Britian Has Seen Increase in Anti-Semitism and Violence Since 2000

July 2, 2004

Source: The Boston Globe

On July 2, 2004 The Boston Globe reported, "Recent arson attacks against two north London synagogues have fueled already heightened concerns among British Jews about what they perceive to be an escalating climate of anti-Semitism. More than 100 synagogues have been desecrated in Britain since 2000...Britain is home to an estimated 300,000 Jews, two-thirds of whom reside in greater London, with the highest concentration living in the northwest of the city. Compared with European countries such as France, where several synagogues were burned or firebombed in 2002 and 2003, Britain is not known for anti-Semitism. But Michael Whine, spokesman for the Community Security Trust, said 'we've seen since 2000 an annual increase in anti-Semitism, and we've seen an increase in violence.' According to the Community Security Trust, 100 out of 350 anti-Semitic incidents in 2002 were related to Israel or the Middle East. 'Clearly incidents rise and fall when there's tension in the Middle East,' added Whine. A report commissioned by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia, showed a dramatic upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain in April 2002, coinciding with the move of Israeli troops into cities in the West Bank. According to the Community Security Trust, incidents of anti-Semitism in Britain increased by one-third from 2002 to 2003. In 1996, there were 31 incidents of anti-Semitic property damage and desecration; by 2003, that figure rose to 72."