Home Secretary Amber Rudd has promised to protect the Jewish community in Britain from terrorist threats.
Ms Rudd was speaking at the annual Community Security Trust reception in London on Wednesday and in her keynote speech reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to challenging all forms of hate crime whether it is online or offline.
As part of that pledge, following concerns from the Jewish community, she has awarded £13.4m for security at communal Jewish sites in 2018/19.
Establishments include faiths schools, synagogues and community buildings.
“Britain is so much richer for its diversity and if you’re Jewish you should be able to go about your daily life and express your religion without fear of hatred or anti-Semitism,” said the Home Secretary.
“CST is an important partner in ensuring Jewish life continues unfettered in our country.
“It is absolutely essential that we all feel safe where we live, where we work, where we worship and where we meet our friends.”
Ms Rudd added: “Daesh and Al-Qaida continue to highlight Jews among lists of targets in their propaganda, as well as the public at large.
“That’s why this Government has provided over £38.5m for protective security measures in response to the terrorist threat since 2015.”
The £multi-million award comes after CST recorded 1,382 anti-Semitic incidents in the UK in 2016/17, the highest total recorded in a calendar year.
“The Home Secretary typifies this Government’s strong practical and moral support for British Jews at a time of rising anti-Semitism and extremism,” said CST chairman Gerald Ronson.
Mr Ronson pulled no punches in a hard-hitting address.
“If we do not protect what we have built, we risk having nothing,” he said.
“The scale of terrorism and anti-Semitism means that our first and foremost responsibility is to protect our community.
“CST touches every part of our Jewish community.
“Every communal building will have been helped by CST, we secure 1,000 events every year. “There is no part of Jewish life that is not supported and secured by CST. A Jewish community without CST is unimaginable.”
Concluding, he noted: “Terrorism drives what we do.
“When the Government, Police and security services say ‘the threat has never been anything like it is now’, we have to pay attention.
“When we plan ahead, it is absolutely clear that our community will need more protection, not less. Whether it is from terrorism, or from the spread of antisemitism, nothing will stand still.”