Chief Rabbi recalls Cable Street as he asks the UK to ‘unite against antisemitism’

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Chief Rabbi recalls Cable Street as he asks the UK to ‘unite against antisemitism’

Speaking at Sunday's National March Against Antisemitism, Chief Rabbi Mirvis notes that the UK remains a 'wonderful, tolerant and decent country'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis speaks at march in London
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis speaks at march in London

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has referenced the call of “they shall not pass” at the 1936 Cable Street protest against fascism in London as he urged the country to once again “be united against antisemitism” in his speech at the massive protest against rising Jew-hate.

But speaking to the huge crowd at Sunday’s National March Against Antisemitism Mirvis added:”At this very moment in the streets of London within our wonderful tolerant and decent country our call is United Kingdom be united against antisemitism.”

Mirvis told the biggest demonstration against antisemitism for decades in the UK that since the October 7th Hamas atrocity in Israel the community has discovered it has “truly outstanding friends” both in government and who have recognised “a threat to the Jews is a threat to our entire society.”

He said: “Since October 7, we have found out who our true friends are and to each of them, we say: thank you very much.”

Mirvis referenced the call of “they shall not pass” that took place during the 19

Rabbi Mirvis added: “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 facts and not from what they see and hear on social media.”

He also acknowledged the “sad suffering of Palestinians in Gaza”, and mourned all loss of life “a tragedy”.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick also addressed the crowd attending the National March Against Antisemitism.

He said: “We stand with Israel and all who share its determination to defeat Hamas, whose defeat will be a blessing to this world.

“Week after week, central London has become a no-go zone for Jews.“We have witnessed mass criminality, including glorification of terrorism, support for banned terrorist organisations such as Hamas, and incitement to racial or religious hatred against Jews. The sad truth is that Jews do not feel safe in our capital city.”

In her speech Countdown presenter Rachel Riley said: “We have seen people turn up in their tens of thousands in Berlin, in Paris, in Washington, and today it’s our turn, and there is no clearer message to send to the British Jewish community that we are not alone than this incredible sea of friendly faces.”

The campaigner against antisemitism added: “You need to know next to nothing to propagate Nazi or Soviet Jew-hating propaganda, reframed to fit today’s narrative, but you need to know nearly everything in order to combat it. The odds are stacked in the antisemite’s favour. We need to re-stack those odds.

“No one should have to risk their safety, jeopardise their career, in speaking against antisemitism in Britain. I call on the people, the media, and politicians on every side to stand with us and be louder against antisemitism. Enough is enough.”

Tracy-Ann Oberman (left) and Rachel Riley take part in a march against antisemitism.

In another well-received speech actor Eddie Marsan said he attended the Campaign Against Antisemitism march to “stand in solidarity with my Jewish friends; the people I grew up with, the people I went to school with, the people I work with, I tell you all: you are not alone.”

Gideon Falter told the estimated 105,000 people in attendance:“The voice of decency has been heard today, and it is a voice that demands action.“Britain is at an inflection point. If the authorities believe that our streets and our country should be safe for all Britons – including British Jews – they must act against hate before it’s too late.”

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