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Rise in anti-Semitism

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-09-03



Prime Minister Tony Blair will be asked to do more to combat the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Britain.

A 10-month report by an all-party parliamentary group will present to Mr Blair on Thursday details of the current fear many Jews are living in and suggestions on what is needed to deal with those who are responsible for verbal and physical attacks on Jews.

Following recent conflict in Lebanon, there has been a major increase on attacks. According to the Community Security Trust, July saw 92 recorded incidents compared to between 10 and 30 a month in 2000. Anti-Semites are said to be using Israel as a focus for attacks on Jews in Britain.

Recent attacks have included daubings on Jewish public buildings as well as private homes of individuals. There have also been numerous physical and verbal attacks on Jews in the street.

John Mann MP, from the all party parliamentary group said it is time to challenge those who are anti-Semitic and apply the law to those who promote anti-Semitism. "Anti-Semitism is the forgotten racism, it has become all too acceptable. People in authority should challenge all forms of anti-Semitism as being unacceptable."

The report which has been researched for nearly a year will urge more help and support is needed from the police as well as the Government. The Jewish community currently spends millions of pounds to finance security for its buildings and the report will highlight the need for the Government to be seen to do more to help them.

“We need to clamp down on those who are responsible for these incidents,” added Mr Mann. “If people are making verbal comments, these people should be challenged and stopped. it should not be left to the Jewish community to fight anti-Semitism, it should be all of us."

Recalling his attack, Moshe Rubinstein from Manchester said he couldn't believe it when it happened to him. "It has made me scared as a young Jewish man. A group of youths started name calling me as I was going to a friend on Friday night. They started pushing me around and I managed to get out and then noticed they had knives."

One reason for the attack on Mr Rubinstein could have been seen as Jewish by wearing his head covering, according to some Jews, they are now wearing baseball caps to cover their traditional skullcaps when out in public.

"I very rarely wear just a yarmulke on its own when I am outside of a Jewish area," one man told SomethingJewish. "I've known several friends who have been taunted and abused and it's just not safe these days to be seen as being Jewish."