London anti-Semitism increased as Middle East tensions grew

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image source, Getty Images

Violence against Jewish people in London spiked in the spring following escalating tensions in the Middle East, new figures show.

Some 87 incidents were recorded in May, four times higher than any other month in the past three years, according to Met Police statistics.

All other months since May 2018 saw between seven and 22 incidents per month, the Met said.

It came as conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza escalated.

"Usually when it flares up in Israel, it flares up here locally," said Chaim Hochhauser from Shomrim, a neighbourhood watch group which works to protect the Jewish community of Stamford Hill in north London.

"In May we had the Gaza war in Israel, so that is why it has flared up in England," he said.

"During May, the Jewish community in Hackney were the target of many racially motivated attacks.

"One of these hate crimes targeted over 30 Jewish-owned vehicles whose tyres were slashed. This was pure hate crime as only the Jewish cars were targeted."

image source, Shomrim/PA Wire
image captionAbusive graffiti appeared in a communal stairwell in Stamford Hill

The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, showed 39 of the incidents involved male victims, while 43 targeted women.

In one of the incidents, police recorded rocks being thrown at a Jewish home in the capital.

'Considerable concern'

Dozens of other non-violent incidents were recorded across the capital during the month, including one where the word "Hitler" was written on the ceiling of a communal block of flats.

The Metropolitan Police called the incidents "deplorable abuse".

In a statement, the force said: "Most recently we have seen incidents of anti-Semitism within the capital which have understandably caused considerable concern within our Jewish communities.

"Behaviour of this kind and abuse against any individual or group has no place in our city.

"We will not tolerate it and will act quickly and robustly in response to all reported crimes of this nature."

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