Speaking at the Combat Antisemitism Movement annual meeting, CFI Parliamentary Chairman (Lords) Rt. Hon. The Lord Pickles said that “no realm of public life has escaped the cancer of antisemitism – including, sadly, our politics”.
Lord Pickles, who is the UK’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues, described antisemitism as an “ancient and pernicious form of hatred”. “It is only by uniting and working together that we will make a difference to combating the world’s oldest hatred”, he said.
Lord Pickles added that during the Covid-19 pandemic, age-old antisemitic tropes have been “dredged up and repurposed” by those blaming Jewish people for the virus.
Reflecting on the “shocking and abhorrent” scenes at the US Capitol last month where antisemitic banners were waved and t-shirts were emblazoned with Auschwitz-Birkenau, Lord Pickles said that “antisemitism has moved from the fringes to the mainstream”.
He condemned “rife” antisemitic abuse on social media and expressed horror that Jewish students have been confronted by Swastikas on University campuses, pointing to polling showing that “almost half of Jewish people avoid visible displays of their Judaism, such as a kippa, a Star of David or other symbols, for fear of abuse”.
“Much of this abuse is rooted in Holocaust denial, distortion and revisionism, which is increasingly gaining a foothold and fundamentally undermining our shared understanding of history”, he said, stating that “we all have a responsibility” to call antisemitism out and act.