We are British Jews participants talk about the anti-Semitic abuse they have suffered

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was labelled a ‘dangerous anti-Semite’ by British Jews in a BBC documentary that aired last night.  

The participants, who came from across the UK, described Mr Corbyn as a ‘friend of terrorists’, while one man named Alan, 74, who described himself as an ‘average Jew’, said: ‘I go green at the gills and vomit when I think about Jeremy Corbyn.’ 

The programme, We are British Jews, also heard shocking first-hand accounts of the abuse the group had suffered in recent months, at a time when anti-Semitic hate crime is on the rise. 

A young woman named Ella shared how she had been told to ‘get back in the oven’ in a sickening Holocaust-related attack while another woman, Sylvia, told how she had been egged in the street as she left the synagogue. 

The documentary aired hours after the Labour National Executive Committee adopted the full definition of anti-Semitism as laid down by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), including all 11 examples it lists.

However Mr Corbyn faced a backlash when it emerged he had wanted his party’s ruling body to endorse a statement that it is not ‘anti-Semitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist’.

British Jews speak about the anti-Semitic abuse they have suffered in new BBC documentary  We are British Jews, which explores the opinions of Britain's Jewish community. Ella (pictured) was told to 'get back in the oven' by an anti-Semite

British Jews speak about the anti-Semitic abuse they have suffered in new BBC documentary  We are British Jews, which explores the opinions of Britain's Jewish community. Ella (pictured) was told to 'get back in the oven' by an anti-Semite

British Jews speak about the anti-Semitic abuse they have suffered in new BBC documentary  We are British Jews, which explores the opinions of Britain’s Jewish community. Ella (pictured) was told to ‘get back in the oven’ by an anti-Semite

There are 100 incidents of anti-Semitic hate crime on average every month in the UK, according to the show, and The Community Security Trust believes the rise is mainly because of the attitude towards immigration after the Brexit vote.

Hate crimes have risen against every minority group across the board, going up 27 per cent in the last year. 

According to Jewish charity The Community Security Trust, there have been 100 anti-Semitic attacks in 22 out of the past 24 months.

One woman featured, Ella, said she’s had ‘all the things’ that could be possibly be offensive to Jewish people said to her.

She explained: ‘ I’ve had all the things like ”you control the world,” ”you’re money grabbers,” ”Hitler left a small percentage of you so the world can see how disgusting you are,” ”get back in the oven.” It’s not nice.’

Another woman, Sylvia, told how an egg was thrown at her from a passing car as she was leaving a synagogue with friends. 

Sylvia (pictured) was egged in the street by a passing car when she left the synagogue on a Saturday with her friends

Sylvia (pictured) was egged in the street by a passing car when she left the synagogue on a Saturday with her friends

Sylvia (pictured) was egged in the street by a passing car when she left the synagogue on a Saturday with her friends

Duncan (pictured), who describes himself as an atheist Jewish person, was called a 'Jewish b*****d' on the football pitch as a young man

Duncan (pictured), who describes himself as an atheist Jewish person, was called a 'Jewish b*****d' on the football pitch as a young man

Duncan (pictured), who describes himself as an atheist Jewish person, was called a ‘Jewish b*****d’ on the football pitch as a young man

She revealed: ‘It was a Saturday after we’d been to the synagogue, we were walking down the street. 

‘We were quite clearly, to people who knew what they were looking for, Jews. 

Anti-Semitic attacks in the UK at a record high 

The Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors anti-Semitic abuse, recorded 1,382 hate crimes in Britain last year – 3 per cent more than in 2016. 

It was the highest figure since statistics were first kept 34 years ago. There was also a 34 per cent increase in violent anti-Semitic assaults – surging from 108 to 145 over the past 12 months.

A report by the charity said attacks also included verbal abuse in public, damage and desecration to Jewish property such as daubing swastikas on synagogues.

It was the highest figure since statistics were first kept 34 years ago. There was also a 34 per cent increase in violent anti-Semitic assaults – surging from 108 to 145 over the past 12 months.

