Reports of antisemitism in London have hit a record high in May, according to a Jewish charity which said that almost all were related to the conflict between Israel and Palestinian terror group Hamas.
The Community Security Trust (CST) said there were 201 antisemitic incidents reported in London, where two-thirds of the UK’s 300,000 Jewish people are said to live, and that there had been a five-fold increase in incidents since the beginning of the Middle East conflict.
In the capital, there were more than 160 incidents of abusive behaviour, 12 assaults, 20 threats, and seven cases of desecration or damage, marking the highest monthly numbers since the security charity started recording the incidents in the 1980s, according to the BBC.
Last month, two Orthodox Jewish men were punched in a racially-motivated attack after leaving a kosher restaurant in Marylebone, in the West End of London. Two men in their twenties believed to be ‘South Asian’ had followed Alex Menashe and Joseph Cohen before screaming antisemitic abuse and unleashing a volley of punches. The suspects fled the scene after a member of the Muslim community confronted the attackers and offered the victims help.
Mr Cohen said, according to the BBC, that the experience was “terrifying” and that in all the years he had walked around London dressed as an Orthodox Jew, he had never encountered any problems.
“Something feels different at the moment, there’s a wave of anti-Semitism. And it’s not just me. Most Jews that I know feel unsafe in a country we’ve lived in all our lives.
“It’s harrowing,” Mr Cohen said.
The “Free Palestine” protest against Israel in London descended into violence on Saturday, with activists attacking police officers with wooden sticks. https://t.co/DctS2BVGv6
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 16, 2021
In May, police arrested and bailed four men in connection with an antisemitic incident during an anti-Israel protest in the capital, which saw men shout from cars draped in Palestinian flags sexually violent and antisemitic remarks while driving through a Jewish neighbourhood.
In footage that went viral on social media and which attracted the condemnation of British politicians, one man was heard shouting: “F*** the Jews”, “F*** their mothers”, “F*** their daughters”, and “Rape their daughters”.
Earlier this month, the CST released a report revealing that three weeks of May had been a record month for the whole of the UK, with 351 antisemitic incidents reported between May 8th and the 31st.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said that the spike in anti-Jewish hate was likely a result of a rise in radical Islamism, saying the authorities must be “alive” to the threat posed by Islamist antisemitism.
Pics: ‘Zionist Israel = Nazi Germany’ — Pro-Palestinian Activists March in London https://t.co/Odng76oIGF
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 16, 2021