Anti-semitism ‘on the rise’

By staff

Gordon Brown has called last year’s highest levels of anti-semitism on record “deeply troubling”.

According to the Community Security Trust (CST) organisation there were 924 anti-semitic incidents in 2009 – the highest level since it began recording incidents in 1984.

“These record figures show that anti-semitism is an increasingly significant problem for British Jews,” CST spokesman Mark Gardner said.

“The trend must be reversed and we call upon decent people to speak out against anti-semitism in all its forms.”

The CST says Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza was largely responsible for the sudden surge in reports. Most of the incidents occurred in the first six months of 2009.

“The increase in anti-semitic incidents recorded by CST in the early part of last year is deeply troubling and I want to be unequivocal today; I am a proud friend of Israel and welcome a robust debate about how we ensure both a secure Israel and a viable Palestinian state existing side by side,” the prime minister said.

“The debate is welcome, but no strength of feeling can ever justify violent extremism or attacks and we will stand firm against all those who would use anti-Israeli feeling as an excuse or disguise for anti-semitism and attacks on the Jewish community.”