The overwhelming majority of us will not only find the reports this week of a record number of anti-Semitic hate incidents shocking, but are also struggling to understand how and why this is happening in modern Britain.
Sadly, these are not behaviours and beliefs from a bygone era and all of us have to continue to work hard to fight this pernicious discrimination.
There is evidence that hate crime reporting levels are up.
This is encouraging as improved reporting and the sharing of robust data can help police to identify the extent of acts of violence or hostility in a given area, prevent these incidents from happening and better respond when they do.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Community Security Trust (CST) to challenge under-reporting, to improve data sharing together with the British Transport Police and improve training for prosecutors with the Crown Prosecution Service, this is having real results.
For its part the Government has provided more than £13million to fund improvements to the security of synagogues and Jewish community buildings.
This has also led to increased reporting and members of the Government’s Anti-Semitism Working Group are working closely with
the community to encourage victims to come forward.
We must never minimise the human cost hate crime incidents have on an individual and the distress and alarm this creates in the wider community.
The Jewish community has and continues to contribute so much to enrich this country and the vast majority of fellow Britons recognise this. Nevertheless a minority are intent on ripping us apart. They cannot and will not win.
As these worrying figures prove there’s no room for complacency and this Government will be unstinting in its efforts to build strong, cohesive and diverse communities and stamp out anti-Semitism wherever and whenever it occurs.