Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry is to condemn antisemitism in Channel 4‘s forthcoming alternative Christmas message.

The actor and comedian will point to an increase in incidents in the UK following the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, as reported by the Metropolitan Police in his message which air will after King Charles’ message on Christmas Day (December 25).

“Since October the seventh there have been 50 separate reported incidents of antisemitism every single day in London alone, an increase of 1350 per cent according to the Metropolitan Police,” he will say, according to Channel 4.

“Shop windows smashed, Stars of David and swastikas daubed on walls of Jewish properties, synagogues, and cemeteries. Jewish schools have been forced to close. There is real fear stalking the Jewish neighbourhoods of Britain. Jewish people here are becoming fearful of showing themselves. In Britain, in 2023. Can you imagine, Jews afraid to be themselves in the open for fear of reprisal?”

He will also draw attention to the fact he is Jewish, and how he found himself “on lists of British Jews that some ultra-right wing newspapers and sites have published over the years.”

Fry continues: “I’m frankly damned if I’ll let antisemites be the ones who define me, and take ownership of the word Jew, injecting it with their own spiteful venom. So I accept and claim the identity with pride, I am Stephen Fry, and I am a Jew.”

He goes on to say “Jews should stand upright and proud in who they are” before adding: “Standing upright means speaking up and calling out venomous slurs and hateful abuse wherever you encounter them.

“Knowing and loving this country as I do, I don’t believe that most Britons are ok living in a society that judges hatreds of Jews to be the one acceptable form of racism. So speak up, stand with us, be proud to be Jewish or Jew-ish – or, if not Jewish at all, proud to have us as much a part of this great nation as any other minority, as any of you.”

Channel 4’s chief content officer, Ian Katz, has supported Fry’s forthcoming comments.

He said: “It’s inevitable that the horrific events in Israel and Gaza have caused strong feelings across the world but the sharp rise in antisemitic incidents in this country has been profoundly shocking and left many British Jews feeling fearful and isolated.

Stephen Fry attends the National Portrait Gallery's reopening in front of "The Doors" (2023), a new commission by Tracey Emin CBE RA, on June 20, 2023 in London, England.
Stephen Fry attends the National Portrait Gallery’s reopening in front of “The Doors” (2023), a new commission by Tracey Emin CBE RA, on June 20, 2023 in London CREDIT: Dave Benett/Getty Images

“I hope Stephen’s brave and personal intervention will draw attention to a form of racism that does not always attract the same concern and condemnation as other forms of hate and remind us that we all have a role to play in defending British values of respect and tolerance.”

Around 1,200 people were killed and roughly 240 others were taken hostage, in the October 7 attack.

As of December 10, around 18,000 Palestinians had been killed and 49,500 injured in Israeli’s retaliatory attacks, according to a Gaza health ministry spokesman (via Reuters).

Fighting resumed between Israel and Hamas earlier this month after a seven-day ceasefire. Numerous figures from the entertainment world have called for an immediate ceasefire throughout the conflict.

Dua LipaMichael Stipe and Cate Blanchett and more signed an open letter in October calling on Joe Biden for a ceasefire.

The post Stephen Fry to condemn antisemitism in Channel 4’s alternative Christmas message appeared first on NME.


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