Faith leaders condemn ‘deplorable’ antisemitism as hate crimes increase in the UK
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby was joined by Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, an Imam from Leicester and senior rabbi of Masorti Judaism UK, Jonathan Wittenberg, outside Lambeth Palace on Tuesday.
Since Hamas militants charged Israel ten days ago, there has been a sharp rise in reports of antisemitic episodes in the UK. Last week two Jewish girls’ primary schools in Stamford Hill, north London were vandalised. The unknown offenders threw red paint onto the external gates and doors of the buildings.
According to the Community Safety Trust, these attacks have accelerated 500% compared to previous years.
As stated by Archbishop Welby: “I know that all of us are profoundly concerned by what is happening in Israel and Gaza — and here at Lambeth Palace we are praying constantly for all those who are caught up in this war that has already brought so much suffering to so many people. But today, we have come together out of shared concern for our communities and neighbourhoods here in the UK, and to stand together against any form of hatred or violence against Jewish people or any other community”.
Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, the former Assistant Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “I am deeply pained by the escalating events in Israel and Palestine and wish to stand with my dear friend Rabbi Wittenberg to express our shared commitment to protecting the relationship between our communities. It is deplorable and wrong that our Jewish community here has been the target of hate crimes. It is unacceptable that synagogues and Jewish centres have been targeted. I condemn these attacks and call on all fellow citizens to stand up and speak out against all and every form of hate.”
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg said: “We have stood together through both peaceful and challenging days. As you say, we will sometimes have different loyalties, yet it is essential that we live together across the United Kingdom as neighbours and fellow citizens in peace and with respect. I share your prayers for an ultimate end to war. My prayers, too, are with all the innocent people caught up in this horror, for all those who are hurt and grieve, and all who long for the safety and wellbeing of their loved ones.”