Members of the Jewish community in London have been forced to lift security at synagogues, schools, and other community buildings in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.
The reason for the increased protection is simple; a corresponding rise in antisemitism rates reported across the UK capital.
There has been a 1,350 percent jump in hate crimes against Jewish people as the Middle East crisis goes on, the Metropolitan police have said, with no arrests so far in nine out of ten alleged offences.
The Guardian reports figures from the Met covering London show that 218 antisemitic offences were recorded from 1 October to 18 October this year, compared with 15 in the same period last year.
“People feel vulnerable and people feel frightened, and right now the recorded incidents of anti-Semitism are a record,” said Raymond Simonson, chief executive of the JW3 arts, culture and entertainment venue in the north of the city.
“There’s never been this many incidents… in the UK as there have been in the last 20 days,” he told AFP.
“We’ve doubled our security. The Metropolitan Police have quadrupled their visits… to make sure we’re safe. It’s the only way we can do it,” he added.
More than 1,400 people, mainly civilians, were killed after Hamas terrorists stormed across the Gaza border on October 7 in the worst attacks in Israel’s history. Hamas visited mass rape, torture, and slaughter of civilians before retreating with hostages, as Breitbart News reported.
WATCH: UK-born Mother, Daughters Buried Together in Israel — Victims of Hamas Terror Oct. 7
AFP reports in the period since in London alone, where there have been several large-scale protests in support of Palestinians in Gaza, the Met said it had recorded 408 anti-Semitic offences between October 1 and 27.
That compares to just 28 in the same period last year, the force said on Friday, with several Jewish schools in London forced to shut temporarily.
Local synagogues and faith schools also called for more volunteers from members and parents to boost their security.
In Stamford Hill, a multicultural area of northeast London which is home to many Orthodox Jews, the local Shomrim (community safety group) has extended its patrol hours.
“There have been a number of low-level incidents,” said Shomrim chairman Rabbi Herschel Gluck, the AFP report sets out.
“But these low-level incidents, of course, have traumatised people to a much greater degree than the normal times,” he added.
“I think, in normal times, many people would not have reported these incidents. But in today’s atmosphere, these touch people a lot deeper,” he said.
Women Tear Down Posters of Israeli Kidnapping Victims in North London
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Interior Minister Suella Braverman also met police and security chiefs on Monday to discuss “accelerated” terrorist risk to the UK that is being driven alongside the reports of a rise in antisemitism, as Breitbart News reported.
Top police officers and security services representatives convened with the politicians and discussions that could conceivably lead to the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre increasing the national terrorism alert level.
It is presently at level three of five, ‘substantial, meaning an attack is “likely”. It could be boosted to ‘severe’, “an attack is highly likely”, or ‘critical’ meaning an attack is highly likely in the near future.
UK Govt Fears Hamas Attack on Israel is Increasing Terror Threat in Britainhttps://t.co/VUpWy9X2q5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 30, 2023