A number of premises linked to Israel have been targeted with red paint this week. Whilst these are criminal acts, some might dismiss the antisemitic motivations behind such actions. But make no mistake, antisemitism is at the core. 

Take for example, the targeting of the Wiener Holocaust Library in Camden, north London. A sign outside the world’s oldest Holocaust studies library, was vandalised with red paint overnight on Wednesday with the word “Gaza” daubed on it. This site was targeted because it is Jewish.

Library director Dr Toby Simpson said: “This graffiti was obviously intended to cause damage and distress.

“To use ignorance as a weapon against an institution of learning is stupid and wrong. To lash out against Israel by targeting a Holocaust institution is an action that can only make sense to antisemites and their enablers.”

Hamas started the current war when it carried out the murder of Jewish civilians inside Israel. Over 1,400 Israelis were massacred and over 230 were taken hostage. But let’s be clear about Hamas’s intentions. Their goal is to wipe out Israel because it is an antisemitic terrorist organisation. Israel is taking military action to end Hamas rule over Gaza, because allowing Hamas to achieve its goal would lead to another Holocaust. 

It’s not only Jewish property being targeted. Jews themselves are too. This week the Jewish Chronicle reported that Jewish students are facing intimidation from both students and lecturers amid an increasing hotbed of anitsemitism on British universities.

One student was grabbed by her Star of David necklace and abused while a Jewish chaplain was told, “They’re watching you and the house”.

Claudia Caisley, a Jewish student in her first year at the University of St Andrews, was attacked four days after the 7th October attacks.

The president of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said he had received death threats, adding that Jewish students were frightened to display their identity.

The JC has also identified 15 student societies at universities around the country that have backed calls for an intifada, supported Hamas as “the resistance”, justified the terror attacks or used the “from the river to the sea” slogan, widely understood to be a call for the destruction of Israel.

Staff belonging to the Oxford and UCL branches of the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) put forward motions in the past fortnight that urged an “intifada until victory”, while one University of Leicester professor hailed the terrorist atrocities committed by Hamas as “heroic”.

As Christians, the safety of our Jewish neighbours is of utmost concern at this time. But we should also recognise that the antisemites do not stop targeting Jews. Non-Jewish properties have also been the target by those who have hatred towards Israel.

In a bizarre anti-Israel stunt this week, three McDonalds restaurants in Birmingham, England, were targeted by Palestinian protesters who released dozens of mice into the venues as families dined inside.

Mice, painted in the colours of the Palestinian flag, were let loose inside the McDonalds restaurant in Star City, Birmingham, forcing staff to conduct a thorough clean after dealing with the problem. A similar incident happened at the branch in Small Heath, when masked men entered the establishment and threw a box of white mice at staff at the service counter.

“Since the outbreak of the war, McDonald’s Israel has donated over one hundred thousand meals to the security forces, the residents of the surrounding area and the hospitals, when five of the chain’s restaurants were opened for this purpose only,” McDonald’s Israel said.

“In addition, McDonald’s Israel gives a 50 per cent percent discount to all security and rescue forces that arrive independently at the branches.”