Thousands rally against escalating anti-Semitism in Britain

Thousands gathered in central London to protest rising anti-Semitism in Britain.

The Aug. 31 rally outside the Royal Courts of Justice was organized by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, a grassroots group formed in response to the increase in attacks against Jews in Britain and throughout Europe following the start of the Gaza conflict in July.

“I would never have believed a year ago I would be standing here expressing my deep concern about the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.K.,” Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said in an address to the crowd, the Jewish Chronicle reported. “We are right to be concerned. We see it, we hear it and we feel it. It is there.”

Leaders of the Board of Deputies of British Jewry were jeered as they were introduced amid shouts of “You’re not doing enough” and “Resign.” The board backed the rally, which was held four days after the board signed a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain calling for peace in the Middle East and “constructive dialogue” between the two groups in Britain.

The statement condemned “any expression of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or any form of racism,” including during rallies and on social media, and called for a redoubling of efforts “to work together and get to know one another.”

There were 240 anti-Semitic incidents in Britain in July alone, compared with 304 anti-Semitic incidents in the first six months of the year, according to the British anti-Semitism watchdog Community Security Trust. — jta