The UK has seen an increase of anti-Semitism by 250% in the last week, according to a report by the Community Security Trust (CST) which oversees the safety of the Jewish community in Britain and monitors anti-Semitic incidents in the UK.
The latest anti-Semitic incidents have largely been triggered by the Israel-Palestinian conflict that is raging in Israel after Hamas-led riots on the Temple Mount and after Hamas terrorists launched rockets at Israeli civilians on Monday, prompting Israel to launch defensive strikes in an attempt to halt Hamas’ plans.
Sadly, many parts of the media have spread the Hamas narrative, painting Israel as the aggressors and Hamas terrorists as the victims. Ultimately, civilians are the ones caught in the middle and suffer the most, but it must be stressed that Israel is doing all it can to decrease civilian casualties on both sides while Hamas is trying to increase casualties on all sides.
The anti-Israel narrative in the media, along with anti-Semitic propaganda being spread by many in the anti-Israel sphere has led to outpourings of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people online and in countries around the world, including our own country.
CST reports recent incidents include a verbal altercation outside a synagogue directly referring to events in Israel, cars driving through Jewish areas of London and Manchester with occupants shouting abuse related to the situation at Jewish people on the street, and a swatch of antisemitic content on social media.
A spokesperson for CST said: “This increase in antisemitism in response to events in Israel is depressingly familiar and completely inexcusable. British Jews have the right to go about our lives free from abuse or threats. We strongly urge anyone who experiences or witnesses any antisemitism to report it to CST and the Police.”
In addition to this, a synagogue in Norwich was targeted overnight Thursday with vandals daubing racial slurs on the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue.
Adat Yeshua’s rabbi, Binyamin Sheldrake, told Jewish News he thought the worsening situation in the Middle East had emboldened antisemites to “jump on the bandwagon”.
“It’s horrible, it’s just people feeling they have permission to be antisemitic at the moment,” he said. “They get encouraged to step out and do stuff like this.
“We’re not in Golders Green, it’s not the kind of place where you would expect this kind of reaction.”
We have also seen an increase of anti-Semitism here at CUFI UK. Our Facebook page has been targeted by anti-Semitic trolls, including those wishing death upon the Jewish people. If you see this kind of hatred online, please remember to report it.
And in the event that you witness anti-Semitism on the streets or if you are concerned about the current situation, CST released the following statement:
CST has recorded a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents in the UK, linked to the conflict in Israel and Gaza. This includes verbal abuse, threats, and a very large amount of hatred in social media and online. We have also seen numerous anti-Israel demonstrations featuring large crowds of angry protestors, a minority of whom have used antisemitic chants or placards. This may heighten local tensions and potentially cause more antisemitism.
CST expects the levels of antisemitism to continue, or indeed worsen, until the conflict in Israel and Gaza subsides. CST’s operations have increased because of the situation and we have asked all communal locations to fully enact their security procedures. We ask that you please cooperate with all security personnel.
CST is in close contact with police and government, to help ensure the best possible protection for all our Jewish communities.
CST thanks you for your continued cooperation and support. We work in partnership with you so that our communal life is not defined by antisemitism, doing our best to ensure that British Jews can lead their lives as they choose.
Finally, we urge our community to be calm but vigilant. If you witness anything suspicious, please report this to the police on 999 immediately and then CST.
If you experience antisemitism, please report to the police on 999 (urgent ) / 101 (non-urgent) and then CST.
CST’s 24-hour National Emergency Number is 0800 032 3263, please put this number in your contacts so it is available if you need it.