Anti-Semitic incidents up in Britain

Members of the Board of Deputies of British Jews hold up signs reading 'I am Charlie', 'I am Jewish' and 'I am Ahmed', referring to Ahmed Merabet, the Muslim policeman shot trying to defend the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, during an event in London, January
Members of the Board of Deputies of British Jews hold up signs reading 'I am Charlie', 'I am Jewish' and 'I am Ahmed', referring to Ahmed Merabet, the Muslim policeman shot trying to defend the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, during an event in London, January

LONDON, Feb 5 — A record number of anti-Semitic hate incidents were reported in Britain last year, fuelled by the conflict in Israel and Gaza, a charity that monitors such crime reported today.

The Community Security Trust (CST), which records anti-Semitism and provides security for Britain’s Jewish community, said that 1,168 anti-Semitic incidents were reported over 2014.

It was more than double the 535 incidents seen in 2013, and the highest annual total seen since CST began records in 1984.

London police said a similar increase was recorded in their crime records, and that patrols had been increased in key areas.

British Home Secretary Theresa May called the report “deeply concerning” and said “Britain without its Jews would not be Britain.”

The July and August conflict in Israel and Gaza caused a spike in incidents that were the biggest factor in the record high, the CST said.

The most common type of incident was verbal abuse directed at Jewish people in public.

Other incidents included damage and desecration of Jewish property, anti-Semitic graffiti, threats and anti-Semitic abuse by mass-mailed letters or emails.

In one case in London, a victim was struck with a glass and a baseball bat and called a “Jewish ****”.

“Last year’s large increase in recorded incidents shows just how easily anti-Semitic attitudes can erupt into race hate abuse, threats and attacks,” said CST chief executive David Delew.

“Thankfully most of the incidents were not violent but they were still shocking and upsetting for those who suffered them, and for the wider Jewish community.”

Concern has increased since a hostage crisis in a Jewish supermarket during terror attacks in Paris last month, according to police. — AFP