A prominent Jewish school has advised its pupils to wear hats over their skullcaps and to cover their school blazers in public as reports of antisemitism have risen 568 percent within the last seventeen days, equating to some 267 reported incidents. Reported incidents are lower than actual incidents as reports can take time to process and many incidents go entirely unreported.
The letter from the school’s headmaster, which was sent out to parents, read: “I am writing to remind you and your children about the need for enhanced awareness and caution with regard to security in these troubled times. Of course, the news of the recent ceasefire was most welcome, but I fear that the tensions and the incidents of antisemitism in this country will be slow to decline.
“We still advise all boys to wear a cap over their kippah when travelling to and from school, but we are also now suggesting that not wearing the College blazer (or at least covering it with a coat) on those journeys is an additional, sensible precaution for all pupils.
“It is sad that this should be necessary, but safety is – as ever – our top priority.”
The rise in incidents come in the wake of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. These incidents include mezuzahs being vandalised in Borehamwood, a rabbi in Essex being assaulted and hospitalised, and a convoy of cars which drove down the Finchley Road shouting “F*** the Jews…rape their daughters” through a megaphone.
However, despite a ceasefire being announced last week, several more incidents were reported over the weekend. After a demonstration on Sunday in support of Israel, counter-demonstrators were seen roaming the surrounding streets looking for Jewish people to target.
Another incident which took place after the rally saw two visibly Jewish men assaulted outside of a kosher restaurant. A video uploaded to Twitter by the activist Joseph Cohen shows the alleged victims describing the assault. One said: “We crossed the street and the next thing we know, we turn around and they’re essentially swinging for us.”
The other added: “They connected a few punches…[we] got hit in the head, got kicked.”
A woman across the road invited them into her café where they then called the police.
We are continuing to hear of incidents and urge the Jewish community around the country to remain vigilant.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2020 showed that three in five British Jews believe that the authorities, in general, are not doing enough to address and punish antisemitism.