Why we should continue to combat anti-Semitism

The latest example of a rise in anti-Semitic practice occurred on the London Underground, as so-called West Ham United fans chanted ‘a vile anti-Semitic song’ on their way to play Tottenham Hotspur, a north London club closely linked to the Jewish community (Irish Examiner, February 24).

However, this type of conduct, although odious, should not surprise us, as it has become common on the streets of Europe.

It appears to be a reflexive action from a cohort that wants to denigrate their fellow human beings, and to do so they use an anti-Semitic chant, which is clearly the worst form of insult in their limited, and limiting, worldview.

This is telling. Although anti-Semitism has always existed, virulent manifestations of this ancient virus had been dormant, especially in the UK.

Moreover, if this type of vile chanting had occurred only a couple of years ago, these louts would have been subjected to the opprobrium of their fellow citizens. But that didn’t happen in the aftermath of this incident.

Anti-Semitism seems to be increasingly accepted by a wider society.

It is, therefore, vital that people of good conscience heed Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan’s recent statement at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, when he forcefully said: “I believe that it is essential that we redouble our efforts throughout the world to resist and combat anti-Semitism in all forms”.

Dr Kevin McCarthy,


Co Cork

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