Israel Gaza: Antisemitic incidents ‘quadruple in UK’ since Hamas attack

Orthodox Jewish men pass police officers as they patrol around Stamford Hill, an area of London with a large Jewish community, on October 10, 2023 in London, England.Image source, Getty Images

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The Met Police said it would provide a visible presence in some Jewish communities in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel

By Emily McGarvey

BBC News

Antisemitic incidents in the UK have more than quadrupled since Hamas’s attack on Israel, says a charity which helps Jewish people in the UK.

The Community Security Trust (CST) recorded 89 “anti-Jewish hate” incidents from 7 to 10 October.

That marked a more than four-fold rise on the 21 antisemitic incidents recorded in the same period last year.

Security minister Tom Tugendhat said he was “very concerned” at reports of an increase in antisemitism.

The CST says six of the 89 incidents recorded were assaults, three referred to damage to Jewish property and 66 were related to abusive behaviour, 22 of which happened online.

In examples of incidents given by the group:

  • A Jewish person walking to a synagogue in London on Sunday morning was called a “dirty Jew” by a stranger, who said “no wonder you’re all getting raped”
  • Also in London, a car slowed down outside a synagogue before the occupants of the vehicle shouted “Kill Jews” and “Death to Israel” while waving a Palestinian flag

The CST said: “Make no mistake: these are anti-Jewish racist incidents and hate crimes in which Jewish people, property and institutions are singled out for hate, including death threats and abuse.

“In many cases, the perpetrators of these disgraceful incidents are using the symbols and language of pro-Palestinian politics as rhetorical weapons with which to threaten and abuse Jewish people.”

Mr Tugendhat said he took the rise in antisemitism in the UK “extremely seriously” and urged a crackdown on the spread of hate.

He compared the ideology of Hamas to that of the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s.

“What the Nazis were doing is exactly what Hamas is doing today,” he told Sky News. “It is preaching a blood libel, preaching a hatred for Jews and preaching a hatred that extends around the world.”

Earlier this week, Home Secretary Suella Braverman wrote to police chiefs to step up patrols to prevent antisemitic disorder after the attacks on Israel.

Some pupils have been told blazers are optional in public places so they cannot be easily identified as Jewish.

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