A report by the charity said attacks also included verbal abuse in public, damage and desecration to Jewish property such as daubing swastikas on synagogues.  

‘I felt something wet on myself, it was an egg. Someone had thrown an egg at me from a passing car.’

Martine, who runs Kosher restaurant Ta’am in Manchester, said she had her business torched, but the police haven’t been able to find the arsonist.

She said it made her feel like the police were ‘all talk’ when they speak about protecting the Jewish community against hate crimes.

Duncan, who describes himself as an atheist Jewish person, said he’d been abused on the football pitch as a young man. 

He said: ‘Many years ago I played football and there was a couple of times I was called Jew b*****d and I got sent off because I smashed them in the face. I won’t have it. I will stand up and fight for my people. 

‘We feel quite attacked at the moment and it’s the worst I’ve known in my lifetime. I’m 58. It’s here and it’s real and it’s now.’   

The group also weighed in on the accusations of anti-Semitism that have been swirling around Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.  

Joseph said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn calls this group, Hezbollah, his friends. He calls Hamas his friends. Hamas blow up children, they target civilians, they’re a terrorist organisation. 

‘For a potential political leader of Britain to declare these types of people are his friends, which he’s done on the record, that fills me with dread.’

Ella agreed: ‘He’s dangerous, he’s deeply anti-Semitic, he loves terrorists. “Hamas are your friends”, okay then.’

Alan said simply: ‘I go green at the gills and I vomit when I think about Jeremy Corbyn.’

However Lilly, who has spent time with Palestinians in the West Bank doing voluntary work in refugee camps, took a very different view, saying: ‘I think Corbyn takes an approach which encourages both sides to come to the table and starting that type of conversation together and I think that can only be a positive.’

Simon added: ‘Voting in an election, you’re voting for the country as opposed to your religion. I try to vote for a wider thing rather than a selfish reason. That is a roundabout way to say I would consider voting for Jeremy Corbyn.’

Businesswoman Martine (pictured), who runs Kosher restaurant Ta'am in Manchester, had her business torched

Businesswoman Martine (pictured), who runs Kosher restaurant Ta'am in Manchester, had her business torched

Businesswoman Martine (pictured), who runs Kosher restaurant Ta’am in Manchester, had her business torched

Arsonists were caught on CCTV pouring petrol on her restaurant's floors before setting it alight (pictured), but they were never caught

Arsonists were caught on CCTV pouring petrol on her restaurant's floors before setting it alight (pictured), but they were never caught

Arsonists were caught on CCTV pouring petrol on her restaurant’s floors before setting it alight (pictured), but they were never caught

Martine says she believes police are 'all talk' when they discuss the pretection of Jewish people from hate crimes. Pictured: Martine's Kosher restaurant Ta'am in Manchester

Martine says she believes police are 'all talk' when they discuss the pretection of Jewish people from hate crimes. Pictured: Martine's Kosher restaurant Ta'am in Manchester

Martine says she believes police are ‘all talk’ when they discuss the pretection of Jewish people from hate crimes. Pictured: Martine’s Kosher restaurant Ta’am in Manchester

Corbyn’s bid to brand Israel RACIST is blocked at crunch NEC meeting as Labour Party is criticised for ‘diluting’ definition of anti-Semitism

Jeremy Corbyn was branded ‘contemptible’ last night after he argued it is not anti-Semitic to describe Israel as racist.

The Labour leader wanted his party’s ruling body to endorse a statement that it is not ‘anti-Semitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist’.

Describing Israel as a ‘racist endeavour’ directly contravenes one of the key examples of the international definition of anti-Semitism.

The Labour leader wanted his party’s ruling body to endorse a statement that it is not ‘anti-Semitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist'

The Labour leader wanted his party’s ruling body to endorse a statement that it is not ‘anti-Semitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist'

The Labour leader wanted his party’s ruling body to endorse a statement that it is not ‘anti-Semitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist’

At a combative meeting of the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) yesterday, Mr Corbyn was forced to back down after it became clear he could not get his statement through.

