London anti-Semitism soared during Gaza crisis, say police

There were 87 incidents against Jewish people, 65 more than the previous highest monthly figure

Police recorded about four times as many anti-Semitic incidents in London during the Gaza crisis in May than in any other month in the past three years, the Met said on Thursday.

They registered 87 anti-Semitic incidents, 65 more than the previous highest since police started reporting the data in May 2018, the Metropolitan Police said.

The hostilities between Israel and Hamas claimed 253 Palestinian lives in 11 days from May 10, according to Gaza's Health Ministry, while Gaza rocket fire killed 12 Israelis.

Disturbances also broke out in the Palestinian territories and between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel during the conflict, which sparked protests across the world.

The crisis had repercussions for Jews in London, where the word "Hitler" was written on the ceiling in a block of flats and rocks were hurled at a Jewish home.

One resident in north London's Stamford Hill neighbourhood, which has a significant Hasidic Jewish community, said the tyres of more than 30 cars belonging to Jewish people were slashed.

The Community Security Trust, a charity that protects British Jews from anti-Semitism, said 116 incidents across Britain had been reported in the 11 days from May 8.

In May, police arrested four people after footage emerged showing them shouting anti-Semitic abuse from a car.

Two men were charged after a rabbi was struck on the head with a concrete brick near his synagogue.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the time condemned the "intolerable" spate of anti-Semitic incidents in a meeting with the UK's chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has increased police patrols in Jewish neighbourhoods.

The trust recorded 1,668 anti-Semitic incidents in the UK in 2020, for its third-highest annual figure, and 1,813 in 2019.

Anti-Semitism accusations have dogged Britain's main opposition Labour party for years, particularly during the tenure of hard-left former leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Current leader Sir Keir Starmer suspended Mr Corbyn from the party last October after hiss refusal to fully accept a report by Britain's human rights watchdog that criticised Labour's anti-Semitism problems.

And an independent investigation in May concluded that the ruling Conservative party had issues with Islamophobia among people and within local associations.

Updated: July 29th 2021, 12:47 AM
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