Politicians coordinate Jewish protection initiative

By Laura Miller

Lib Dem shadow home secretary Chris Huhne has written to home secretary Jacqui Smith urging police vigilance in areas with large Jewish populations after a report by the Community Security Trust (CST) revealed a sudden surge in hate crimes against British Jews.

CST is an organisation that provides physical security, training and advice for the protection of the Jewish community in Britain. It recorded 24 incidents since December 29, 19 of which occurred in London.

“I am deeply concerned by the evidence in the report that the Israeli invasion of Gaza is being used as a pretext for threats against the Jewish community in Britain,” Mr Huhne said.

“It has already had to invest substantially in extra security even for public institutions such as state-maintained Jewish faith schools, on the advice of local police forces.”

Mark Frazer of the Board of Deputies of British Jews said they were closely monitoring the “worrying” rise in anti-Semitic attacks since the start of the conflict in Gaza.

He added, “Our community in the UK will simply not be intimidated by those who have already wrought so much destruction in the Middle East.”

More than 640 Palestinian civilians have been killed since the assault on Gaza began 12 days ago. Six Israeli military personnel have also been killed.

International aid agencies are calling for an immediate end to the conflict to avoid further humanitarian crisis.