|Image: Scottish Jewish Archives on Facebook|
So says Ephraim Borowski, director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC), as reorted in a Scottish newspaper yesterday.
It reports, inter alia:
'The claim reflects the figures in the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights report, published last month, which found that 38% of Jews surveyed said that they had considered emigrating from their country over the past five years, with the highest proportions found in Germany, France and Belgium.
The survey also found that three-quarters of Jewish people in the UK perceived anti-Semitism to be generally a very big or a fairly big problem, with 29% having considered emigrating.
.... Borowski pointed to SCoJec research from 2015 in which one-third of respondents explicitly talked about a heightened level of anxiety, discomfort, or vulnerability.
He also said that, as part of the survey, five people told SCoJec without being prompted that they were considering leaving Scotland.
The row on anti-Semitism in the UK last year focused heavily on the response by the Labour party to allegations of anti-Jewish sentiment, with various members either being suspended or expelled.
Leader Jeremy Corbyn, who apologised for the hurt caused to Jewish people, was also criticised for his party’s initial refusal to endorse in full an international code on antisemitism.
Corbyn had originally backed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, but not all of its associated examples. He later performed a U-turn.
Mark Gardner, director of communications at the Community Security Trust, a charity set up to ensure the safety of the Jewish community in the UK, said of the Borowski comments:
“This is an accurate summary of the fact that despite the many positives of Scottish Jewish life, many Jews are still considerably more nervous about the state of antisemitism, politics and society than was the case 10 or 20 years ago.
Read more hereA similar trend can be seen in Jewish communities across Europe and in this context, Scotland and indeed the UK as a whole remain relatively better than elsewhere.” '
I've blogged from time to time about antisemitism and anti-Zionism in Scotland, and last year the UK Jewish Telegraph (23 March 2018) reported:
'Scotland has been awash with hatred of Jews and Israel this week. Three separate incidents will have Jews fearing for the future of the Jewish community north of the border.
An anti-racism rally in Glasgow, United Kingdom at the weekend saw Israel supporters verbally abused by thugs with their faces covered. Members of the Confederation of Friends of Israel - Scotland and Glasgow Friends of Israel took part in the march, despite calls for them to be barred. Even when the Muslim Council of Scotland withdrew its support the night before the march because of the “participation of Zionists”, the organisers held firm. This was followed by death threats to Scottish Council of Jewish Communities - SCoJeC director Ephraim Borowski after the conviction of Mark Meechan, of Coatbridge, for teaching his girlfriend’s pug to give a Nazi salute when he shouted “gas the Jews” and “Sieg Heil”.
And a debate on ‘This House Believes that Israel is not an Apartheid State’ was cancelled after no one would debate with famed antisemitism researcher David Collier.
Professor Henry Maitles, Scottish Jews for a Just Peace a member and a Holocaust educator, had been due to oppose the motion, but made a statement with the Scottish Friends of Palestine that it would not be a fair or objectively factual debate with Mr Collier.
In the Meachan [sic; Meechan] case at Airdrie Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Mr Borowski said:
“In many ways, the bit I found most offensive was the repetition of ‘gas the Jews,’ rather than the dog itself.
The other thing that struck me was the explicit statement that this was intended to give offence and intended to be the most offensive thing he could think of and then he says he isn’t a racist. Unfortunately, we hear that all the time from people.
“I’m no historian, but it is the marching signal of the Nazi stormtroopers who contributed and supported the murder of six million Jews, including members of my own family.
Material of this kind goes to normalise the antisemitic views that, frankly, we thought we had seen the last of.”
Since the verdict, SCoJeC has been bombarded with hate messages and threats both to Mr Borowski and Jews in general. Others, purporting to come from Jews, have condemned the court case and outcome. Among the messages received by SCoJeC has been:
“I’m going to kill every single one of you ugly, rat-faced kikes. I think I’ll use a knife. Then after I’ve cut you, I’ll shut that dirty, filthy, lying Jew mouth of yours, once and for all. “Make sure you have a good hiding place ready. I’m gonna stick your children into an oven and then I’m gonna serve roasted kike to my dog.”
The video of the pug had been praised by comedians Ricky Gervais and David Baddiel, who is Jewish. Mr Gervais tweeted that if you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find “grossly offensive”, then you don’t believe in freedom of speech.
Glasgow Jewish Representative Council - GJRCpresentative Council co-president Nicola Livingston declared: “There’s a difference between making jokes about the Holocaust and saying ‘gas the Jews’. That is not a joke — it’s like saying kill an entire race and what is funny about invoking something like that?”'Meanwhile, a downplaying by the BBC of Jewish fears of antisemitism in the UK, enthusiastically repeated by the Scottish SPC on SoundCloud, and a new message from Scottish PSC chief Napier: