Joshua Alston
Joshua Alston

The Greens’ approach will let us identify, understand and tackle antisemitism

Protesters with a sign opposing antisemitism (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann-Gorden/Sipa via antisemitism)
Protesters with a sign opposing antisemitism (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann-Gorden/Sipa via antisemitism)

Antisemitism is on the rise both in Britain and around the world.

According to research by the Community Security Trust (CST) Britain has seen the highest ever half-year total for antisemitic incidents. This is a time for political parties to take antisemitism seriously, and start thinking strategically about how we can tackle it.

Jewish Greens – the affiliation group for Jews in the Green Party – have inaugurated a three-stage strategy to tackle antisemitism, which stresses the importance of education and knowledge. This builds on the antisemitism policy we’ve had in our party manifesto since 2008.

was delighted that the Green Party’s National Conference passed a new guidance document, inspired by approaches taken by organisations specialising in fighting and educating on antisemitism. We consulted carefully with experts on antisemitism and Jewish groups and organisations, including the Board of Deputies, on the use of this model. Our guidance document takes a much more thorough approach than any other political party.

Our comprehensive guidance document explains and contextualises the IHRA definition, and shows the ways it relates to other approaches to tackling antisemitism, including the Jerusalem Declaration. It also draws on other sources such as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. This will equip our internal structures with the knowledge we need to identify, understand and tackle antisemitism.

Whilst other political parties have simply adopted the IHRA, they’ve not done the work to ensure it is properly understood or implemented. This has led to a chaotic decision-making process which fails Jews. By contrast, the Green Party’s guidance document ensures members understand antisemitism and how to challenge it.

Over the last three years we have also been rolling out educational training programmes across our local parties, to equip local members, including councillors, with the knowledge they need to tackle antisemitism where it manifests in their local communities.

Nationally, our elected Executive, Regional Council and Disciplinary Committee have also attended antisemitism training. This wide-ranging training will help our members understand antisemitism, what it is, how it relates to other forms of racism, and will help give them strategies to tackle it.

Our third element involves working and organising with other liberation groups (including LGBTIQA+ Greens and Greens of Colour) to tackle antisemitism at its source within society. Jews will never be safe from antisemitism while we tolerate discrimination against other groups.

As part of this collaboration, we are working with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) groups, to raise awareness of the discriminatory effects of the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and to tackle overt discrimination against those communities. We have also worked with these liberation groups to highlight the interconnections between Islamophobia, antisemitism and Queerphobia.

This work is only just beginning but is deeply necessary for the fight for a world free from antisemitism, and a world where all are free from any form of discrimination.

 

About the Author
Joshua Alston is chair of the Jewish Greens
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