Anti-Semitic incidents drop in Britain

Feb. 3, 2011 at 2:06 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain dropped significantly in 2010 while remaining much higher than in the 1990s, a Jewish group said Wednesday.

The Community Security Trust has been documenting incidents since 1984. The group said there were 639 incidents in 2010, second only to 2009 when 926 were reported, the BBC reported.

The increase in physical assaults, verbal abuse and threats in 2009 was blamed on the unpopularity of Israel's invasion of Gaza. The trust said the Israeli attack on an aid flotilla attempting to reach Gaza in May 2010 set off a wave of anti-Semitism and there was a later spike during the High Holidays.

"Anti-Semitism is not the most important thing in British Jewish life, but there is clearly a significant problem," said Mark Gardner, a spokesman for the trust. "The CST, police, politicians and government will keep working in close partnership to tackle anti-Semitism and its wider causes of bigotry and extremism."

The group said there were 114 physical attacks, none of them causing permanent injury, 59 incidents at synagogues and 52 involving worshipers going to or coming from services, and 28 involving Jewish school children.

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