Majority of British Jews feel they have no future in England, Europe

January 16, 2015

CANTERBURY, England

British Jews fear a return to the 1930s and question whether they have a long-term future in this country, according to a survey conducted by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.

Over half of British Jews (58 percent) said they fear they may have no long-term future not only in Britain but also in Europe.

The survey included 2,200 British Jews from different parts of the country.

“Britain is at a tipping point,” said Gideon Falter, chairman of CAA. “Unless anti-Semitism is met with zero tolerance, it will grow and British Jews will increasingly question their place in this country.”

Fellow campaigner Jonathan Sacerdoti said rising anti-Semitism in Britain and Europe has made Jews afraid.

There are approximately 280,000 Jews in Britain and roughly 500,000 in France.

Dave Rich, a spokesman for Community Security Trust, which looks after the security of British Jews, said that extra police and volunteer patrols are protecting synagogues since last week’s terrorism attacks in Paris, including the deaths of four Jews at a kosher supermarket called Hyper Casher.

On Monday (Jan. 12), France announced that 10,000 troops would guard “sensitive sites,” including synagogues, railway stations, airports and tourist attractions. Nearly half the soldiers — about 4,700 — were assigned to protect France’s 717 Jewish schools.

An increasing number of French Jews have been immigrating to Israel. And the four victims of the Hyper Casher attack were buried there, even though they were not Israeli citizens.

Britain has been relatively free of anti-Semitism since World War II.

In the 1930s, Sir Oswald Mosley led the British Union of Fascists, which organized attacks on Jews. He was imprisoned during the war and his movement fell to pieces in the late 1950s. Mosley died at his home in Paris in 1980.

Laura Janner-Klausner, senior rabbi in the Movement for Reform Judaism, disagreed with the survey’s conclusions: “It doesn’t match day to day realities,” she said.

“Britain is a fantastic place,” she added. “It offers all religions and minorities freedom. Britain is one of the best countries in the world for Jews.”

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