Instead the NEC adopted the full definition of anti-Semitism as laid down by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), including all 11 examples it lists.

But it also endorsed a get-out clause to make it clear that adopting the full definition will not undermine ‘freedom of expression on Israel’. 

Last night the Labour Friends of Israel group said the caveat would provide a ‘safe space for anti-Semites’. 

The documentary explores the beliefs and differences in opinions amongst British Jews. 

Ella is staunchly pro-Israel and says she would be ‘honoured’ to be labelled a Zionist.

She said: ‘I am British, I’m proud to be British. I would be honoured to be described as a Zionist, which is someone that believes that Jews have the right to self-determination in their homeland which is Israel. 

‘Basically we’ve been persecuted ever since we became Jewish so it is essentially for our survival and our thriving that we have Israel.’

She clashed on the programme with Lilly.

While she is proudly Jewish, Lilly has criticised the treatment of Palestinians and believes that both sides need to sit down and talk to resolve the issue.

Pictured left to right: Joseph, Alan, Emma, Damon, Lilly, Sylvia, Ella and Simon arriving on first day, Manchester during We are British Jews filming

Pictured left to right: Joseph, Alan, Emma, Damon, Lilly, Sylvia, Ella and Simon arriving on first day, Manchester during We are British Jews filming

Pictured left to right: Joseph, Alan, Emma, Damon, Lilly, Sylvia, Ella and Simon arriving on first day, Manchester during We are British Jews filming

The group will visit Israel as part of the programme. Pictured left to right: Joseph, Emma, Simon, Alan, Damon, Ella and Lilly standing on the steps at the Tomb of the Patriarchs

The group will visit Israel as part of the programme. Pictured left to right: Joseph, Emma, Simon, Alan, Damon, Ella and Lilly standing on the steps at the Tomb of the Patriarchs

The group will visit Israel as part of the programme. Pictured left to right: Joseph, Emma, Simon, Alan, Damon, Ella and Lilly standing on the steps at the Tomb of the Patriarchs

She said: ‘My stance on the Israel-Palestine stuff I see as totally separate from my religion. I hear the word Israel and I just instantly feel uncomfortable because I’m so invested in human rights. 

‘I’ve moved away from any kind of acceptance of this nice fluffy idea of Zionism and this nice safe homeland.’

Ella said that Lilly didn’t know what she was talking about and believes that Palestinians aren’t treated as badly as she claims.

We are British Jews continues tonight at 9pm on BBC Two 

Israel versus Gaza: History of 70 years of conflict

BY SARA MALM FOR MAILONLINE

Gaza is a coastal strip of land that lay on ancient trading and maritime routes along the Mediterranean shore. 

Held by the Ottoman Empire until 1917, it passed from British to Egyptian to Israeli military rule over the last century and is now a fenced-in enclave inhabited by two million Palestinians.

Here are some of the major milestones in its recent history.

Today: Palestinian protesters use slingshots against Israeli security forces as they burn tires during the mass-protests in the first week of April, 2018

Today: Palestinian protesters use slingshots against Israeli security forces as they burn tires during the mass-protests in the first week of April, 2018

Today: Palestinian protesters use slingshots against Israeli security forces as they burn tires during the mass-protests in the first week of April, 2018

1948 – Refugees and Egyptian military rule

As British colonial rule came to an end in Palestine in the late 1940s, violence intensified between Jews and Arabs, culminating in war between the newly created State of Israel and its Arab neighbours in May 1948.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians took refuge in Gaza after fleeing or being driven from their homes. The invading Egyptian army had seized a narrow coastal strip 25 miles (40 km) long from the Sinai to just south of Ashkelon. The influx of refugees saw Gaza’s population triple to around 200,000.

Egypt held the Gaza Strip for two decades under a military governor, allowing Palestinians to work and study in Egypt.

