All parties must take a clear stand on antisemitism: Buckley

DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley has said all parties in Northern Ireland need to take a clear stand on antisemitism. He was speaking after a Party delegation met with Lord Mann, the Government’s Independent Advisor on Antisemitism.

By Jonathan Buckley MLA

Upper Bann

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Mr Buckley also called on Sinn Fein to explain why they refused to meet with Lord Mann.

He said,

“It is a sad reflection of society that one of the reactions to the terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel has been an upsurge in antisemitism. The Jewish community in Northern Ireland is small, but they know all too well the hatred directed towards them simply because of who they are. A first step must be a clear acceptance that that antisemitism is a form of racism no different to any other.

Lord Mann has a vital role in advising the Government on how we should face down such racism. As the Government’s independent advisor he was clear in the need for political leaders to step forward and do everything we can to ensure Jewish people can be themselves and express their identity freely and without fear.

It is our understanding however that Sinn Fein refused to meet with Lord Mann. Michelle O’Neill needs to explain why not a single member of her party was able to make themselves available, and how that fits with her self-styled title of “First Minister for all”. It would be useful if Sinn Fein could say when they were first notified about this visit and whether they have accepted any previous invitations to meet.

Government nationally has a significant responsibility to ensure the tide of antisemitism across the UK is tackled. However, as local representatives in Northern Ireland there is a responsibility on everyone here to take a clear stand against such racist attitudes and actions.”

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