Councillor Louise Griffiths speaks out over horrible antisemitic abuse faced in Worcester

Louise Griffiths
Worcester - A councillor has spoken out about facing antisemitic abuse in the city after leading a call for the council to become the latest authority to adopt a widely recognised definition of antisemitism. 

City councillor Louise Griffiths recounted the shocking moment when the mezuzah was ripped from the front door of her home in Worcester and posted through the letterbox with a swastika drawn on it. 

Councillors agreed to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism at a full Worcester City Council meeting on Tuesday (July 14). 

Cllr Griffiths, who put forward the motion calling on the council to adopt the definition, said signing up to it was a “no-brainer” and would send a signal to the city’s Jewish community that the council would not stand by and allow antisemitism to go unchallenged. 

Cllr Griffiths said: “Antisemitism was not something I experienced on a regular basis, but it has seemingly become part of my daily life in recent years. 

“For me, having the council sign up to this definition of antisemitism is a no-brainer. 

“It won’t have a negative effect on the way we do business, or on the way we function, but it will send a signal to the small Jewish community here in Worcester that our elected representatives care about them, that we won’t stand by and allow antisemitism to go unchallenged, and that we will put robust systems in place to ensure councillors and council employees are educated on antisemitic tropes and the dangers of using them. 

“Worcester is a beautiful city, and it is the city I have chosen to raise my daughter in, and my soon-to-be-born son. 

“There is a very small Jewish community here, but one which experiences antisemitism on a regular basis.” 

The motion was backed unanimously by city councillors. 

Labour councillor Joy Squires said adopting the definition was the right thing to do. 

"For far too long the racism that blames Jewish people, wherever they live, for all the ills in the world has been allowed to take root and flourish across the political spectrum and across society at large," she said. 

"I am horrified at the antisemitism expressed by members of my own political party in recent years and ashamed that my party did not act quickly enough to stamp it out."

Source: worcesternews