« IDS: You can't beat poverty without supporting marriage | Main | Tony Blair confirms he'll be gone within 12 months »


While we ought to be concerned about anti-semitism, there was some stuff in this report which disturbed me.

We should not be following the rotten McPherson philosophy that anti-semitic incident is one which is deemed by the victime to be anti-semitic; nor should we be trying to police what people read on the internet.

The corresponding report in today's The Times quotes Sir Jonathan Sacks:

"Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, told the committee that Britain was manifestly not an anti-Semitic society: 'It is one of the least anti-Semitic societies in the world.'"

I don't understand the substantive basis for Denis MacShane's claim that "the level of anti-semitism, and complacency about it among much of the British public, made it 'distinct' from other forms of racism."

If Dr MacShane thinks about it carefully, he might come to appreciate that persisting with such a claim of distinctiveness is likely to weaken the very cause he is seeking to promote.

At the very end of the report in The Times there is the important rider: "criticism of Israel should not be regarded as anti-Semitic."

From my experience of online discussions and debates - which goes back more than 10 years - it has been a regular past practice to post claims that criticism of Israel or Israelis amounts to anti-Semitism, "in effect, if not intent." Least that assessment be regarded in any way as extraordinary or entirely personal, I quote Lawrence Summers, as President of Harvard, on 17 September 2002:

"But where anti-Semitism and views that are profoundly anti-Israeli have traditionally been the primary preserve of poorly educated right-wing populists, profoundly anti-Israel views are increasingly finding support in progressive intellectual communities. Serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent."

How soon will it be before Blair decides to buy the Great Chinese Internet Firewall because, you know, we need to protect our children/minorities/keep out terrorist....

It's not clear to me what they mean by an "anti-semitic attack". It sounds as though it should be a physical attack, but I suspect that they're including alleged verbal abuse. There are 300,000 Jews in this country, so at 600 incidents a year six out of seven British Jews would go through their entire lives without ever be involved in a reported "incident". Even allowing for unreported incidents - say multiply by ten, or even by a hundred - it's not exactly an ongoing pogrom. The real risks that we all share in this country are from generalised criminality, and being Jewish, or Muslim, or black, or homosexual, whatever, doesn't in fact add much to that non-specific risk. A 1% drop in general crime would probably benefit British Jews or Muslims more than a 100% drop in religiously motivated crimes.

I would echo Bob B.I very much hope that comments not supportive of the Israeli government are not regarded as 'anti Semitic' as I was called on this blog. The two are entirely different things.

Checking further, I find that just in terms of numbers it would take a drop of less than 2% in overall crime to benefit British Jews by as much as a 100% drop in specifically anti-Semitic crime.

According to Table 2b in 2.1 SUMMARY here:


the police record about 5.6 million crimes in England & Wales each year.

With 300,000 Jews out of a UK population of 60 million, pro rata in one case out of 200 the victim would be Jewish = about 30,000 crimes in England & Wales. So assuming that included 400 - 500 specifically anti-Semitic crimes, that would be 1.3% - 1.7% of the total crimes experienced by Jews.

Checking further, I find that just in terms of numbers it would take a drop of less than 2% in overall crime to benefit British Jews by as much as a 100% drop in specifically anti-Semitic crime.

That says it all really.

One of the main reasons that politicians focus on "Hate Crimes" is to take the heat of the fact that crime is so rampant.

I think we do need a new Law which specifically makes it a serious criminal offence to damage a) cemeteries and headstones b) religious buildings

With those two provisos I think many issues might well be addressed without recourse to vague and broadly-drawn thought crimes

Why do we need a new law? Such actions would already constitute criminal damage.

Dennis Cooper makes excellent points.

what a waste of time. Why is anti-Semitic crime worse than getting raped or murdered? Or so more important than any other kind of crime, or gangs of teenage hoodies. Not sure why this is such a 'conservativehome' issue.

