Reinvigorating the refugee welcome movement

Our Jewish values and history teach us that it is essential that people are treated as individuals and that specific nationalities and religions must never be stereotyped or demonised.

We of all people know the dangers of allowing negative attitudes about groups to prevail. Once these attitudes become openly expressed there is no stopping them from spreading. Consequently they pollute our public discourse, they divide individuals as well as communities, they make people feel angry and marginalised and unwanted. These stereotypic attitudes damage community cohesion and our sense of shared values of fairness, the upholding of human rights and concern for the vulnerable.

For all these reasons JCORE has written an open letter to Theresa May calling on the UK government to put immediate pressure on Donald Trump to rescind draconian measures which prevent indefinitely Syrian refugees from seeking refuge in the United States and stopping other refugees from seeking asylum for the next 120 days.

It is gratifying to see Jewish organisations on both sides of the Atlantic condemn these executive orders and it is particularly good to see Muslim and Jewish organisations joining together in the United States to combat them as well. I hope that Muslims and Jews in Britain will also come together to do the same.

The same day that Trump announced banning people from predominantly Muslim countries, there was an item on the news about a synagogue in South London raising money to provide a flat for Syrian refugees. The symbolism could not be starker. Many have also commented on the symbolism of these anti-refugee and anti-Muslim measures being announced on Holocaust Memorial Day.

We need to join with others and respond to Donald Trump by reinvigorating the refugee welcome movement and make sure that Britain honours its commitment to have a fair asylum system, so people can have safe and legal routes to come to Britain and can live here with dignity.

Let us start today to reinvigorate this movement. Will you join us?

Sign JCORE’s petition via their website,


About the Author
Dr Edie Friedman is Executive Director of The Jewish Council for Racial Equality
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