Top UK official urges fresh action against anti-Semitism
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Top UK official urges fresh action against anti-Semitism

Home Secretary Theresa May says she ‘never thought I would see the day’ when Jews would be afraid to live in Britain

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May speaks during the counter-terrorism awareness week conference at the Royal United Services Institute in London Monday Nov. 24, 2014 (AP/John Stillwell/PA)
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May speaks during the counter-terrorism awareness week conference at the Royal United Services Institute in London Monday Nov. 24, 2014 (AP/John Stillwell/PA)

LONDON — Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May has urged fresh action to combat anti-Semitism amid fears in the Jewish community following the terror attacks in Paris, as the country’s former chief rabbi said anxiety among Britain’s Jews was at a “record high within my lifetime.”

May said Sunday the hostage siege on the Jewish supermarket was a chilling reminder of anti-Semitic prejudice.

Speaking at a commemoration for attack victims, May said that she “never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say they were fearful of remaining here in the United Kingdom.”

May said efforts to combat anti-Semitism must be redoubled because Jews are integral to Britain.

“Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain, just as without its Muslims, Britain would not be Britain — without its Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and people of other faiths, Britain would not be Britain.”

Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Britain, told Sky News that British Jews were beginning to fear for their safety.

“After what happened in Paris you are beginning to get British Jews asking will I be safe going to synagogue or going to a Jewish shop? Will my children be safe in a Jewish school?”

“And that kind of thing is absolutely inevitable, I hope it will dissipate soon but there can be no doubt that there is an anxiety now among British Jews which is pretty much at a record high within my lifetime,” Sacks said.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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