Surely any incident that means people are subjected to physical or verbal abuse for no other reason than who they are is wrong and should be outlawed.
I am all for people being prosecuted for hate crimes because these scum and that is what they are are no more than the playground bully picking on people because they are differant to themselevs.
Hate crime is a blot on our society and the sooner it is wiped out completly the better.

The problem with defining some crimes as "hate crimes" Jack is that it creates a hierarchy of victimhood. Kicking someone to death for fun is neither better nor worse than kicking them to death because they're Jewish. Each ought to attract a similar sentence, although current sentencing guidelines will impose a lighter punishment for the former than the latter.

And focussing on hate crimes overlooks Dennis Cooper's point that a member of a minority group is much more likely to be subject to an ordinary crime (a Love Crime perhaps?) than a "hate crime."

Er...and how many of these anti-Jewish crimes are perpetrated by Muslim extremists? Does the report break down perpetrators into "white fascists", "Islamists" and "other"?

Wasn't there some hoo-hah recently about an EU report that warned about increase in anti-Jewish crimes that suppressed the very fact that the perpetrators were, surprise surprise, largely Mulsims? Instead they wanted to press the majority guilt button.

how right, Jack, let's ban hate crime, it's awful. After we've done that we can ban murder and theft as well.

What's that, we already did ban both?

So what are government going to do???

Perhaps the same provision given to say - the muslim community could be made available for the Jewish community?

The Jewish community play an essential part of British life and the contribution to society has been exemplary. The Jewish community has assimilated without concession after concession and without being pandered to, maybe this is something a future Conservative government should perhaps think about.

Hate crime is a blot on our society and the sooner it is wiped out completly the better.

Typical vapid left-wing nonsense from someone clearly incapable of thinking outside the PC box.

Crime is crime, and most violent crimes could be described as "hate" crimes.

If somebody is murdered because they are Jewish, support the wrong football team or fail to hand over valuables when demanded
they are still dead, whatever.

It is utterly grotesque that the state should decide that certain of these murders are less reprehensible and somehow deserve more lenient treatment than others.

All violence is wrong but surely it is particularly evil for someone to be attacked for no other reson than simple who they are.
It is wrong that far too many people in our country live in fear of violence because of the religion they practice or the colour of there skin.
We should stand side by side with those who are subjected to this evil and say we will not put up wih it.
Personally I become a little sickin by the way too many on ths site seem to have so little sympathy with those from ethnic minortes in this country and in some cases I think it verges on the downright hostile.
It is not being PC to oppose hate crimes its simply standing up against something that is downright evil.

We should stand shoulder to shoulder with anybody who is a victim of violence, whatever the reason and whatever their race colour or creed.

I suppose if a man is punched in the face defending his wife from rape you'd say that the crime is less serious that if someone punches a black man in the face because he doesn't like his colour.

That idea runs absolutely contrary to the principles of English justice, although it's well in line with the Political Correctness you seem to favour.

Even the term "hate crime" is an artifical product of PC World. Were you beefing on about "hate crimes" ten years ago Jack Stone? If not why not?

Are you a Conservative or are you actually some lefty on here to wind people up?

"All violence is wrong but surely it is particularly evil for someone to be attacked for no other reson than simple who they are."

No. Beating someone up because you want their wallet, or for fun, is just as evil as beating someone up because you don't like their skin colour.

All people should be entitled to expect that assaults on them will be treated with equal seriousness, regardless of their background.

That is absolutely right Sean. It's a pity the party seems to have been infected by creeping Political Correctness these days.

Incidentally, returning to the main point at issue, I'm disappointed by the number of posters on this blog who are almost violently anti-Israel and anti-US.

I find it difficult to believe that at least a proportion of these are not motivated by some kind of anti-semitism.

I'd agree with Sean Fear that the last thing law enforcement needs is a special category of hate crime - and in answer to Jack Stone's latest salvo, I think a person killed because they're a security guard escorting the wages van is just as dead as, say, a rabbi lynched by a mob of racists. Once you get beyond a certain threshold I'm not sure you can really talk about one crime being 'eviller' than another.

