The U.K.’s former Chief Rabbi has said that British Jews are scared to go to synagogues or the shops, as Theresa May, the U.K. Home Secretary, calls for anti-Semitism to be dealt with more rigorously, reports the Independent.
Lord Jonathan Sacks, now Emeritus Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations, said that following the Paris attacks, British Jews were starting to ask whether they would be protected attending synagogue or going to a Jewish shop.
“I hope it will dissipate quickly but there can be no doubt that there is an anxiety now among British Jews which is fairly substantially at a record higher within my lifetime,” Sacks told the Murnaghan Show on Sky News.
According to the Mirror, May told British Jews that everything was being done to protect their security in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. This would include more police around Synagogues and schools, she said. May said she never thought she would see the day when Jews living in Britain would say they were fearful of remaining in the country.
She said the killings in France were a “chilling reminder” of the recent rise in anti-Semitism, including in Britain where Jewish people were feeling “vulnerable and fearful.”
The Inquisitr has previously reported on anti-Semitic incidents in the U.K.
“The attack on a Jewish supermarket, where four people were killed, is a chilling reminder of anti-Semitism, not just in France but the recent anti-Semitic prejudice that we sadly have seen in this country,” she said at an event to commemorate the Jewish people who died during the attacks in France.
The Home Secretary praised the contribution Jewish people make to the U.K. and said that the country would not be the same without people of all faiths.
“Britain is a thriving, liberal modern country precisely because of this rich coexistence of people of different faiths, backgrounds and ethnicities. It is what makes this country what it is and it is a country that we can be proud of. And we must never take this for granted. Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain, just as without its Muslims, Britain would not be Britain — without its Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and people of other faiths, Britain would not be Britain.”
Police have stepped up their presence outside sensitive Jewish sites in case of an attack.
Some 269,000 Jewish people live in Britain, or 0.4 percent of the population, according to the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.
The group said the last year saw the highest number of anti-Semitic attacks since records began 30 years ago.
[Image via The Telegraph]