Board of Deputies Reports Decline of Anti-semitism in England

The past year has been one of “comparative calm” in the sphere of anti-Semitism and Fascism in Britain, the annual report of the Board of Deputies of British Jews states. The 1954 report has just been issued here.

The Board says that Sir Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement has failed to stage a comeback and the open-air meetings of the Fascists have been poorly attended. The Board insists that the chief reason for this poor attendance is the fact that Jews have generally accepted its advice to stay away from the rallies and not to furnish the Fascists with publicity. At the same time, the report notes that the Board has protested to the London County Council against its granting the Union Movement and similar groups the use of the schools for meetings for “the propagation of doctrines which aim at overthrowing democracy.”

The report says that there still exist–though with a very limited circulation and quite unknown to the majority of the English people–”several publications of a viciously anti-Semitic character” which base their policy on anti-Communism, anti-Americanism and on the “hoary fiction that the Jew is the power behind all of the world’s trouble.” It calls on the Jewish community to remain on its guard because the very fact that financing can still be found for such publications is “lamentable evidence of ingrained racial hatred.”

The report also reveals that the Board’s education committee conferred with a publisher of a schoolgirl’s book which contained derogatory passages about Jews. The publisher agreed to halt further sales of the book, to accept for return a large order shipped to one of the best known lending libraries in Britain and to rewrite the offending passages for future editions.

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