Acts of antisemitism in the United Kingdom continued to rise this week, despite the ceasefire in hostilities between Israel and Hamas that had triggered the outbreak there and beyond.
Over the past 17 days, at least 267 incidents of antisemitism have been reported – an increase of over 500% compared to the previous 17 days, the Community Security Trust security group told The Jewish News of London. CST said 151 of the incidents have come after May 20, when the ceasefire was announced.
For British Jews, the spike has been terrifying. Some are feeling unsafe and wondering if they will stay in the United Kingdom. And it is dashing the idea that Jews in the U.K. could avoid the level of antisemitic violence observed elsewhere in Europe.
“It’s the mobilization, the impunity, the scale, the sheer misogyny and the violence that’s so shocking this time around,” said Linzi Pinto, a Jewish mother of two from northern London. “It’s the worst it’s been. It’s terrifying and we’re definitely questioning our future here. We’re fortunate to be able to leave.”
A brief snippet of incidents:
- Offensive words and a swastika were painted on the door at the Adat Yeshua Synagogue in Norwich, the BBC reported.
- Note: The Adat Yeshua Synagogue is a Messianic synagogue — technically notJewish, but rather a sect of Christianity, but obviously those graffiting the door did not understand this.
- In Londonderry, a city in Northern Ireland, graffiti was spray-painted May 15 on the entrance of a Jewish-owned business, the Belfast Telegraph reported Monday.
- A convoy of at least 10 cars flying Palestinian flags and blasting music in Arabic drove 200 miles from the northern city of Bradford to the heart of Jewish London, the Golders Green neighborhood. One convoy rider shouted antisemitic insults and incitements to violence there, including “f*ck the Jews, rape their daughters.” Police have arrested four people in connection with the incident.
- A rabbi was beaten outside his synagogue in Chigwell, north of London, by two young men who hurled antisemitic slurs during the attack. The rabbi, Rafi Goodwin, sustained moderate injuries that required hospitalization. Police arrested the alleged assailants, who also are accused of stealing Goodwin’s phone.
- On Friday, after the ceasefire, a man broke into the car of an Orthodox Jewish man in a heavily Jewish part of London and assaulted him. The suspect was detained by passersby until police took him into custody, the Jewish News of London reported.
- A video of a mob walking through the streets of central London emerged, with men yelling “We’ll find some Jews. We want the Zionists. We want their blood,,” The Jewish News of London reported.
- In Borehamwood, a town north of London, the mezuzahs of two Jewish families were vandalized and destroyed on Monday, The Jewish News reported.
“Antisemitism in the UK sadly always spikes when there is conflict in the Middle East but this feels worse than ever,” wrote Luciana Berger, a former prominent Jewish Labour lawmaker who now works in public relations.