Yom Shishi, 14 AdarI 5781
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Liberal Judaism Chairman comments on counter-terrorism strategy

The JC
20th June 2014

Some family rows are worth having. After a stormy fortnight in Westminister, we should reflect that Michael Gove and Theresa May may in fact have done the British public a favour by surfacing a genuine tension in our approach to combating radicalisation and preventing terrorism.

The Jewish community in the UK can only benefit from a wake-up call and renewed debate on counter-terrorism strategy. Government, at the centre and locally, can only do so much. Citizens and communities need to be continuously vigilant. As the government's own Prevent Strategy states: "Osama bin Laden may be dead, but the threat of Al Qa'eda inspired terrorism is not."

In my 10 years as a senior civil servant serving under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and working directly to four Cabinet ministers, one issue dominated government concerns: the UK's resilience following 9/11 and the London 7/7 bomb attacks. As a member then of the National Criminal Justice Board, and chairing a cross-Whitehall communications directors group, my aim was to communicate the risk tothe public, so that citizens themselves, and by extension communities, took responsibility. Our message was be "alert" - not "alarmed".  Read more