Scots ask to meet Salmond over hate rise

By Marcus Dysch and Daniel Easterman, August 14, 2014
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A leader of Scotland's Jewish community has asked for an urgent meeting with the country's First Minister Alex Salmond to discuss rising levels of antisemitism.

Paul Morron, president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, said he had received hundreds of emails from Jews who were concerned at the situation.

"The level of anxiety is quite unprecedented. I consider the situation sufficiently serious to meet with Alex Salmond," he said.

According to the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC), around a dozen antisemitic incidents were recorded in the first week of August - almost as many as in the whole of 2013 - including graffiti on synagogues and threatening messages.

The organisation said a "disproportionate obsession with Israel in Scottish public life" had led to Jews no longer feeling safe wearing kippot or Star of David jewellery.

It added: "A number of people have said they no longer feel welcome in Scotland and are actively considering moving to Israel."

There was great concern over events organised by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and over activist Yvonne Ridley, who pledged to make Scotland a "Zionist-free zone".

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was listed as a speaker at a Women for Gaza rally in Glasgow due to take place tomorrow.

Last Friday, Glasgow City Council flew the Palestinian flag over the city chambers in support of "the innocent people who are being hurt in Gaza".

Meanwhile, Israeli theatre group Incubator, whose performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival were cancelled after anti-Israel protests, are now due to appear at venues in Glasgow and Leeds and at JW3 in London .

Last updated: 1:19pm, August 14 2014