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The UK Jewish community has been facing a high number of anti-Semitic incidents since the Hamas attack on Israel which has sparked severe measures like hiding the identity of Jewish children and preventing them from going to school. DAVID GRAY/AFP

Days after the Hamas attack on Israel, Britain is gripped by anti-Semitic incidents along with Europe.

According to a Jewish charitable organisation, anti-Semitic incidents across the UK have been on the rise since the Hamas attack on Israel. The number of such incidents reported has touched 89 which has prompted many Jewish schools in England to issue special directives to students.

In just four days Jewish hate crimes have tripled in the UK, as London saw 50 hate crimes against the Jewish community, revealed the Community Security Trust (CST).

This comes at a time when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke of protecting the Jewish community in the UK on Sunday after his call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Jewish charitable organisation CST further explained why this statistic was crucial as it represents a 324 per cent increase in anti-Semitic attacks compared to the same period in 2022. The hate crimes against the Jewish community have increased to 89 from 21 in 2022.

CST said that there isn't any doubt that these incidents are anti-Jewish activities as buildings and institutions belonging to the community are specifically targeted.

The charitable organisation explained how it is linked to the present Israel-Palestine, comparing previous data on such anti-Semitic incidents. In May 2021, during the first four days of the Israel-Palestine conflict, 70 hate crimes were recorded. In July 2014, the figure was 29.

Apart from hate crimes, 65 other criminal activities like suspicious behaviours around Jewish places were reported in these four days between October 7 and October 10.

Of the 89 anti-Semitic incidents recorded six were assaults, 14 were direct threats and three were damage to Jewish properties. The rest 66 incidents are of verbal abuse and other such abusive behaviour including online abuse and hate mail.

The UK Security Minister Tom Tugendhat expressed concern over the rising number of hate crimes against the Jewish community.

CST elaborated on how these anti-Semitic attacks like calling the Jewish people in the UK "a dirty Jew" as they entered synagogues and similar incidents happened since the Hamas attack on Israel last Saturday.

The Jewish charitable organisation reported that Jewish people in the UK have been verbally abused with statements like: "No wonder you're all getting raped."

In one such anti-Semitic incident, a pro-Palestine protestor wearing a Palestinian flag symbol asked a Jewish man in a Lush shop "Are you people dead" and filmed his response. The woman had a 'Boycott Israeli Apartheid' sign on display.

In one critical anti-Semitic incident cited in the CST report, an Orthodox Jewish man on a bus was hit in the face by a 40-year-old man. The attacker tried to take off his hat which was a religious symbol for the Jewish people. Another incident spoke of a passing man shouting at a Jewish person walking on Oxford Street in London, saying: "You f**king Jew – I will kill you whole!"

A north-east London synagogue was targeted with 'Kill Jews' and 'Death to Israel' slogans by occupants of a passing car who were waving a Palestinian flag.

Some protestors have asked the UK government to take the Israeli flag down from 10 Downing Street as it is an apartheid symbol. Landmarks across the world including the White House and the Eiffel Tower have been decked in the Israeli flag colours to express solidarity with Israel after the Hamas attack.

These anti-Semitic incidents are happening at a time when the UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is on a "solidarity" visit to Israel and has assured the UK Jewish community that they will be protected as protests erupted in London.

Speaking about the rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the UK, Dave Rich, the director of policy at CSF said: "The rate since Saturday is roughly triple what we would normally expect to see over that period."

Rich said the hate crimes against the Jewish community are likely to increase further as they are yet to process many new reports of anti-Semitic incidents.

Since the Hamas attack on Israel, various pro-Palestine activities have been happening in the UK, including protestors dislodging Israeli flags from institutions and pro-Palestine graffiti saying 'FREE PALESTINE' and 'PALESTINE WILL BE FREED' being sprayed on railway bridges in Holders Green in North London.

This comes at a time when the UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman announced that waving the Palestinian flag is illegitimate in the streets of the UK as it can provoke or incite violence.

