SCoJeC, together with the Community Security Trust (CST), met the Scottish Government and Police today to discuss the current increase in antisemitic activity, mainly associated with the recent Israeli action in Gaza. Members of the Scottish Government Police and Community Safety Directorate were shocked by the nature of recent incidents, and expressed concern that vulnerable members of the community, especially students and those in rural areas, now feel under threat. Richard Foggo, Head of the Community Safety Unit, commented that there has been a high level of Ministerial involvement with these issues, and said that "the Scottish Government will look in the longer term at ways in which it can help the Jewish community to feel safer". He reiterated the First Minister's commitment when he met leaders of communal organisations, to give sympathetic consideration to requests for assistance, and undertook to draw the attention of relevant local authorities and police forces to increased needs of the community.
Mark Gardner, Director of Communications of the CST said: "The meeting was requested by the Scottish Government so that they could hear directly from SCoJeC and CST about issues of community concern. We explained that the success and confidence of the community was at risk of being eroded by hostile local reactions to Israel. For example, how anti-Israel campaigning and boycotts lead to antisemitic impacts, regardless of how well-intentioned their supporters may believe themselves to be. In particular, CST also drew attention to the surge of antisemitic incidents and terrorist threats occurring around the recent Gaza conflict, and we will now have further constructive discussions with the senior Police representative who was at the meeting."
SCoJeC Director Ephraim Borowski added: "This was a very useful opportunity to brief the policy-makers on the way in which anti-Israel sentiment has impacted on the Jewish community. We pointed out that in other contexts racism is seem through the eyes of the victim, whereas in this case the perpetrators claim the right to deny that their intimidation is antisemitic. We were gratified by the sympathetic hearing we received, and we trust it will result in tangible help for the community."