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Anti-Semitism On The Rise In The UK: A Special Report

Monday 28th July 2014

The number of anti-semitic attacks in the UK has doubled in the last month following the escalation of the conflict in Gaza.

palestine protester

A rabbi was reportedly attacked near a Jewish boarding school in Gateshead, while bricks were hurled through a synagogue’s window in Belfast. Similar attacks have been reported in both France and Germany.

So is anti-semitism on the rise across Europe? Nick Ferrari spoke to experts across Europe to investigate.

Justin Cohen, News Editor of the Jewish News, told LBC: "There has been a shocking doubling of anti-semitic attacks during the course of July.

"Whenever there is a flare-up of violence in the Middle East, there is a backlash against the British Jewish community and across Europe."

Justin Huggler, a journalist in Berlin, told us about the disturbing rise in Germany, saying: "It's causing a huge amount of controversy in Germany. Twice in the past week in Berlin, we've had Jewish people attacked on the streets for no reason other than being visibly Jewish.

"In both cases, they were men wearing traditional Jewish skullcaps. In the first case, he happened to walk close to a group of protesters. He was completely unsuspecting - a tourist from Israel - and they turned and charged towards him shouting 'Jew, we'll get you'.

"The Berlin police had to intervene to protect him and his wife to prevent them from being attacked.

"A few days later, a young Jewish man living in Berlin was attacked and punched in the face for no reason and the suspicion is it was because he was wearing a skullcap.

"We've also seen a lot of disturbing slogans on the streets. There have been chants in Germany of 'Jews to the gas chambers'.

"It's obviously an extremely disturbing chant, given the history of Jewish people in Germany, so there is a degree of fear amongst the Jewish community here. But I don't want to put it out of proportion. Generall, life in Germany is very safe for the Jewish community."

Yonathan Arfi, from the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France added: "We have witnessed a lot of attacks against the Jewish population in France and against synagogues.

"In the last two weekends, we have had pro-Palestine protests which turned into attacks on synagogues - eight synagogues in two weekends.

"There is a growing concern amongst the Jewish population in France that these attacks will continue."