By Silvia Cerisara
Anti-semitic attacks are on the rise in London and have reached new records, statistics show. Last year there were 813 reported incidents of hate crime towards London’s Jewish communities, an increase of 65 percent compared to the previous year.
After an attack January 21st, when a brick was thrown through the window of a Jewish household in Edgware, north London, Mayor Sadiq Khan decided to speak out. “I ask all Londoners to report any form of hate crime, no matter how trivial,” he said.
“A brick with a swastika on it thrown through a window of a Jewish home is not a trivial matter and needs to be addressed.” That same day, the words “Heil Hitler” and “F**k Jews” were painted on a council bin in Mill Hill.
Speaking to students at London Metropolitan University, author and journalist Catharine Arnold said: “I think that an increase in racial violence against people of all minorities has seem to intensify after Brexit. I work with one group who are committed to try to stop anti-Semitic attacks mainly through education.”
Education may then be the answer to prevent these attacks, but activists say more is needed to stop all forms of racism.
“I presume that is part of maybe a bigger and greatest issue in London which I presume without knowing facts and numbers that maybe has been triggered more after Brexit,” Museum of London curator, Foteini Aravani, told students.
“Of course it doesn’t target only Jewish people but maybe some people see it as an opportunity to express their racism.”
Xenophobia has increased not only in London but in the UK in general after the referendum, as witnessed by a marked increase in hate crimes. This created the perfect atmosphere in which people feel more comfortable to express their hate and prejudice.
Residents need to report these crimes to show that the country is not willing to tolerate these types of hateful attacks. While Met Police have said publicly that they are committed to tackling all kinds of hate crimes, including anti-Semitic language, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has faced criticism for not doing enough to tackle the problem.