Antisemitism

WATCH: British Jews march against antisemitism in London

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In the shadow of Israel’s war with Hamas, Jews worldwide are feeling the aftershock of hate.

In Britain, where the London Metropolitan Police have reported the Jewish community suffered a 1350% increase in antisemitic hate crimes, Jews marched through London on Sunday, boldly identifying themselves as Jews and condemning the increased violence.

Tess Ackerman and others march against antisemitism, 26 November, 2023. (credit: Reuben Ackerman)

Some 60,000 people joined the march against antisemitism, including community leaders such as Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis, Robert Jenrick, Tom Tugendhat, Peter Kyle, and Robert Halfon. Actors Eddie Marsan, Dame Maureen Lipman, Louisa Clein, Felicity Kendal, and Elliot Levey attended as well. Rounding these up were broadcasters Julia Hartley-Brewer and Vanessa Feltz, journalist Toby Young, photographer Laura Dodsworth, and countless others also joined.

Additionally, the crowds received an address by Home Office Minister of State, Robert Jenrick, TV presenter Rachel Riley, actress Tracy-Ann Oberman, and the Israeli singer, Rita.

Gary Mond, chairman of the National Jewish Assembly, told the Jerusalem Post: “I am here at the march organized by the Campaign Against Antisemitism. There are over 105,000 people here, guarded by over 1,000 police officers. What is heartening is that there is tremendous support from non-Jewish people. The message to act against hate before it is too late is especially profound.”

British Jews march against antisemitism, 26 November, 2023. (credit: ANONYMOUS)

The Campaign Against Antisemitism, the NGO that planned the march alongside other community groups, reported that the event was the largest gathering against antisemitism since the famous Battle of Cable Street in 1936. The battle saw the leader of the British Union of Fascists, Sir Oswald Mosley, and 15,000 of quasi-military Blackshirts, fought off by the civilians of East London, many of whom were Jewish.

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Despite the whopping attendance, Jewish BBC employees are unlikely to attend, as the BBC deemed the event “controversial” and has requested that its staff not attend.

The unprecedented levels of antisemitism in the UK

The Campaign Against Antisemitism described how London had become a “no-go zone for Jews” as a result of the “mass criminality, including a glorification of terrorism, support for banned terrorist organizations such as Hamas, and incitement to racial or religious hatred against Jews.”

Significantly, just one day before the march, London’s Metropolitan Police arrested a number of pro-Palestinian protesters that had displayed Nazi symbols, fired flares at officers, and distributed materials likely to stir up racial hatred at a pro-Palestinian march with a reported attendance of 300,000 people.

Quantifying the experience of British Jewry, the Campaign Against Antisemitism surveyed 3,744 Jews from November 12 until November 17 and found the following: 

  • A total of 69% of British Jews said that they were currently less inclined to show visible signs of their Judaism. 
  • Almost half of British Jews have considered leaving the UK due to antisemitism since October 7. 
  • More than 6 in 10 British Jews have either personally experienced or witnessed an antisemitic incident since October 7, or know somebody who has. 
  • Only 16% of British Jews believe that the police treat antisemitic hate crimes like other forms of hate crimes, with two-thirds believing that the police apply a double standard in this regard. 
  • A large majority (90%) of British Jews say that they would avoid traveling to a city center if a major anti-Israel demonstration was taking place there.

Gideon Falter, who is the chief executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Week after week, central London has become a no-go zone for Jews. We have witnessed mass criminality, including the glorification of terrorism, support for banned terrorist organizations such as Hamas, and incitement to racial or religious hatred against Jews.

The sad truth is that Jews do not feel safe in our capital city. We now also have empirical data that further proves this to be the case, with 90% of Jews saying that they avoid urban areas when these demonstrations are taking place. The only way to change this is for the law to be enforced, as we have been demanding for weeks.

“This is why today’s march, drawing tens of thousands in the largest gathering against antisemitism since the Battle of Cable Street a lifetime ago, in 1936, was so important. The voice of decency has been heard today, and it is a voice that demands action. British Jews do not believe that the police treat antisemitic hate crime like other forms of hate crime. It is past time that the police prove them wrong.

“Antisemitism is up by over 1,000%, and the effect is worse than ever, with almost 70% of British Jews hiding their Jewish identity, and almost half of the community considering leaving the country due to antisemitism. Britain is at an inflection point. If the authorities believe that our streets and our country should be safe for all Britons – including British Jews – they must act against hate before it’s too late.”





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