But 'group crimes' are significant because they do reveal the unpleasant underside of a society (which we'll assume is what Jack was driving at). We ought to know - and want to know - if crimes directed at a particular group are increasing: surely it matters if someone is going around targeting Jewish people, or indeed Muslims, or for that matter left-handed ballet dancers.

What I'm not sure is whether you would want to increase the punishment available for an increasing group-crime, say to curb and deter that increase (because it is an increase). Criminal/penal policy is all over the place - and besides, if the heavier punishments worked and so the level of group-crimes fell, would you then reduce the punishments (i.e. are you saying it is now alright to victimise left-handed ballet dancers?)

When the BNP gained eleven councillors in Barking in May there were a number of attacks on Asians in the Borough immediantly afterwards because of the racism the BNP had stired up in the town.
If we are to deter this sort of thing happening and if we are to protect groups in our society being targeted then we must have laws that percifically target crimes of hate.
I find it sad on this site where if you defend immigrants or express sympathy with them ts made to seem you have expressed an opinion that is nothing short of obscene.
It just shows the extremism of some on this site. Thankfully there views have no part in the party David Cameron is trying to build which is why the Conservative Party is once again becoming electable.

Magistrates and judges are able to respond to the increasing prevalence of a particular kind of crime by handing out stiffer deterrent sentences. If necessary, Parliament can give them more scope by increasing the maximum sentence.

In effect this government implied that there was a high and rising level of racially motivated crime, and that the police and courts would not take it seriously unless they were given specific instructions to do so. No doubt they knew perfectly well that neither of those contentions was correct, but they wanted to curry favour with minority groups to secure their votes.

That's what Labour has been doing to supplement its traditional vote since its working class power base has shrunk - seek out and/or create minorities and offer them special treatment in exchange for their votes.

I find it sad on this site where if you defend immigrants or express sympathy with them ts made to seem you have expressed an opinion that is nothing short of obscene.

An absurd statement and manifestly false.

The Conservative Party was encouraging ethnic participation many years ago. I recall hearing a speech by a splendid fellow, Narindar Saroop, who did much to lay the ground for ethnic Tories. Margaret Thatcher held him in very high regard and rightly so.

I have no time for the BNP, but if people are voting for them then we have to address the problems that lie behind that vote.

Britons of all colours oppose further mass immigration. Very often Asians are the most vociferous against bogus "asylum sekers" and the like who rob their shops. I know this from personal exerience.

Jack Stone I find something very odd about your interventions. You seem to blurt out silly PC ideas and vague allegations without ever defending your corner.

Is it that you do not have the courage of your convictions or is there some other reason?

Margaet Thatcher was no racist and I always admired her for the way she supported Israel and the jewish population in this country and had the sense to see that the Conservative Party have a lot in common with those from our ethnic minority communities but I am afraid there is an under currant of racism by some on this site.
Far to many are too keen to link minorities with crime and terrorism and some even seem to have sympathy with those on the extreme right.
Racism nowadays is not always expressed in an open way but if you read the attitudes of some on this site you an`t help but come to the conclussion that they are of the school"I a not a racist, I have many black friends BUT".

".... if you read the attitudes of some on this site you can`t help but come to the conclussion that they are of the school "I a not a racist, I have many black friends BUT"."

Yes, Jack, you can help that, just try harder.

"I'm not a racist but.." is frequently heard in my Association. Perhaps yours is different.

Is it?

You have to ask what is the underlying reason for the grievance. Most Tories (you may be different) don't like the changes that immigration brings. Sometimes their grievances go well beyond "Alf Garnett" grumbles. The immigration problem is a very real problem today.

It seems to me that you are expecting the party to be reshaped in a way that is totally unrealistic. The party is only the sum of its members after all and I surely don't have to remind you of the average age and likely outlook of grassroots Tories.

If anything, the people on this blog are likely to be younger and more "liberal" than the average constituency worker.

Why do we need a new law? Such actions would already constitute criminal damage.

Really ?

