Minister for Communities Stephen Williams today (13 August 2014) met the Jewish organisation Community Security Trust to hear about the rise in anti-Semitism since the Gaza conflict began, and to listen to the concerns of the British Jewish community.
Community Security Trust figures (PDF,3.30 MB) show 304 anti-Semitic incidents in the first 6 months of 2014, a 36% increase on the equivalent period in 2013.
And the most recent total - compiled for July - shows more than 200 incidents in 1 month, the second highest monthly total since the organisation started recording incidents in 1984.
Speaking after the meeting Stephen Williams said:
I very much welcomed today’s opportunity to hear directly from the highly respected Community Security Trust about the serious concerns felt within Britain’s Jewish community about the recent dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents within the UK.
I am particularly concerned that the number of such incidents recorded in July 2014 by the Community Security Trust is the second highest monthly total in 30 years. These incidents range from unpleasant messages, graffiti, rhetoric and verbal abuse to instances of criminal damage to Jewish property and even acts of violence directed towards visibly Jewish people.
Any hostility or harassment directed towards the Jewish community in this country for whatever reason is completely unacceptable and the government will do everything in its power to prevent the fear and distress that such deplorable actions cause.
It is more important than ever that in the face of the deeply upsetting events taking place in Gaza, Israel, Syria and Iraq that Britain’s many diverse communities stand united in supporting our shared British values of understanding and mutual respect.