On 13 March 2011, a regional event was held at the King David school in Liverpool. Over 100 people came together to hear local MPs Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree) and Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside) talk about their work as part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Against Antisemitism.
The meeting was the second in a series of regional events put on by the All-Party Group to explain its work to local Jewish communities and to empower those communities by informing them of what powers they have to take action against antisemitism. The first event, in Manchester, has resulted in the local community sharing ideas strategies to tackle antisemitism at grass roots. Subsequent events are being planned.
Subjects raised on the night were antisemitism in the media, on university campuses and in football. Luciana Berger said that more should be done to ensure a co-ordinated effort by Universities to stamp out hate speech. Louise Ellman raised the issue of a European movement which seeks to equate the Holocaust with what happened in Eastern Europe in Soviet Times and Danny Stone, the Director of the APPG praised the Football Association for some of the work they have been doing to implement a report by John Mann MP into antisemitism and islamophobia in football.
Danny Stone, said that there were a number of achievements by the group which would benefit not just the Jewish community but other victims of hate crime. He highlighted the publication of detailed statistics on antisemitism by police, funding for school security and positive interfaith school-linking projects as prime examples. “Ensuring that antisemitism is seen as a societal responsibility is key to our work” he said. He was keen to highlight that in addition to the two labour MPs on the panel that the group was “a true cross-party effort”.
Louise Ellman said: “The big turnout showed the substantial level of concern about rising antisemitism. It is vital that we, as members of the All-Party Group Against Antisemitism continue our work to confront extremism and to promote best practice in combating hate crime.”
Speaking about her role in the group and the remaining challenges, Luciana Berger MP said: “I have taken a longstanding interest in these issues having been an outspoken anti-racist campaigner for many years. We have made much progress but there is more to be done. I am particularly concerned about the behaviour of candidates and third parties during election campaigns. I want to see a strong, transparent code of conduct adopted across the board.”