In R v Whiteley (1991) 93 Cr. App. R. 25 Lane CJ. summarised the law:

"Any alteration to the physical nature of the property concerned may amount to damage within the meaning of the section. Whether it does so or not will depend on the effect that the alteration has had upon the legitimate operator (who for convenience may be referred to as the owner) ... where ... the interference ... amounts to an impairment of the value or usefulness of the [property] to the owner, then the necessary damage is established."

It is hard to know how far the value of a headstone "owned" by the person in the grave is "impaired" by the addition of a Swastika or being smashed in two.

There is I note Racially aggravated criminal damage

Section 30 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 creates an offence of racially and religiously aggravated criminal damage based on s1(1) Act 1971.

However the Act does not specify "religious" merely "racial" and the penalty is 6 months or a Level 4 fine. It is hardly likely that a 6 month sentence will be given instead of Community Service or Caution.

The fact is that many of these attacks are against the building because of its association with a religious group, or to a cemetery. Most cemeteries are Church or Local Authority property but headstones and tombs belong to the person who bought the "use" of them.

The only part the "owner" has is the headstone and so many are smashed or defaced that clearly the Criminal Damage Act is useless

Magistrates and judges are able to respond to the increasing prevalence of a particular kind of crime by handing out stiffer deterrent sentences.

Not a magistrate......they have no power....you would need to fill up the Crown Court with such cases and their lists are so full ...........if you look how many court houses have been closed and merged in the past decade you can see why courts are overloaded and backlogged with 13.000 prisoners on remand cell-blocking and that fact they don't sit until 10am is another absurdity

I don't think it would be hard to prove that a gravestone is "impaired" by the addition of a swastika.

WRT attacks on minorities, if that is an unusually grave problem, then it would be wise to devote a higher than usual proportion of police time to tackle that problem. I remain unconvinced that creating specific offences to deal with it is sensible

I agree with others that Jack Stone only aims to post left wing rubbish on this site. What his motives are, are open to speculation.

Rank stupidity I thinkb Sean!

Too true, Malcolm, but no surprise there.

After all, he's a Cameroon.

I can say in all honesty that in the Bexhill & Battle Conservative Association I have never heard a single anti-semitic comment. There may be some individuals who hold such contemptuous views, but I've never heard them. Anti-semitism and racism have no legitimate place in any right-thinking political party. Mass immigration is, however, not about those considerations. The Conservative Party needs to have a clear, ethical and workable policy on UK immigration to ensure sense prevails when it becomes the Government.

With hindsight it is crystal clear that the horrendous immigration policies and shambolic procedures (if they exist at all) of the Labour Government were chiefly responsible for 'gifting' thousands of votes to the BNP in the May 2006 elections, thus causing the election of BNP councillors in certain areas. It is a truism to say that the Labour Government isn't fit for purpose, especially in relation to immigration to the UK.

We Conservatives must ensure we don't make such errors ourselves. If we are to fulfil our historic task, namely to be the Party of our nation that struggles to defend the traditonal values including Parliamentary sovereignty, the UK system of justice, individual and political freedom, then we must have a robust and stringent policy towards immigration.

Of course, all of this would sooner be achieved if we were outside the EU and were members of say EFTA.

The problem with passing more legislation to create more crimes, or more specific crimes, is this:

"An investigation shows that conviction rates for many of the most violent crimes have been in freefall since Labour came to power in 1997 and are now well below 10 per cent. The chronically low figures for convictions come at the same time as reports that violent crime is increasing. An analysis of Home Office figures reveals that only 9.7 per cent of all 'serious woundings', including stabbings, that are reported to the police result in a conviction. For robberies the figure falls to 8.9 per cent and for rape, it is 5.5 per cent."

"Conviction rates for serious offences such as wounding and rape are too low, the Attorney General has admitted."

But in the event of a higher rate of convictions for serious crime, we not only already have a record number of people in prison, we also have the largest per capita prison population in all Western Europe:

And it's expensive to keep people in prison.

