 February 2015