‘Creeping antisemitism’: EU ‘tried to block’ Jewish access to kosher food

“Where I saw anything against the Jewish community, it was coming from the EU,” said former Northern Ireland secretary of state Brandon Lewis. 

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

The European Union tried to block Jewish access to kosher food in Northern Ireland, the country’s former secretary said in response to allegations made by British Conservative leadership contender Liz Truss about the “woke” civil service.

Truss last week said “wokeism” in the civil service has led to “creeping antisemitism.”

Sky News‘ Niall Paterson queried former Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis about the claims of “widespread” antisemitism in the civil service, asking, “Where is it?”

Lewis, now the Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth, answered: “Where I saw anything against the Jewish community, it was coming from the EU who were trying to block the Jewish community of Northern Ireland from getting access to kosher products.”

Truss “outlined that she came against challenges in the Foreign Office about having to deal with some of these issues. She broke through that,” he went on.

“Where I saw anything against the Jewish community it was coming from the EU who were trying to block the Jewish community of Northern Ireland from getting access to kosher products. That’s what dealing with the Northern Ireland protocol was all about,” he added.

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Truss’ allegations prompted outrage from civil service union leaders and Labour MPs, who attacked her comments.

Last year, the Jewish community in Belfast, Northern Ireland’s only surviving Jewish community, suffered meat shortages, which were attributed to post-Brexit paperwork, the UK Jewish Chronicle reported at the time.

Patterson on Monday pressed Lewis, saying that every civil servant he had spoken to had refuted Truss’s claims of antisemitism.

Lewis said: “I don’t think that’s the point she was making at all. The Liz Truss I’ve worked with, whether it’s on Northern Ireland issues or defending and protecting the Jewish community has been absolutely at the forefront of what is right.”