Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Norwich community leaders condemn anti-semitic graffiti on city synagogue.

with 9 comments

The racist graffiti was discovered on the door of the Aduat Yeshua Synagogue this morning as it opened for prayers

A Norwich building which is home to a messianic synagogue has been targeted with antisemitic graffiti including swastikas alongside the words ‘Free Palestine’.

Vandals targeted the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue overnight, daubing racial slurs on the synagogue door.

The antisemitic grafffiti, which is being investigated by police, was discovered as the shul opened for prayers this morning.

Jewish News.

Living in East Anglia Norwich is a city dear to our hearts. This response is good to see.

Community leaders unite to condemn hateful synagogue graffiti

Eastern Daily Press,

Norwich community leaders have come together to condemn the daubing of a swastika and antisemitic slurs on the door of a city synagogue.

Members of the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue were left in shock on Friday morning when they arrived for morning prayer to discover the hateful graffiti on the door of the Essex Street site.

A statement co-signed by councillors and faith group leaders across the city reads as follows:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the cowardly antisemitic attack on Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue.

“There is no place for hate of any kind in our community. Hate causes problems across the world, including in the Middle East.

“We stand together in our desire for peace and will not be divided.”

The statement was co-signed by:

  • Emma Corlett, county council for Town Close
  • Karen Davis, Cate Oliver and Ian Stutely, city councillors for Town Close
  • Rabbi Binyamin Sheldrake
  • Amal Abdulhalim’d-Douglas, Ishan Mosque and Islamic Centre
  • Iftekhar Alan, trustee of Norwich Central Mosque
  • The Rev Richard James, Holy Trinity Church, Norwich
  • Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council
  • Steve Morphew, leader of the Norfolk County Council Labour group

Written by Andrew Coates

May 15, 2021 at 10:42 am

9 Responses

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  1. Horrible…..but there has been, I understand, a history of anti-Semitism in Norwich since the 12th century, I gather, with the first recorded citing of the ‘blood libel’ and miniature pogroms.

    David Walsh

    May 15, 2021 at 11:44 am

    • William of Norwich (2 February 1132 – c. 22 March 1144) was an English boy whose death was, at the time, attributed to the Jewish community of Norwich. It is the first known medieval accusation against Jews of ritual murder.


      Andrew Coates

      May 15, 2021 at 12:37 pm

  2. After their Election rout, the UK Left have returned to obsessing about Israel/Palestine. Their favorite subject as it beats difficult stuff like appealing to actual voters. Watch for the spike in Anti Semitic hate crimes.


    May 15, 2021 at 4:59 pm

  3. Isn’t it strange that all those statements like that of the councillors and faith group leaders always say that they “condemn in the strongest possible terms”, and never use strong terms? All they have is “cowardly” and “no place for hate”. Would they be less concerned if the attack would have been “courageous”? And what is “no place” supposed to mean? Obviously, there is place for that hate somewhere, because the graffiti has been tagged. Do they want to say that those who did it don’t belong to their community?

    This kind of language is a clear sign that they want to say: “Please keep that conflict away from me, it hurts my identity if I must confess those where of my kind, so I’m better speechless”.


    May 15, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    • Fair points, and I am not admirer of ‘community leaders’ – people have noted that the two other Synagogues in Norwich are not on the list of signers, not to mention that highly controversial nature of the ‘Messianic Jews”.

      I agree with this (a group I am a supporter of),

      Earlier this week we warned that antisemitic attacks were likely to increase. This Messianic Synagogue is not recognised as Jewish by the Jewish world, but make no mistake about it – this attack has clear anti-Jewish motivation, and is particularly horrible, with the use both of a swastika and the most disgusting anti-Jewish insult known in the English language. We cannot overstate how utterly wrong it is to blame Jewish people as a whole, whether in Israel or the diaspora as in this case, for what is done in the name of Israel as a state. There can be no excuse for it. Nor does such flagrant racism help the cause of the Palestinian people one iota. We join with the local Labour MP Clive Lewis in denouncing this in the strongest possible terms.

