Britain must work to eliminate anti-Semitism, Home Secretary says

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The attacks in Paris are a reminder of the “serious terrorist threat” in Britain, the country’s Home Secretary Therese May said.

“I never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say they were fearful of remaining here in the United Kingdom.  And that means we must all redouble our efforts to wipe out anti-Semitism here in the United Kingdom,” May said Sunday at a memorial service in London for the victims of the attacks earlier this month in Paris, including the Jan. 9 attack on a kosher supermarket that left four Jewish men dead.

The program was organized by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Her call came two days after Scotland Yard Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Rowley, who is also a national spokesman on anti-terrorism, announced that police patrols of Jewish communities in the United Kingdom, and especially Jewish schools, would be increased over rising concern of the risk of an attack.

May told Sunday’s gathering that the Jewish community is important to Britain.

“So I want to say this: Jewish people have long been an important and integral part of this country, we cherish the contribution you make, not just in the past but today and every day,” she said. Echoing a similar statement made by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, May added: “Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain, just as without its Muslims, Britain would not be Britain – without its Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and people of other faiths, Britain would not be Britain.”