In the 1950s and 1960s armed Palestinian ‘fedayeen’ – many of them refugees – mounted attacks into Israel, drawing reprisals. The United Nations set up a refugee agency, UNRWA, which today provides services for 1.3 million registered Palestine refugees in Gaza, around 70 per cent of the population, as well as for Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank.

1967 – War and Israeli military occupation

Israel captured the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war. An Israeli census that year put Gaza’s population at 394,000, at least 60 percent of them refugees. It found that 65 percent of working-age men in the 145 sq. mile (375 sq. km) territory were employed in Gaza before the 1967 conflict, mainly in agriculture, fishing, industry and quarries.

With the Egyptians gone, the focus of many Gazan workers shifted. Thousands took jobs in the agriculture, construction and services industries inside Israel, to which they could gain easy access at that time. Israeli troops remained to administer the territory, and to guard the settlements that Israel built in the following decades. These became a source of growing Palestinian resentment.

Two sides: A Palestinian police officer, left, aims his AK-47 assault rifle at Israeli soldiers during a confrontation in the Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis in January 1998

Two sides: A Palestinian police officer, left, aims his AK-47 assault rifle at Israeli soldiers during a confrontation in the Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis in January 1998

Two sides: A Palestinian police officer, left, aims his AK-47 assault rifle at Israeli soldiers during a confrontation in the Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis in January 1998

1987 – First Palestinian uprising and birth of Hamas

Twenty years after the 1967 war, Palestinians launched their first intifada, or uprising. It began in December 1987 after a traffic accident in which an Israeli truck crashed into a vehicle carrying Palestinian workers in Gaza’s Jabalya refugee camp, killing four. Stone-throwing protests, strikes and shutdowns followed.

Seizing the angry mood, the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood created an armed Palestinian branch – Hamas – with its power base in Gaza. Hamas, dedicated to Israel’s destruction and restoration of Islamic rule in what it saw as occupied Palestine, became a rival to Yasser Arafat’s secular Fatah party that led the Palestine Liberation Organization.

1993 – The Oslo Accords, and Palestinian semi-autonomy

Israel and the Palestinians signed an historic peace accord in 1993 that led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority. Under the interim deal, Palestinians were first given limited control in Gaza, and Jericho in the West Bank. Arafat returned to Gaza after decades in exile.

The Oslo process gave the newly created Palestinian Authority some autonomy, and envisaged statehood after five years. But that never happened. Israel accused the Palestinians of reneging on security agreements, and Palestinians were angered by continued Israeli settlement-building.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad carried out bombings to try to derail the peace process, leading Israel to impose more restrictions on movement of Palestinians out of Gaza. Hamas also picked up on growing Palestinian criticisms of corruption, nepotism and economic mismanagement by Arafat’s inner circle.

Palestinian boys and young men throw stones at an army camp in Gaza in 2000

Palestinian boys and young men throw stones at an army camp in Gaza in 2000

Palestinian boys and young men throw stones at an army camp in Gaza in 2000

2000 – Second Palestinian Intifada

In 2000, Israeli-Palestinian relations sank to a low with the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada. It ushered in a period of suicide bombings and shooting attacks by Palestinians, and Israeli air strikes, demolitions, no-go zones and curfews.

One casualty was Gaza International Airport, a symbol of thwarted Palestinian hopes for economic independence and the Palestinians’ only direct link to the outside world that was not controlled by Israel or Egypt. Opened in 1998, was deemed a security threat by Israel three years later. Israel destroyed its radar antenna and runway a few months after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Another casualty was Gaza’s fishing industry, a source of income for tens of thousands. Gaza’s fishing zone, set by the Oslo deals at 20 nautical miles, was reduced by Israel to between three and 12 nautical miles. Israel said the restrictions were necessary to stop boats smuggling weapons. Palestinians accused Israel of reneging on Oslo.

