An analysis by a Jewish security charity has found that there has been a 500 per cent increase in the number of antisemitic attacks across Britain since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The Community Security Trust (CST) revealed that between the 8th and 18th of May, when the tensions between the State of Israel and the Hamas terror group escalated, it had recorded 116 antisemitic incidents, compared to 19 in the previous 11 days.
“This is a fivefold increase in antisemitic incidents, and it is almost certainly an undercount, because some antisemitic incidents will be reported late to CST, or have not yet been processed and verified; and of course many antisemitic incidents will never be reported at all,” CST said of its analysis on Wednesday.
There have been several high-profile antisemitic attacks across the United Kingdom in recent weeks, including the pro-Palestinian convoy that drove through Jewish neighbourhoods in London on Sunday with protesters shouting anti-Jewish and sexually violent remarks including “F*** the Jews” and “rape their daughters”.
On Tuesday it was revealed that London police had arrested and bailed four men in connection with the incident; the suspects are also being investigated by Manchester police in relation to another antisemitic incident that took place in the early hours of Sunday.
A rabbi in Essex was also hospitalised this week following what was reported as a “religiously aggravated assault” by suspects of “Asian” appearance.
The CST also outlined other incidents that occurred in the timeframe it examined, including “Free Palestine” graffiti being painted near a synagogue in London. Another suspect stopped and harrassed Jewish school pupils in the capital, threatening to punch them if they did not say they supported the Palestinians, and telling the children: “Tell your f*cking mum and dad they are murderers and killing babies.”
“On top of these reported incidents is the sheer deluge of hate on social media, the intimidation of Jewish schoolchildren and students who are singled out and pressured to declare their position on the conflict or justify Israel’s existence, and the broader atmosphere generated by large, angry anti-Israel protests that treat Israel as a unique evil in the world,” CST said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who verbally intervened on the weekend over the rising reports of anti-Jewish hate, said during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions that antisemitism should not be allowed to “grow and fester”.
Mr Johnson said in response to remarks from Opposition leader Keir Starmer: “I share his horror at the outbreak of antisemitic incidents and the Government has conveyed that message loud and clear to those who are responsible for enforcing the law against hate crime of that kind.
“But obviously we will continue to work and to support the Jewish community in any way that we can – particularly working with the Community Safety Trust (CST) who do an absolutely outstanding job in my view.
“But also showing as a country, as a society, that we will call this out at every stage. We will not let it take root, we will not allow it to grow and fester.”
The CST, which had assisted London’s Metropolitan Police Service in identifying the four suspects in Sunday’s incident, had told Jewish News on the weekend that it had seen the increase in “‘pro-Palestinian’ antisemitic attacks” following three anti-Israel protests in the span of just one week, “each featuring swastikas and Jihadi anti-Jewish chants, all unchallenged as usual by the supposed ‘anti-racist’ left”.
This week the deputy editor of The Jewish Chronicle, Jake Wallis Simons, shared footage of a pro-Palestinian activist calling for “jihad” and for “Muslim armies” to wage war on the Jewish state.
The activist said: “We have armies, we have tanks, we have soldiers. What are they waiting for? This goes out to the Muslim armies: what are you waiting for? Jihad is a responsibility on you.”
“Wipe out that Zionist entity, how dare they occupy,” he added.