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Anti-Semitic fears in Golders Green

PUBLISHED: 11:39 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:45 07 September 2010

MEMBERS of Golders Green's Jewish Community have spoken of their fear after the number of anti-Semitic incidents in London reached record levels. The Community Security Trust (CST), an organisation set up to protect the country s Jewish pop

Ben McPartland

MEMBERS of Golders Green's Jewish Community have spoken of their fear after the number of anti-Semitic incidents in London reached record levels.

The Community Security Trust (CST), an organisation set up to protect the country's Jewish population recorded a total of 924 anti-Semitic incidents across the country in 2009 including 490 in London.

That figure represented a 69 per cent increase on 2008 and the highest number of recorded occurrences of an anti-Semitic nature since the CST began collecting data back in 1984.

Reported incidents in London ranged from violent attacks to the destruction of Jewish property and offensive graffiti on bus stops.

The latest CST report was released last week as residents in Golders Green told the Ham&High they fear attack more than ever before.

Norman Teiman, who runs Kosher food shop Yarden on Golders Green Road, said: "The area feels more anti-Jewish than I have ever known it. It is mainly just abuse directed at us regularly from mostly young people. They will stand outside the shop and shout it or come in and insult our staff.

"There has been no violence but they have threatened it. It is scary. What can be done? I don't think anything can be done. I guess educating the young people is the only way. And when things are bad in Israel then it becomes bad for us. If there was peace in the Middle East then there would be peace for all of us."

The CST believes the record number of incidents, most of which came in the first six months of the year, were down to the unprecedented levels of anti-Semitism during and after the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza from December 2008 to January 2009.

The CST reported that Golders Green was one of four "visibly orthodox Jewish communities" which were often victims of opportunistic attacks in public. Of the 124 assaults on Jewish people across the country 18 were carried out on school children.

One of the more horrific attacks in north London saw a Jewish man walking home through a park when he was jumped on by three men. As they hit him they hurled anti-Semitic abuse at him. One was heard to say "Hitler did not do the job properly".

London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, Brian Coleman said: "I am shocked and appalled by the rising level of anti-Semitism. Almost 60,000 of my constituents are Jewish and I want to see an immediate response from the police, the government and the general public to tackle this vile menace.

"I shall be bringing this matter to the urgent attention of the mayor and demanding to know what action will be taken to defeat this ugly phenomenon.

"We all must work together to challenge anti-Semitic behaviour wherever it occurs."

CST spokesman Mark Gardner said: "These record figures show that anti-Semitism is an increasingly significant problem for British Jews. The trend must be reversed and we call upon decent people to speak out against anti-Semitism in all its forms.

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