Antisemitism

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 20th October 2014.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many times he or Ministers in his Department have raised concerns about anti-Semitism with their counterparts in (a) France, (b) Germany, (c) Holland, (d) Belgium, (e) Poland, (f) Australia, (g) the US and (h) Ireland since 2010.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

We are concerned about all instances of anti-Semitism, and regularly raise this issue with a number of countries, including those referred to in the Honorable Member's question, though we do not hold a central record of every time we have done so. Our Embassies and High Commissions monitor cases of anti-Semitism and raise them with their host governments. We support the efforts of EU partners to tackle racism in all its forms. For instance, a number of Ministers, including the Home Secretary, strongly condemned the murders at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May.

Anti-Semitism (and particularly Holocaust denial and denigration) are regularly discussed during meetings of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in a dedicated Committee, and as a formal agenda item during the plenary meetings held twice a year. The UK Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, Sir Andrew Burns, leads an active UK delegation in these discussions. All the states to which your question refers are members of IHRA, with the exception of Australia.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also works very closely with the UK Member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), who provides expert advice on tackling anti-Semitism to the British Government and internationally.

The British Government will be represented at a senior level at the tenth anniversary of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Conference and Declaration on Anti-Semitism, being held in Berlin on 13 November 2014.

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