The number of calls to an anti-Semitism hotline in the United Kingdom have jumped nearly fivefold since the beginning of Israel’s conflict with Gaza, according to a British Jewish organization.
In July, the hotline of the Community Security Trust, British Jewry’s watchdog on anti-Semitism, received 240 calls, according to the Independent, a British publication. The hotline averaged 50 calls a month during the first half of 2014.
The volume was the highest since the hotline was launched except for January 2009, when Israel conducted its last ground invasion of Gaza. Many of the calls concerned verbal attacks that compared Jews to Nazis or accused them of being child killers.
Britain has seen a spate of protests against Israel since the conflict began in early July. This week, a branch of the British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s removed kosher food from its shelves during an anti-Israel protest.
“The actual data is bad enough but cannot convey the mood of the Jewish community, with many people telling us that they have never felt so bad, have been under such pressure, nor worried so much about what the future may hold,” said the Community Security Trust’s communications director, Mark Gardner, according to the Independent. “British Jews, like those elsewhere, will continue to suffer local anti-Semitic impacts from overseas events and global ideological trends.”