Vote 22: ‘Only better education will halt the spread of poisonous anti-Semitism’

Hustings told faith has been lost in Met

Friday, 8th April — By Richard Osley

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The election line-up with hustings host Amanda Bowman, from the Board of Deputies of British Jews

ELECTION candidates warned only better education would ultimately end anti-Semitism in north London, as they were asked their response to recent events like Nazi symbols being painted on walls and a convoy of men shouting race hate through car windows.

Answering questions at a hustings at the JW3 Centre in Finchley Road, council leader Georgia Gould said that there would be more CCTV to catch offenders and there had been extra patrols around synagogues.

“But I think if we are going to really fight this poisonous anti-Semitism then we need to ensure that it is through education and by how we work with our communities,” she said.

“I’m really proud of the work we’ve been doing with synagogues and Jewish organisations about Holocaust education in schools, around interfaith work, around kind of deeply telling our communities about the reality of being Jewish in the UK.”

Tory leader Councillor Oliver Cooper told the hustings that any groups “spewing” anti-Semitism should not be given any platforms.

He added: “We also need to make sure that our schools, which have had problems but also great successes in this field, continue to promote interfaith and community dialogue.”

Lib Dem councilor Tom Simon told the hustings that there had been a decline in the faith Jewish communities had in the Met Police. “I think it’s really important that the Mayor of London, as the head of the police, raises the standards and addresses these incidents to make sure that they’re given a high priority.”

Green Party candidate David Stansell warned there had been too many cuts to youth centres – blaming national government budget decisions – and added “we believe rebuilding those and working closely with those community groups based around those youth centres will help to address the problem.”

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