63% question the future of Jews in the UK


By Daniel Easterman, August 14, 2014
A scene from protests in the UK (Photo: Getty Images)

A scene from protests in the UK (Photo: Getty Images)

Almost two-thirds of British Jews have questioned their future in the UK amid rising antisemitism and mass protests against the Gaza war.

In a straw poll conducted by the JC this week, 150 people were asked: “Since the protests against the war in Gaza began, have you or your friends had a discussion about whether there is a future for Jews in the UK?”

Just over 63 per cent answered “yes”.

July was the second worst month of antisemitism since British records began, with 240 incidents logged by the Community Security Trust. A spokesman for CST said that the number of incidents continued to “rise steadily” during the first two weeks of August.

Concern was echoed around the country. In Manchester, Carole Sewelson, 70, said: “I used to live in Israel but I do regret coming back to the UK. I can’t understand the hatred in this country, the antisemitic remarks, when we are all British.”

Glenn Cohen, 25, a shopworker from Prestwich, said: “I think about leaving all the time. I love this country, but there are hotter countries where you don’t get all of this tension.”

In London, 30-year-old housewife Yael Wilk said: “I think everyone in Europe feels unsafe.

“My husband is half-Israeli. We are absolutely desperate to make aliyah. More than ever, we want to leave to go to Israel.”

Scottish communal leaders expressed fears over the future, saying there was a “disproportionate obsession with Israel in Scottish public life”.

According to the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, “a number of people have said that they no longer feel welcome in Scotland and that they
are actively considering moving to Israel”.

Last updated: 10:12am, August 14 2014