Sharp rise in UK anti-Semitic incidents

By Liz Stephens

Anti-Semitic incidents reported in the UK more than doubled in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2008, according to a new report out today.

The report by the Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors anti-Semitism, details a rise in anti-semitism countrywide.

Most incidents involved verbal abuse and threats, but there were also 77 acts of violence.

This included two life-threatening assaults, one of which involved an attempt to run somebody over with a car.

The CST also discounted over 200 reports where it could not work out if the incident was anti-Semitic or anti-Israel.

Mark Gardner, of the CST, said: “British Jews are facing ever higher levels of racist attack and intimidation that threaten the wellbeing of our otherwise happy and successful Jewish community.”

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: “Britain is setting a shameful new record in anti-Semitic incidents this year, which are running at double the annual rate of the previous record.

“It is completely abhorrent that anyone should be intimidated on the grounds of their race, colour, gender, sexuality or creed.

“We must stand firm against intolerance shown to any minority if we are to preserve a civilised society.

“It is absurd that home-grown bigots should hold British Jews responsible for the actions of a foreign government. We cannot have overseas conflicts echoed on Britain’s streets.”

The rise in violent attacks on the Muslim community was also highlighted two weeks ago by the Metropolitan police.

The news comes after far-right party, the BNP, won two seats in the European parliamentary elections in June.