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Half of British Jews 'considering leaving the UK' amid 'staggering' rise in anti-Semitism

26 November 2023, 11:50

Binyomin Gilbert, Engagement Manager at Campaign Against Antisemitism, talks to LBC News.
Binyomin Gilbert, Engagement Manager at Campaign Against Antisemitism, talks to LBC News. Picture: Supplied/Alamy

By Rachel Gerrish and Emma Soteriou

Half of British Jews have considered leaving the UK amid a "staggering" rise in discrimination, the organisers of a march against anti-Semitism in London have revealed.

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Nearly 70 per cent of Jews in the UK have also held back from showing visible signs of being Jewish, a survey by the Campaign Against Antisemitism showed.

The group will march through London on Sunday afternoon in a stand against the capital becoming "a no-go zone for Jews" in recent weeks.

The anti-Semitism protest is "so important" for British Jews to see "the real Britain, the Britain that rejects hate, the Britain that's stood together in the last month and a half", Binyomin Gilbert, engagement manager for the group, told LBC News.

It comes after Hamas launched a multi-pronged attack on Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 hostage.

There have since been weekly pro-Palestine rallies in London, in which Campaign Against Antisemitism says there have been "genocidal chants, Hamas-style headbands, antisemitic placards and calls for jihad".

"We have seen a 1300% increase in anti-Semitism," Mr Gilbert said.

"And this is staggering. And in fact I can release to you today the results of a survey of British Jews, which has shown us that 69%, nearly 70% of British Jews are saying that they are now less likely to show visible signs of their duties."

Read more: Met police make 18 arrests at pro-Palestine march in central London - including man 'holding Nazi placard'

Read more: 'Emily has come back to us': Heart-warming moment Irish-Israeli girl, 9, reunites with father after Hamas release

Binyomin Gilbert
Binyomin Gilbert. Picture: Supplied

He continued: "It also shows us that half of British Jews have considered whether they need to leave the UK due to anti-Semitism.

"And that more than six in 10 British Jews have either personally experienced or have witnessed an anti-Semitic incident since October 7 or that they know somebody who has."

The survey was carried out between 12th and 17th November 2023, with a total of 3,744 responses.

Mr Gilbert said "there's a lot of fear and concern" for British Jews at the moment.

He explained: "It was only last winter that we were talking about British Jews being among the most targeted religious minority in the country, in fact, the most targeted by some way.

"For this level of increase, it means that almost everyone is affected."

Iain Dale speaks to Gideon Falter on anti-Semitism in the UK

The spokesman went on to say: "This is not a situation that can continue. We have seen week after week central London become a no go zone for Jews.

"We've seen mass criminality, we've seen glorification of terrorism, support for banned terrorist organisations like Hamas and, and incitement to racial, religious hatred against Jews.

"I think the sad truth is that British Jews currently do not feel safe in our capital city.

"And it's important that we now draw a line."

Addressing the pro-Palestine marches through the capital, Mr Gilbert said: "What we've seen is large scale marches week after week.

"In fact, there were protests happening before Israel had retaliated in the streets of London.

"And we have seen in those marches, calls for intifada, we've seen support for organisations that want Jews dead."

He went on: "When we have racists turn up at our rallies, we pull them out.

"When we have people turn up in our rallies who want to try and manipulate and politicise anti-Semitism and cast one minority group against another, we have been unequivocal."

He said he is confident there will not be violence but "positive displays of the Jewish community and its allies standing up and saying this is what British values mean".

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