ntisemitic incidents in the UK have increased by more than 300% since Hamas’ attack on Israel, according to a Jewish security group.
The Community Security Trust (CST), which represents British Jews on issues of racism and policing, said it had recorded 89 incidents between October 7-10 that it classed as “anti-Jewish hate”.
It said that marked a 324% rise on the 21 antisemitic incidents recorded over the same period last year.
Security minister Tom Tugendhat said he was “very concerned” at reports of an increase in antisemitism in Britain since the assault by the Palestinian militant group started on Saturday, which saw fighters massacre hundreds of Israelis in their homes, on the streets and at a music festival.
What the Nazis were doing is exactly what Hamas is doing today
CST said six of the 89 incidents recorded were assaults, three referred to damage to Jewish property and 66 were related to abusive behaviour, with 22 taking place online.
Examples of an assault given by the organisation included a Jewish person walking to synagogue in London on Sunday morning being called a “dirty Jew” by a stranger, who said “no wonder you’re all getting raped”.
In north east London, the CST said a car slowed down outside a synagogue before the occupants of the vehicle shouted “Kill Jews” and “Death to Israel” while waving a Palestinian flag.
In a blog post on Wednesday, the Jewish security group said: “Make no mistake: these are anti-Jewish racist incidents and hate crimes in which Jewish people, property and institutions are singled out for hate, including death threats and abuse.
“In many cases, the perpetrators of these disgraceful incidents are using the symbols and language of pro-Palestinian politics as rhetorical weapons with which to threaten and abuse Jewish people.”
Mr Tugendhat, a senior minister, said the UK Government took the rise in antisemitism “extremely seriously” as he voiced support for the CST and the police in cracking down on the spreading of hate.
The security minister, who has Jewish ancestry and whose family members were murdered in Europe during the Holocaust, drew parallels between the ideology of Hamas and that of the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s.
“What the Nazis were doing is exactly what Hamas is doing today. It is preaching a blood libel, preaching a hatred for Jews and preaching a hatred that extends around the world,” he told Sky News’ Politics Hub programme.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said it had made arrests while hundreds of people gathered in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday evening to take part in a vigil for those who were killed in Hamas’ terror strike.
The force said four people were arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace.
In a social media post that was later deleted, GMP said the arrests were “not for supporting Palestine”, saying people had a “right to express their support for both Israel and Palestine”.
“The force draws a clear distinction between support for Palestine and support for the proscribed terrorist organisation ‘Hamas’,” it said in a post on social media.
GMP later said one person had been “de-arrested following further investigation”, with three remaining under arrest.
It comes after Home Secretary Suella Braverman wrote to police chiefs this week saying that waving a Palestinian flag and chanting pro-Arab songs could amount to a public order offence if it could be deemed to be in support of terror atrocities.
With the war between Israel and Gaza escalating, officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command has issued an appeal for anyone in the UK who has direct evidence related to the terrorist attacks in southern Israel to contact them.
The Met said the appeal is directed at anyone who may have already returned from Israel in the past few days and has footage or images of the terrorist attacks.
On Wednesday it was confirmed that another Briton had died in the incursion by Hamas fighters.
Jake Marlowe, 26, is among three known to have died. He was originally recorded as missing but was confirmed dead by the Israeli Embassy in London.
Mr Marlowe was providing security at the Supernova music festival in the desert near Kibbutz Re’im when the area was invaded by Hamas gunmen, reportedly killing at least 260 people.
Concerns remain for the safety of British citizens in the region, with reports that 17 UK nationals are either dead or missing, including children.
The war has already claimed at least 2,300 lives on both sides.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “crush and destroy” every member of Hamas in a televised address on Wednesday.
In the sealed-off Gaza Strip ruled by Hamas, Palestinian suffering has mounted as Israeli retaliation bombardment demolished neighbourhoods and the only power plant ran out of fuel.
British aid charity Oxfam announced it has started a fundraising appeal, warning that unless Tel Aviv — which put Gaza under siege following Hamas’ deadly assault on the weekend — eases its complete blockade, then food is “likely to run out within a week”.
Aleema Shivji, Oxfam’s chief impact officer, said “innocent communities are trapped in Gaza, one of the most densely populated places on earth, with no safe place to escape the Israeli airstrikes”.