'Like 1930s Germany': Home Office probe after 'Israel' is scrubbed off baby's birth certificate on passport application

20 February 2024, 05:41 | Updated: 20 February 2024, 06:28

The certificate was damaged in a passport application
The certificate was damaged in a passport application. Picture: Getty/Alamy/Twitter

By Kit Heren

A baby's birth certificate was sent to her parents with the word 'Israel' scribbled out, a campaign group has claimed, with the Home Office investigating.

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North London parents Israel and Dorin said that the parents were applying for a passport for their daughter, and were shocked to see his place of birth drawn over, and part of the certificate ripped.

The Passport Office, which is responsible for issuing passports in the UK, is a division of the Home Office. The birth certificate is now invalid and the couple have to wait to have a new version sent.

Israel said his wife felt distraught when she made the discovery upon opening the envelope.

"She found it was ripped half way through and my place of birth - which was Israel - had been scribbled out with a pen," he said.

Read more: 'Explosion in hatred' against Jews in UK as more than 4,000 antisemitic incidents recorded

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"We felt as if we had been taken back to 1930's Germany where the Nazis would put notes on Jewish people's documentation," Israel told the MailOnline.

"It is completely warped and it hurts my heart that my daughter is not even six-months-old and she has already been discriminated on in the worst way."

He said he wanted the government to apologise, and for the person behind the vandalism to be removed from their position.

Israel added: "Unfortunately this birth certificate is not valid any more because it's been scribbled on. So this person has destroyed my child's identity, their birth certificate, just because it's a Jewish person.

"We are terrified because if this is the environment within the Home Office this is not a place we want to live. We are just as British as everyone else."

James Cleverly
James Cleverly. Picture: Alamy

The Campaign against Antisemitism said: "Two weeks ago, a member of the public sent off a passport application to @ukhomeoffice for his six-month-old baby girl.

"Today, the birth certificate was returned ripped with the word 'Israel' scribbled out. The parents are understandably very concerned about this incident.

"We are asking the Home Office to investigate how this happened. The Home Office has responsibility for law enforcement and the security of the Jewish community."

Home Secretary James Cleverly said in response that he had "asked Home Office officials "to investigate this urgently and will see that appropriate action is taken."

Ripped posters showing kidnapped Israeli victims of the 7th October 2023 attack by Hamas on a north London phonebox - taken January
Ripped posters showing kidnapped Israeli victims of the 7th October 2023 attack by Hamas on a north London phonebox - taken January. Picture: Alamy

It comes amid an explosion in anti-Semitism in the UK, according to a report by the Community Security Trust (CST), which provides security to Jewish institutions in the UK.

The group said that there were 4,103 anti-Semitic incidents in the UK in 2023, up from the previous annual record of 2,261 incidents which had been reported two years previously.

CST said in its report, released last week, that much of this was driven by Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza.

Policing minister Chris Philp said the report made for "deeply disturbing reading".

Nick Ferrari lists some of the issues facing British Jews in 2024.

"There is no excuse for the behaviour outlined in the CST report, or seen in some of the shocking incidents that have occurred recently," he told the Commons.

"Whenever and wherever criminality involving antisemitism occurs, this government expects police to fully investigate the incident, and work with the Crown Prosecution Service to bring the perpetrators to justice."

Discussing the latest incident, a spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: "This is completely unacceptable. When sending off a passport application to the Home Office, the last thing one should ever expect is to have their child's birthday certificate returned, torn, with the parent's place of birth scribbled out, just because it is the Jewish state.

"We are assisting the parents, who are understandably very concerned about this incident. We are also asking the Home Office to investigate how this happened.

"The Home Office has responsibility for law enforcement and the security of the Jewish community and the wider public. Confidence in the authorities among British Jews is at painfully low levels and must be restored."

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