Shalom Life | August 28, 2014

Anti-Semitic Incidents Up 500% in the U.K.

“British Jews, like those elsewhere, will continue to suffer local anti-Semitic impacts from overseas events and global ideological trends”

By: Daniel Koren

Published: August 21st, 2014 in News » World

Anti-Semitic Incidents Up 500% in the U.K.

Since the outset of Operation Protective Edge, anti-Semitism has thrived around the globe, but most notably in Europe, where, according to the Anti-Defamation League, the highest numbers of racism and prejudice against Jews, not to mention violence and discrimination, has been reported since the Nazi era.

In the U.K., which boasts a large Jewish population, the community has been divided, with controversial members of parliament like George Galloway - who is currently facing police investigation for violating Britain’s racial vilification laws after he declared his region, Bradford, as an "Israel-free zone" - and celebrities like Russel Brand speaking out against Israel, while on the other end of the spectrum, Jewish community members have been fighting back against such anti-Israel rhetoric.

Whichever side you're on however, anti-Semitism has, unfortunately, catapulted in England.

As reported by the Independent, a British charity, the Community Security Trust (CST) which is a helpline for British Jews who face discrimination and anti-Semitism, has reported that anti-Semitic incidents in the country are up a terrifying 500% since the outset of Operation Protective Edge.

The CST received 240 calls during the month of July alone, whereas the average they received for the rest of 2014 was approximately 50 calls a month.

Communications Director for CST Mark Gardner expects the number of phone calls the organization receives to only get worse.

“The actual data is bad enough but cannot convey the mood of the Jewish community, with many people telling us that they have never felt so bad, have been under such pressure, nor worried so much about what the future may hold,” he said.

“British Jews, like those elsewhere, will continue to suffer local anti-Semitic impacts from overseas events and global ideological trends.”

The CST has been around for twenty years, during which they've only recorded one month where they received more phone calls - 289, in January 2009.

Before the rise of anti-Semitic incidents began in July, the CST had reported a promising 2014, with anti-Semitic incidents down twenty percent compared to 2012.

According to Gardner, regardless of the conflict, anti-Semitism will continue to rear its ugly head.

“Some of those anti-Israel and anti-Zionist passions found their physical outlet against Jewish targets, as they always do,” he said. “It is a basic political phenomenon and anti-Semitism is an old tradition.”

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