UK records huge surge in anti-Semitic incidents – media

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The spike in reports of hate crimes follows the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war

UK police have recorded a surge in reports of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hate crimes in some parts of Britain since Hamas’ October 7 attack and Israel’s subsequent retaliation, according to The Independent.

A Freedom of Information request by the UK newspaper revealed that British Transport Police recorded 87 anti-Semitic offenses in the four weeks after Hamas’ cross-border assault, according to the publication on Friday. Eight such hate crimes were recorded in the same period a year prior, marking a rise of 987%.

The figures showed that 22 Islamophobic hate crimes were recorded during the same period, up from just two in the same month in 2022, an increase of 1000%.

The Home Office told the paper that “we expect the police to fully investigate all hate crimes and work with the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) to make sure the cowards who commit these abhorrent crimes feel the full force of the law.”

In October, a group representing British Jews said that an initial surge of anti-Semitism in some parts of the UK was “unprecedentedly high” even when compared to “previous conflicts involving Israel.”

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Campaigners against the abuse of Muslims in the UK said that the data was “deeply worrying,” according to The Independent on Friday. “We should never allow such hatred and intolerance to take root in our communities,” Iman Atta of the Tell Mama group said.

“Please look out for each other, whether Muslim or Jewish. We must stand together against intolerance, hate, and racism,” Atta added.

Greater Manchester Police, meanwhile, noted a 400% rise in anti-Semitic incidents from the year before in the month after October 7 while similar rises were recorded in Merseyside and West Yorkshire. Islamophobic crimes, though, dropped, the newspaper said.

Authorities in Thames Valley recorded the most precipitous increase, the data seen by The Independent showed, with a 2000% increase in anti-Semitic incidents. Islamophobia rose by 42% in the same area.

A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews told The Independent that the rise of anti-Semitic incidents across the UK had “caused enormous anxiety for Jewish people, particularly children and Jewish students or indeed anyone easily identified as Jewish by their dress.”

The spokesman added, “We call on police to take strong action against anyone found to be perpetrating hate crimes.”

Israeli officials have said that 1,139 people, mostly civilians, died in Hamas’ attack on October 7, while it is believed that the Palestinian militant group seized at least 236 hostages.

The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 20,000, health officials in the besieged enclave have said.

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