Measures to tackle anti-Semitic incidents

Jewish schools in and around London have increased their security measures to prevent anti-Semitic incidents in school. Some have gone to the extent of advising Jewish students to hide their identities.

One such Jewish school, King David High School in Manchester reported a drop in attendance on Monday which further escalated as the conflict intensified along the Gaza Strip.

The headmaster of King David High School, John Dalziel told the Guardian that the school had 800 Jewish students and almost all of them have family and relatives there who have been directly or indirectly affected.

"Our main priority is that our school is a place of safety where normal life is continuing away from the 24-hour news cycle," said Dalziel.

While Manchester police have increased patrols around the school to tackle this, the school is doing its part by allowing trained parent volunteers to comfort and reassure the affected parents.

The school is also conducting special training on online safety particularly social media disinformation, graphic images and other online abuse.

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said they are working along with the CST security team to assess anti-Semitic incidents in universities and colleges "on a case-by-case basis".

UJS has already briefed Jewish students on how to safely conduct University events on Monday. Maintaining that the university campuses are safe to attend, the UJS has asked Jewish students to be more vigilant in the wake of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK.

Students of Europe's largest Jewish school JFS which has over 2000 pupils have been asked to take off their blazers and ties.

The headteacher at JFS, David Moody said: "The most important thing is to ensure the safe passage of students between home and school and to make sure that this school is set up to care for our children during the school day."

Earlier, it was reported that an ex-student of JFS, Nathanel Young, was killed in the Hamas attack while he was working in the Israeli army.

Harry Potter's famed author J.K Rowling spoke out against this measure taken by Jewish schools in Britain by saying that "once the UK was a safe haven" and now "Jewish children are being advised to hide their identities". In her tweet, Rowling said: "A mass outrage was necessary."

In the wake of such hate crimes against the Jewish community the Metropolitan Police has pledged full support to the Jews in Britain.

Speaking about the matter, deputy assistant commissioner of MET police, Andy Valentine said the entire force has pledged "full support" to protect and assist the Jewish community in London. Mr. Valentine said that the MET police is taking a "zero approach" to deal with the pro-Palestine protests which are turning into hate crimes against the Jews.

A day after the Hamas attack on Israel, thousands of Londoners gathered outside the Israeli Embassy to protest against Israel launching war along the Gaza Strip. The protestors took to fireworks to draw attention.

This pro-Palestine protest outside the Israeli Embassy in London prompted the Rishi Sunak government to take action as the Home Secretary instructed police chiefs to take a strong stance against such protestors.

Braverman said it's unacceptable to let these pro-Palestine protestors drive through Jewish neighbourhoods and single out members of the Jewish community in public to "aggressively chant or wave pro-Palestinian symbols at them".

Amidst this Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivered a speech at a synagogue in London assuring the UK Jewish community that Britain stands in solidarity with Israel.

Speaking to a packed audience Rishi Sunak pledged unequivocal support to Israel, saying: "There are not two sides to these events. There is no question of balance. I stand with Israel. We stand with Israel. The United Kingdom stands with Israel."

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that they are in contact with the families and individuals stranded in Israel and Palestinian territories in Gaza and are fully assisting them. According to an estimate, 50,000-60,000 Britons and dual nationals live in Israel and Gaza.

Anti-semitism is on the rise in European countries like France and Germany as well, as Jews fear backlash after Israel retaliated to the Hamas attack. France reported over 100 anti-Semitic attacks have been reported since the Hamas attack on Israel.

Most of these incidents have some tags and swastika symbols associated with it. People have been arrested for entering synagogues and Jewish schools with a knife in France.

The French President Emmanuel Macron is planning to address the nation amidst the rise in hate crimes against Jews in France. So far the French Police have arrested 24 people regarding anti-Semitic activities. The government has put 10,000 policemen on guard on 500 sites across the country, while two pro-Palestine protests have been cancelled.