London anti-Semitic attacks reach highest reported level since 1980s

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Reports of anti-Semitism in London reached their highest number last month, figures from a Jewish safety charity suggest.

The Community Security Trust said 201 incidents were reported in the capital in May, almost all linked to the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

More than 160 cases of abusive behaviour, 20 threats, 12 assaults and seven relating to damage or desecration were made.

It is the largest number in one month since the organisation began recording incidents in the 1980s.

The total exceeds the previous record of 179 in July 2014.

Dave Rich, of the CST, said: “This abuse has nothing to do with Israel.

“It’s just racism directed towards Jewish people who are picked out on the streets, on the internet, because they are Jewish.”

There are about 300,000 Jewish people in the UK with two-thirds of those located in London, according to the CST.

Community Secretary Robert Jenrick warned the Commons there had been an upsurge in anti-Semitism on social media.

Last month, four men were questioned by police after anti-Semitic abuse was heard being screamed through a loudspeaker from a car in St John’s Wood.

Footage shared on social media showed a convoy of vehicles draped with Palestinian flags passing down Finchley Road.

Detectives from the Met’s Hate Crime Unit are also appealing for information over a racially aggravated assault on two men in Baker Street on May 23.

Alex Menashe and Joseph Cohen were walking home from a kosher restaurant about 5pm when they were approached by two suspects in their teens or 20s.

The thugs screamed anti-Semitic abuse before pushing and punching them.

A member of the Muslim community confronted the assailants who ran off. He then offered the victims shelter. Neither were injured.

“It was terrifying,” Mr Cohen told the BBC.

“I’ve walked around London dressed as an Orthodox Jew for years and never had any issues.

“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.”

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