The Government’s new antisemitism adviser has warned that between overstatement and understatement of antisemitism, “the biggest danger is that we will understate the problem.”
Speaking after his first public engagement in his new job, John Mann MP, who has resigned from the Labour Party and will become a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, explained that he accepted his new advisory role to prevent “good people, young people” from deciding to emigrate from the UK because of rising antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer has shown that 40% of British Jews have considered leaving the country due to antisemitism.
If action were not taken against antisemitism, he warned, “the reality will be that good people will leave. Not necessarily quickly — but good people will not see their future on the continent of Europe or on the UK because they are Jewish, and they wish for their identity to be proudly held at all times. We are not going to accept – and government is not going to accept — that impingement on civil liberties in this country.”
Observing the rise of antisemitism on university campuses, Mr Mann noted too the “pernicious, silent, isolating disdain” shown towards Jewish students “from hostile elements in their universities,” adding that he would be pushing for the adoption and application of the International Definition of Antisemitism by “our major institutions, football clubs, universities — this is achievable.”
Mr Mann also declared that “there will be consequences for the antisemites — whether they like it or not.” He insisted that “this is a battle for our country, this is a battle of our country and of our people. If we define our values – the things that make us British, then this is the number one battle. That we stand up against discrimination. That we do not allow the Jewish community to be attacked in the way it has been. And that when it is, we make sure that the perpetrators face the most robust consequences.”
It is understood that Mr Mann’s advisory role will last for five years.