United: An elderly Palestinian woman holds a rocket propelled grenade as she and others demonstrate in Gaza City in July 2006

United: An elderly Palestinian woman holds a rocket propelled grenade as she and others demonstrate in Gaza City in July 2006

United: An elderly Palestinian woman holds a rocket propelled grenade as she and others demonstrate in Gaza City in July 2006

2005 – Israel evacuates its Gaza settlements

In August 2005 Israel evacuated all its troops and settlers from Gaza, which was by then completely fenced off from the outside world by Israel.

Palestinians tore down the abandoned buildings and infrastructure for scrap. The settlements’ removal led to greater freedom of movement within Gaza, and the ‘tunnel economy’ boomed as armed groups, smugglers and entrepreneurs quickly dug scores of tunnels into Egypt.

But the pullout also removed settlement factories, greenhouses and workshops that had employed some Gazans.

2006 to 2007 – Isolation under Hamas

In 2006, Hamas scored a surprise victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections.

Later that year, Hamas militants captured an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, and killed two others in a tunnel raid. In 2007 Hamas seized full control of Gaza, overthrowing forces loyal to Arafat’s successor, President Mahmoud Abbas.

Much of the international community cut aid to the Palestinians in Hamas-controlled areas because they regard Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

Israel stopped tens of thousands of Palestinian workers from entering the country, cutting off an important source of income, and closed an industrial zone on the Gaza border. 

Israeli air strikes crippled Gaza’s only electrical power plant, causing widespread blackouts. Citing security concerns, Israel and Egypt also imposed tighter restrictions on the movement of people and goods through the Gaza crossings.

Gaza’s economy increasingly went underground, becoming more dependent on a network of smuggling tunnels under the border with Egypt. Ambitious Hamas plans to refocus Gaza’s economy east, away from Israel, foundered before they even started.

White phosphorus bombs explode over Gaza city during Israel's three week offensive in January, 200

White phosphorus bombs explode over Gaza city during Israel's three week offensive in January, 200

White phosphorus bombs explode over Gaza city during Israel’s three week offensive in January, 200

2013 – Coup in Egypt

In 2011 the Arab Spring brought a window of opportunity for the Islamist-led government in Gaza. The Muslim Brotherhood won parliamentary and presidential elections in Egypt, bolstering Hamas. But the Egyptian army slowed the flow of cash, food, building supplies, cars, petrol – and weapons that used to come through tunnels.

Egypt’s newly elected president, Mohammed Mursi, was overthrown after just a year. Viewing Hamas as a threat, Egypt’s new military-backed leader, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, closed the border with Gaza and blew up most of the tunnels. Once again isolated, Gaza’s economy went into reverse.

2008 to 2014 – Border wars

Gaza’s economy has suffered repeatedly over decades in the cycle of conflict, attack and retaliation between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, from the 1970s to recent years.

Israel and Gaza militants led by Hamas fought three wars since 2008 which resulted in widespread destruction and the killing of thousands of Palestinians and about 100 Israelis.

The worst fighting was in 2014. Hamas and other groups launched rockets at heartland cities in Israel. Israel carried out air strikes and artillery bombardment that devastated neighbourhoods in Gaza. More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians.

2017 – Palestinian split worsened 

In 2017, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas launched a series of economic sanctions on Hamas in a bid to force the group to relinquish control of Gaza. He orchestrated a reduction of electricity for Gaza and slashed salaries of 60,000 Palestinian Authority employees there by 30 percent, weakening buying power.

2018 – US cuts aid to Palestinians 

 President Donald Trump announced the United States would withhold some future aid payments to Palestinians, accusing them of unwillingness to talk peace with Israel. Washington held back $65 million of a first scheduled payment to UNRWA, the U.N. agency that cares for Palestinian refugees. 

It is unclear how much more, if any, it will contribute. UNRWA received $355 million from the United States in the 2017 fiscal year. UNRWA is funded mainly by voluntary contributions from U.N. member states, with the United States by far the largest donor. 

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during protests at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip in the run-up to celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.

And last month’s decision by Mr Trump to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, an issue that cuts to the heart of conflict in the region and has garnered international censure, sparked the worst outbreak of violence in four years and left more than 60 Palestinians dead.

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