The Chief Rabbi’s speech at the march against antisemitism
The Chief Rabbi addressed tens of thousands of people at the march against antisemitism last Sunday, the 26th of November.
Since the 7th of October, this is a different world.
It’s a world in which, tragically, we have seen all too clearly the dark forces of evil in our midst.
Since the 7th of October, Israel has been engaged in a war it did not ask for, and it did not want.
On my visit to Israel two weeks ago, I found a country united in its resolve to bring the hostages back home and to guarantee that we will see the end of Hamas terror.
Since the 7th of October we have discovered who our true friends are. And isn’t it so wonderful that we have so many truly outstanding friends who are standing shoulder to shoulder with British Jewry at this time?
And to each and every one of you we say thank you so very, very much.
We are blessed to be living in a country with His Majesty the King, with a Prince of Wales, with a Prime Minister, with a Leader of the Opposition, together with numerous other national leaders who all recognise that a threat to the Jews is a threat to our entire society.
Since the 7th of October, the response of some to the war has been an explosion of hatred. But we know that hatred is never the answer and so, we declare, together, as we stand here in the centre of London, we will fight against antisemitism, and we are against all forms of hatred.
Since the 7th of October, some, tragically, and it pains me to say this, have celebrated the brutal terrorist acts of Hamas against Jews.
And today, as we witness the sad suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, while we recognise that the responsibility for this is Hamas, which has placed its own people as human shields in harm’s way, nonetheless, every single loss of innocent life is a tragedy.
Since the 7th of October on the streets of London we have heard the cries of Jihad, of Intifada and the chant from the river to the sea, which amounts to a call for the destruction of the State of Israel.
But today, as we stand on the very same streets of London, all we want is an end to the terror of Hamas, peace for all,
and we say with regard to our precious hostages, bring them home!
Since the 7th of October, here in the UK we have witnessed an alarming rise in antisemitism, but we will not be intimidated.
We call for a strengthening of community cohesion and we will forever be proud to champion the finest of British values.
So, with regard to the poisonous spread of antisemitism what should the response of the British people be?
Number one, call it out when you see it.
Number two, call it by what it really is, Jew hatred.
Number three, be vigilant, report every incident.
Number four, we must arrest every single perpetrator and bring every single one of them to justice.
Number five, we must teach our children that the superheroes of our society are those who pursue peace and loving kindness and not those who glorify violence and murder.
And we must teach people that they must draw their conclusions from historical fact and not from what they see and hear on social media.
In 1936 on the streets of London, in the Battle of Cable Street, a call was issued: they shall not pass! At this very moment, on the streets of London, within our wonderful, tolerant, and decent country, our call is: United Kingdom, be united against antisemitism.
Yesterday in synagogue, we read how Laban pursued the persecution of Jacob. Next Shabbat, we will read about the murderous intentions of Esau against Jacob. And throughout this, all that Jacob wanted was just to live in peace with others. We, the descendants of Jacob, who was Israel, yearn for and pray for the same peace.
And may God indeed bless us with peace. And may he bless all with peace.
Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu, V’al Kol Yisrael, V’imru Amen.