British Jews Questioning Future of Community Amid Rise in anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitic incidents spike in July in wake of Gaza war, spurring thoughts of leaving.

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Demonstrators marching to support the people of Gaza, in central London August 9, 2014.
Demonstrators marching to support the people of Gaza, in central London August 9, 2014. Credit: Reuters

Rising anti-Semitism in the wake of Israel's war in Gaza is causing most British Jews to question their future, according to a new poll by the Jewish Chronicle.

The JC reported conducting a straw poll in which it asked 150 people the following: "Since the protests against the war in Gaza began, have you or your friends had a discussion whether there is a future for Jews in the U.K.? Just over 63 percent answered affirmatively.

Anti-Semitic acts surged in July, as the Community Security Trust, a British anti-Semitism watchdog, recorded 240 incidents alone, which the JC reported as being the second worst month since British records began. Community Security Trust reported 304 incidents for the six months of 2014, up 36 percent over the parallel period last year but far below the 629 incidents recorded January-June 2009 in the wake of Operation Cast Lead.

Several individuals in England and Scotland expressed their worries to the JC, ranging from regret about moving back to Britain from Israel and thoughts about leaving for countries with less tension to a general feeling of being unsafe.

"More than ever, we want to leave to go to Israel," said Yael Wilk of London.

A "number of people have said that they no longer feel welcome in Scotland and that they are actively considering moving to Israel," the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities stated, according the JC

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