      Socialists Against Antisemitism.

      Andrew Coates

      May 15, 2021 at 9:02 pm

      • Ok, these “strongest possible terms” actually say something.

        But don’t you think these formulations are also somehow strange, as they imply that the attack has the wrong address? That synagogue seems to be the part of the “Jewish people as a whole”, which is not to blame. But which part is to blame? Who does “what” “in the name of Israel as a state” which deserves “a swastika and the most disgusting anti-Jewish insult known in the English language”?

        I understand that it is not meant that way, and I am sure that those who wrote those lines would answer “no one”. But why did they pick up the “Jewish people as a whole” topic in the first place?

        I take the freedom for a little bit of speculation. The answer to that question seams to me what Freud called the “return of the repressed”. The swastika recalls that Zionism was the reaction to an antisemitic annihilation wish, which became reality, and even if one thinks the rockets of Hamas don’t belong in this category, which I don’t, the use of the swastika here (as some kind of signature) shows that this annihilation wish still exists.

        Those few socialist groups, which actively acknowledge this, of course feel the need to be committed to have “a socialist answer”, and as internationalists, they know that the power of a bourgeois nation state, which means Zionism, is the wrong answer. The problem with this kind of knowledge is: It is true, but that doesn’t help. And in this particular case not only because the socialist left is mostly powerless, but because it has an history of antisemitism of its own. There is no reason why any Jew should trust a left with this history on this matter, so the “socialist answer” is no answer at all. Which is why many Jews with leftist positions either loose them over time out of frustration, or stop acknowledging the existence of antisemitism at all.

        This needs to be suppressed, and it returns unreflected in the strange “nobody deserves this, but for the sake of left unity those who do need to be somewhere” implication. So these formulations to me seem to be guided by the wish that the antizionist left isn’t so utterly wrong as they are.


        May 16, 2021 at 9:07 pm

  4. There was something very depressing about a quote from Rabbi Sheldrake in the JC in which he said that you don’t expect this in “sleepy Norfolk”.

    Good grief, this is 2021! Does he honestly think that there are any parts of the UK where people are cut off from the global news cycle, mass culture, and the media which promote both? People are wholly aware of these things in parts of the world which really *were* cut off within my lifetime in ways that Norfolk wasn’t even then.

    And the shires were the heartlands of antisemitism in the UK for generations until Thatcherism. The idea that antisemitism mainly comes from Islamists and white far-Leftists, mostly concentrated in cities, is a very recent thing and still is not universally the case.


    May 16, 2021 at 7:14 pm

  5. I think it absurd to see a historical and political continuity between eleventh century Norwich and twentieth century Norwich. As for februarycallender….do you know Norwich at all? It has a university which runs lots of development economics courses and like many higher education institutions these days recruits overseas students. There is also a thriving Corbynite/green/alternative population. Do you think the villeins of sleepy villages like Bacton in a for of rage towards the Israelis caught one of the two buses a day into Norwich to inscribe the synagogue door?

    Sue r

    May 17, 2021 at 8:59 am

    • There is a far right in Norfolk as a whole, and UKIP had many councillors, but actual fascists are rare these days.


      Norwich was one of five cities, along with London, Coventry, Cardiff and Leeds, where UK Unity organised a ‘Take Back Control’ demonstration, protesting at the government’s failure to curb mass immigration and to leave the EU entirely.

      But a counter demonstration was organised by a group which wanted to send the message that Norwich is a welcoming city for immigrants.

      The two groups protested just yards away from each other outside City Hall in Norwich for almost three hours on Saturday, November 10.

      UK Unity, holding banners such as ‘Drain The Swamp’ and waving Union Flags, were considerably outnumbered by the Norwich Against Fascists group, who chanted: ‘There are many, many more of us than you’ and held placards saying ‘No To Racism’.


      Andrew Coates

      May 17, 2021 at 12:37 pm

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