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21 Oct 2023
Kurt Zindulka

NextImg:Antisemitic Crimes Up by over 1,350 Per Cent in London Amid Israel War

London’s Metropolitan Police have recorded a staggering 1,350 per cent increase in antisemitic crimes since the start of the month as the events in Israel continue to have dire ramifications across Europe.

Figures released by The Met on Friday showed that there were 218 antisemitic offences were recorded in London from the start of the month to October 18th. This represented a “significant” rise over the same time period last year when just 15 incidents were recorded.

However, the police force in the British capitol was only able to make 21 arrests, meaning that just under seven per cent of cases have so far resulted in an arrest, although some investigations are ongoing.

The Met said that despite their increased patrols in heavily Jewish areas, they have seen a drastic increase of 1,353 per cent in antisemitic offences this month, which they said included “abuse directed at individuals or groups in person or online, racially or religiously motivated criminal damage and other offences.”

The London police went on to claim that there has also been a 140 per cent increase in “Islamophobic offences”, from 42 during the same time last year to 101.

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The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that seeks to prevent antisemitic crimes against Britain’s Jewish population, noted that it was often the case that such crimes increased during times of strife in Israel and Palestine, but that this latest increase appears to be larger than is typical.

The policy director for the CST Dave Rich said according to The Guardian: “This huge spike in anti-Jewish hate crime happens every time Israel is at war, yet other foreign conflicts such as the war in Ukraine do not trigger similar outbursts of hate crimes here in the UK. It is shameful and appalling that this still occurs in modern Britain, and yet it happens time after time.”

In response to the sharp increase in antisemitic attacks, the Union of Jewish Students said that younger Jews have been avoiding wearing religious symbols in public to avoid being targeted for attack. Similar warnings have been made in Germany, which has also seen a rise in antisemitism following the October 7th Hamas terror attacks on Israel.

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The release of the statistics came ahead of a large pro-Palestinian protest in London. The Met warned protesters that those “wearing, carrying or otherwise displaying symbols that are supportive” of proscribed terrorist organisations such as Hamas will face arrest. The police force said that the same would be true for those chanting certain slogans.

However, they said that the genocidal chant “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea,” which calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and its people from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, will not automatically be cause for arrest, despite the urgings of Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

“While we can envisage scenarios where chanting these words could be unlawful, such as outside a synagogue or Jewish school, or directly at a Jewish person or group intended to intimidate, it is likely that its use in a wider protest setting, such as we anticipate this weekend, would not be an offence and would not result in arrests,” the police force said.

The Metropolitan Police came under heavy scrutiny this week after they reportedly forced activists from the Campaign Against Antisemitism group to turn off electronic billboards displaying children believed to have been kidnapped from Israel by Hamas. The police reportedly threatened the activists with arrest for allegedly breaching the peace and ordered them to leave the city centre.

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