So its left-wing to be against racism and beleive that you judge people for there qualities not on the colour of there skin, there religion or there country of origin. That`s news to me!
Racism is unacceptable wether practiced by an old person or some one younger. We need to oppose it at every opportunity we get and say its unacceptable not make excuses for those that have racist tendancies.
I don`t beieve it is unrealistic to hope that we make make the party free of racism as I think the majority view will prevail that it is unacceptable, wrong and simply plain evil.

And by "racism" you mean what exactly?

Does it include pointing out that when I open my local paper it's always full of reports of crime, that only a very small fraction of those crimes were committed because the perpetrator had an ingrained dislike of other people with a certain skin colour, that the person beaten up in the town centre on Tuesday night is just as beaten up whether his attackers were the same or a different race, and that concentrating on the cases where they were of different races is a politically motivated distraction from the real problem, which is that crime is roughly ten times higher than fifty years ago?

"So its left-wing to be against racism and beleive that you judge people for there qualities not on the colour of there skin, there religion or there country of origin"

In fact, it's the majority of posters on this thread who are arguing that an assault on an innocent person is equally bad, regardless of the ethnic origin of the victim or the perpetrator.

You are the one who is arguing the opposite.

When racism is the motivation for violence it needs to be dealt with differantly as an assault motivate by other reasons because it can lead to particular groups being targeted by anothers for racist reasons. All violence is wrong but sometimes you have to deal with some crimes differantly than others because of the particular evil aspect of the crime.
We can not have a situaton where people from various groups live in fear of being attacked by others because of who they are.

You mean, like elderly people who fear to step outside their houses because they'll be picked on just because they're elderly? Or young women who fear to walk the streets at night because they may be targetted because they're female? Or maybe you don't care about them unless there's a difference in skin colour between the criminal and his victim, in which case it becomes important?

Anti-Semitism is not a problem. The problem is those who yell Anti-Semitism whenever it is pointed out that having a large Jewish lobby in the Tory party is unhealthy to democracy.

IDS for example was essentially pushed out of office by a coup largely led by Howard, Bercow, Davis and Rupert Murdoch.

As Howard turned out to be 100% more useless than IDS, we a right to know, what was this was all about? Howard’s election campaign was an embarrassment.

IDS happened to be about 3% ahead of Labour when the coup was launched, and Howard turned out to be 100% more useless than IDS.

This quote I have found speaks for a lot of us:-

“Howard was put there by a Jewish-Israeli-Mossad coup, they being the people
who control the purse strings of the party. The members of the Tory Party
did not want Howard to be leader, and if Duncan-Smith were still the leader
the tories would be leading or matching the labour party in the polls now
as they were when Duncan-Smith was deposed.”

The coup deprived us of winning the General Election.

The last comments are clearly not just racist but totally mad.They are so clearly stupied they beggar belief.

You clearly have no reply and have proven my point.

"According to Amnesty International, the Israelis used 80% of their cluster bombs in the last 3 days of the war.

In Lebanon... these and exploding toys will blow up civilians and children for the next 12 to 18 months they estimate.

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- A U.N. official has called it an "outrage" that Israel dropped cluster bombs in southern Lebanon.

"It is an outrage that we have 100,000 unexploded bombs" in southern Lebanon that will take a year or two to clear, said Jan Egeland, the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

"Every day people are killed and maimed," he added. "Civilians will die disproportionately" and more children than Hezbollah fighters will be killed, he charged.

A congressional investigation after Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 found Israel guilty of intentionally dropping cluster bombs in civilian areas!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cluster bombs spray large numbers of bomblets over a wide area - which can remain unexploded and endanger civilians long after they are fired.

A six year ban was imposed on further sales of the weapons to Israel.

Human rights groups believe their use in populated areas violates the prohibition on indiscriminate attacks contained in the Geneva Conventions."

Rising anti-Semitism highlighted by MPs!

Is it any wonder?

Why, in the last three days of the war were these bomblets dropped?

We urgently need some contrition shown from prominent Jewish politicians.

I always had the impression that the Conservative Friends of Israel had disproportionate influence within the party.

Does anybody disagree?

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    Duty Editor

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker