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Cheshire East Council takes tough stance on anti-Semitism

6 November 2018

Cheshire East Council has taken a robust stance on the blight of anti-Semitism.

The authority’s cabinet today adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Anti-Semitism. 

It follows a notice of motion proposing the adoption by Councillor Stewart Gardiner and seconded by Councillor Martin Deakin at a meeting of full council on 18 October.

The motion, adopted in full by cabinet, stated:“We call upon this council to adopt formally the definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the  IHRA in 2016 and to ensure that the equality and diversity policies clearly state that there will be no tolerance of anti-Semitism by its officers or elected members.

“Additionally, we call on the council to declare that it stands four-square behind all Jewish people living in Cheshire East; together with their family members, in these difficult times for their community.

“Furthermore, we request that the director of people be charged with putting in place community cohesion strategies that will help and support any victims of anti-Semitism or other religious intolerances that may manifest themselves within this borough.”

Cheshire East Council Leader Cllr Rachel BaileyCouncillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “The despicable attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue last week, in which defenceless members of the Jewish community were gunned down as they prayed, is a shocking reminder of the real threat posed to modern society by anti-Semitism, intolerance and hatred.

“Today, this council is sending out a clear message that anti-Semitism, or discrimination of any kind against any group or individual, is totally unacceptable, has no place in civilised society – and will not be tolerated by our officers and elected members.”

Unfortunately anti-Semitic incidents have reached a record level in the UK with 1,382 recorded nationwide in 2017.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for diversity and equality, said: “Adopting a clear and consistent definition of anti-Semitism supports the council’s equality objectives and equality and diversity strategy, providing our residents and visitors with assurance that hate crime of this nature will not be tolerated.

“There is no place for discrimination or hatred in our borough and we stand four square behind any individual or community that experiences prejudice, hatred and abuse of any kind.” 

The IHRA definition of anti-semitism states: “Anti-semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish institutions and religious facilities.”