Report: British Anti-Semitism Rising

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LONDON - In the first half of 2009, anti-Semitic attacks in Britain have risen at an unprecedented rate, the Community Security Trust (CST) reported on Friday.

Through the end of June, 609 recorded incidents ranged from verbal abuse to physical assaults, compared with 276 during the same period last year.

CST, an organization that alerts Britain's Jewish population about such incidents, said the 2009 figures were the highest since 1984, when it began keeping records.

The attacks escalated in January during Israel's military offensive against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

"British Jews are facing even higher levels of racist attack and intimidation," CST official Mark Gardner said.

"There is no excuse for anti-Semitism, racism and bias, and it is totally unacceptable hat overseas conflicts should be impacting here in this way," he said.

Out of 77 attacks recorded in January, two were categorized as "extreme violence," meaning serious physical injuries that could result in death.

British parliamentarian Denis McShane said anti-Semitism in the country was "once more a very real problem."

"This is warning to all of our society, a warning that the damaging forces of extremism and scapegoating are again on the march," McShane said.

Foreign Minister Ivan Lewis also expressed concern over the statistics.

"I am deeply concerned by the rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents as reported by the CST today," Lewis said.

"The UK's Jewish community is an integral part of the rich fabric that makes up modern Britain and must be able to live their lives free of fear of verbal or physical attack," he said.

Three hundred thousand Jews live in Great Britain.

Source: Ynet news

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