February 5, 2010

Anti-Semitism on the rise in the UK

by Sara Levy

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK reached record levels last year in the wake of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The Community Security Trust (CST), which works with Britain’s 300,000 Jews on safety issues, said it had been notified of 924 anti-Semitic incidents in 2009.

This is the highest figure since records began in 1984, and represents an increase of 55% on the previous highest figure recorded in 2006.

CST said the rise in attacks was linked to Israel’s offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip in December 2008, with nearly a quarter of the incidents including some reference to the conflict.

Of the incidents, 124 were rated violent, also a record high.

“These record figures show that anti-Semitism is an increasingly significant problem for British Jews,” said Mark Gardner, CST spokesperson.

“The trend must be reversed and we call upon decent people to speak out against anti-Semitism in all its forms.”

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the rise in incidents against Jews is “deeply troubling”.

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