UK reveals £3m boost to protect Jewish community

Additional funding, bringing annual total to £18m, will help pay for extra guards at synagogues and schools

The additional funding will benefit the Jewish population in areas such as Stamford Hill, London. Getty Images
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An extra £3 million ($3.6 million) funding has been announced by the government to protect Britain's synagogues, schools and other Jewish community buildings as part of its domestic response to Israel-Gaza conflict

The money will be given to the Community Security Trust (CST) after the group, which acts on behalf of British Jews on matters of policing and racism, said it had recorded a 400 per cent spike in anti-Semitic incidents in the UK since the weekend's assault by Hamas.

The UK government has raised concerns that the country's Jewish population are at risk of fallout from the crisis and has warned that supporting Hamas could be construed by law as inciting hatred.

“This is now the third deadliest terror attack in the world since 1970,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said. “The UK must and will continue to stand in solidarity with Israel.

“At moments like this, when the Jewish people are under attack in their homeland, Jewish people everywhere can feel less safe.

“That is why we must do everything in our power to protect Jewish people everywhere in our country. If anything is standing in the way of keeping the Jewish community safe, we will fix it.

“You have our complete backing.”

Officials at No 10 Downing Street said the additional money will enable the CST to place extra guards at schools and allow for additional security staff outside synagogues at weekends.

It brings the total funding for Jewish community protection security for 2023-24 to £18 million.

The CST said it had recorded 139 anti-Semitic incidents in the past four days – including assaults – a 400 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Israel and Palestine solidarity protesters hit London streets

Israel and Palestine solidarity protesters hit London streets

Mr Sunak convened representatives from police and the Jewish community with ministers at Downing Street on Thursday for discussions on controlling protests.

The round-table, chaired by Home Secretary Suella Braverman, comes ahead of expected protests and marches taking place across the UK this weekend.

No 10 said specific guidance will be provided to police on the beat on where and when to intervene.

Ms Braverman wrote to police chiefs this week saying waving a Palestinian flag and chanting pro-Arab songs could amount to a public order offence if it was deemed to be in support of terrorism.

King Charles III held a private audience with the Chief Rabbi at Buckingham Palace to express his concern for the Jewish community in the UK, the palace said.

After the meeting, Ephraim Mirvis, who also met Labour Party leader Keir Starmer on Thursday, said the king's words offered strength to the Jewish community “at this dark time”.

Updated: October 12, 2023, 5:50 PM