Gaza conflict ignites rapid increase of anti-Semitism across UK

Siraj Datoo --- Buzzfeed

There were almost as many anti-Semitic incidents in July alone than in the previous five months collectively, according to the Community Security Trust (CST), which records anti-Semitic incidents. The statistics are the highest recorded since January 2009.

Individuals can call the CST to report incidents of anti-Semitism, from extreme violence and assault to damage, desecration of Jewish property, and abusive behaviour. The organisation has not been able to fully verify each of the 240 incidents and will not do so until January 2015, when it releases its annual report.

CST spokesperson Jonny Newton told BuzzFeed said the rise tracks this summer’s hostilities in Gaza.

“The rise that we’ve seen in July and in August is a direct result of what’s going on in the Middle East, and we’ve seen it before. For example in January 2009, we recorded 289 incidents, which is the highest since we started recording.

“The general trend is that we see them spike when there’s a trigger, and then you see them subside,” he said.

The figures came as a wave of anti-Semitism has spread across the UK and Europe. Last week, Respect MP George Galloway “declared Bradford an Israel-free zone”, before a powerful letter emerged in The Independent on Thursday that mentioned various incidents of anti-Semitism, including a student being asked to leave his university dining hall for bringing in kosher meat.

On Saturday, a Sainsbury’s store in central London was accused of anti-Semitism after a shop assistant moved kosher produce from the chilled aisle, fearing protesters would enter the store and throw produce on the floor. A Twitter user claimed a shop assistant said the produce was moved because “we support [the] Free Gaza [movement]”, but the store said the decision was made to protect the stock.

Click here to read the full story.