Much to the surprise of gentile and Jewish community; there has been an increase in anti-semitic behaviour in Britain. Substantially more; doubling to 1,168 in 2014 claims the Community Security Trust, an organisation which provides security for Britain’s Jewish community and monitors anti-Semitism
Historically, Britain’s relations with Jewish, rather all minority groups has been one of impeccable reputation, rebuking and rejecting Nazi ideology when Hitler was on the rise, and allowing many thousands to seek asylum. The early 20th century saw anti-semitism surge only from that of far-right extremist groups, most of which the majority of Britons rejected.
However; as we embark on the 21th century, the image supposedly changes. Dominated again mainly by contemporary far right groups, with the addition of Jewish conspiracists and Holocaust denial, remain one of the core values of far right ideology.
In addition; many feel that the British Muslim community roots anxiety towards Jews in Britain through distaste and condemnation of Israeli action towards Palestine. However, the Muslim Council of Britain claim whilst yes there is avid opposition towards Israeli’s military and politician action towards Palestinians, there should be no hostility amongst muslims and jews in Britain.
“Between 2001 and 2007, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) expressed its unwillingness to attend the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony and associated events, due to the “ongoing genocide and violation of Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere”. Iqbal Sacranie stated that the MCB were “one with fellow members of the British Jewish community in their pains and anguish over this savage and shameful event in recent history.” This policy was criticised by Labour MP Louise Ellman and Terry Sanderson of the British National Secular Society, among others.”
However, Jewish community leaders urge Britainish government to cut ties with MCB as they perceive the group of holding anti-semitic views.
Earlier in the week, Theresa May expressed her unequivocal intention to “wipe out anti-semitism”, claiming she “never thought I’d see the day when members of the Jewish community” would be “fearful” of staying in the UK.
We have yet to see significant attacks on UK streets, anti-semitic, anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli. Nonetheless, police have strengthened police patrol in Jewish communities, which has been welcomed by Mr Wineman, Board of Deputies of British Jews.
He claimed British Jews were “very happy here” and the “vast majority of British people were not anti-semitic”.
Analysists within the Community Security trust assume the stark rise is due to the escalations in Palestine which saw many Palestinians victims, as well as Israeli.
Eric Pickles said he was “proud” of the way British Muslims had responded to the Paris attacks, but claimed “more work to do”.
Many critique this accusation, citing Europol’s annual report which showed in 2013; 144 terrorist attacks were committed; 84 were separatist attacks, 24 were left wing, leaving the rest to ‘unspecified’.
The FBI report on terrorism also correlates with this finding; claiming only 6% of terrorism attacks on US soil were committed by muslim extremists, whilst 7% committed by Jewish extremists. This begs the question on priority and interest agenda.
Muslim peer Lord Ahmed told Mr Pickles that radicalism “cannot be solved from Whitehall alone”.
So; do you believe there’s a rising tide of anti-semitism in the UK? Or was Theresa May’s speech hyperbole?