Chanukah Greetings

Chanukah2Chanukah Greetings 2015

May I firstly wish you and your family a happy Chanukah?

Every year, the celebrations seem to get bigger and better and it was great to be invited again to this year’s Chanukah on the Square for the lighting of the menorah in Trafalgar Square.

I would also like to take this opportunity to bring you up to date with some of my actions at City Hall, on behalf or of interest of the community.

1 Paris

Of course, it would be wrong not to start with the tragic terrorist mass murders in Paris and indeed the previous ones earlier in the year, with the murders at Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish Supermarket. It is appalling that we see such incidents on the streets of our neighbours.

I raised the issue with the Mayor at Question Time, after both atrocities seeking and obtaining assurances as to the protection of our communities, places of worship and other communal buildings, including synagogues as well as mosques. You can see a film of the exchange here

I followed this up with questions in more detail to senior Met. officers, in my role as a member of the police committee.

2 The far right and the Golders Green anti-semitic ‘non-event’

As I hope you are aware, I took a leading role in getting this proposed provocative anti- Semitic event banned from Golders Green and relocated, where it became a complete flop; successfully campaigned for the arrest of an alleged key promoter of it.; and obtained permission for the area to be dressed in ‘green and gold’ as a sign of community solidarity.

3 Radicalisation in universities

This is an issue I have raised on a number of occasions with the Mayor, most recently this September over Westminster University’s ‘topping’ the league table for extremist lectures.

4 Coroner’s service

I was disgusted to learn of the attitude of the coroner in inner North London (including Camden) in refusing to recognize the religious requirement of Jewish and Moslem bereaved families. I raised this with the Mayor, and also in published correspondence.

5 London‘s Jewish heritage

I am a great supporter of the community’s heritage. I backed up the calls for support for the Jewish London Film Festival, writing to the Conservative Leader of Barnet Council, seeking a waiver of the fees they wanted to charge the Phoenix Cinema. (They refused)

I also raised with the deputy Mayor, the need to promote Jewish heritage to visitors to London: I think they could be doing more.

6 Doing business with Israel

I was pleased to see the Mayor finally honoured his promise to me of 3 years ago to take a trade mission to Israel and that it has resulted in some excellent new and improved comemrcial links. I had also previously raised the need for high tech investment too.

7 Anti Semitism and holocaust debate

We recently debated this in plenary at City Hall: you may be interested in my speech.

8 Shomrim

Shomrim were coming in for some misguided criticism earlier in the year, which I also raised with the Mayor.


I am pleased to see that AJEX is still very active, despite the advancing years of many of its members. I welcomed them again, as President of the Edgware British Legion, to our Remembrance Sunday Service and attended theirs at Edgware Shul.

10 Extremism

I have raised with the Mayor many instances of extremism on our streets, most recently the appalling Hezbollah event. I also had my letter to the Standard published about Government cuts to the anti-extremism programme. Although the Government increase in spending for the secret services and Special Forces is welcome, as is the removal of half of the threat to the Metropolitan Police’s funding, that is by no means the end of the story. With £600 million cut so far, the Met still faces a shortfall of £400milion: together, a third of its budget. This has meant the end of ward based Safer Neighbourhood Teams. I believe ward based policing is vital to our security in gathering intelligence about what is going on , and with the PCSOs still under threat, this is something I will continue to pursue.


I hope you have found this update from City Hall of interest: please feel free to pass it on; and if you have any questions or comments, I would be pleased to receive them.

Once again, Happy Chanukah

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Dismore

Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden