Britons should “make a scene” and confront people being anti-Semitic, a Cabinet minister urged today.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said individuals should “call out” racism and anti-Semitism and not just turn away. “We have to object when a line is crossed from legitimate debate to smears and abuse,” he was due to say in a speech at a Holocaust Educational Trust reception in Parliament today.
“Ultimately, we have to be prepared to do that most un-British of things — we have to make a scene.”
He suggested this could be in public, private, in the media or on Twitter: “In fact anywhere from the top deck of a bus to right here in Parliament. What’s certain is if we don’t speak out against hatred and anti-Semitism it will become normalised. And once that happens, the consequences will be tragic.”
Ministers have accused Labour of failing to tackle anti-Semitic behaviour within its party, a claim strongly denied by leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27, Mr Javid also urged people not to “lazily reach for glib comparisons” in political debate, such as calling critics “Nazis” or claiming something is “just like the Holocaust”.