Anti-Semitism leapt in Britain after hostilities began between Israel and Hamas
Anti-Semitism leapt in Britain after hostilities began between Israel and HamasCommunity Security Trust

As celebrations get under way for Jewish New Year (known as Rosh Hashanah) a huge operation is also beginning to protect Britain's Jews from a rising tide of anti-Semitic violence.

A 1,000-strong Jewish defence force is embarking upon three days of action across the country to tackle the mounting threat of physical and verbal abuse. They will again be out on force in early October for the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) High Holidays.

Rosh Hashanah is traditionally a time of joy for hundreds of thousands of Jewish Britons, but this year's event is taking place in the shadow of violence and intimidation.

Anti-Semitic attacks have jumped by 400% compared with last year, with hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza being cited as the main cause.

The tide of enmity has washed in to Britain with disturbing force. Police are investigating after a woman in Golders Green – the heart of London's Jewish community – was verbally abused on a bus.

Meanwhile, thousands of people marched on the Royal courts of Justice last month to highlight a wave of attacks on Jewish people. According to a survey by the Jewish Chronicle nearly two thirds of British Jewish people have questioned whether there is a place for them in modern Britain.

Adopting the role of the sharp point of the spear in the fight back against anti-Jewish hatred is the Community Security Trust (CST) – a volunteer force which upholds safety in the population and compiles evidence of attacks.

Spokesman Mark Gardner said Jewish New Year was when the 300,000-strong community was most visible and therefore, most vulnerable.

He told IBTimes UK: "It's depressing and we do not treat it as normal or understandable, but it's reality we live in.

"The national threat level right now is severe which means an attack is likely. We've seen many times before that Jews are among the primary targets of jihadi attacks by people returning from Syria or Iraq. It confirms for us why we are doing this work and why the police are giving more assistance than usual."

Five hundred police officers are working with the Jewish community and across the faith divide to tackle crime targeting minorities.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We work closely with the Community Security Trust to monitor all activity. We are working locally with the community."