Community leaders have raised concerns about a rise in
non-Jewish schoolchildren as young as eight using the word "Jew" to
insult each other.
Education workers have criticised schools for not tackling the
abusive behaviour in the same way as other
One Jewish secondary school English teacher, who asked not to
be named, said he had seen many cases of antisemitism in schools
throughout London. He had witnessed pupils calling each other 'f---ing
Jew' on a weekly basis in one north London school.
"I overheard some students saying that Jews would be the first
and the quickest to go to hell," he said. "I was personally called a
'f---ing Jew', sometimes openly in class, at other times through
written notes, and at times when I was alone in the corridor.
"I know that one Jewish teacher had a swastika drawn on her
door. And at least two other teachers in different schools received
hateful notes and drawings depicting Jews as devils.
"Sometimes these incidents were dealt with, sometimes they
"The head of one school did make a call in the staffroom for
teachers to pull up and note down antisemitic behaviour, but this was
only done after complaints by members of staff.
"Racism against Jews is not taken as seriously as racism
towards other groups."
A playworker in Somerset has complained about the "blatant
antisemitism" she has heard from young schoolchildren.
Tamara Pollard, who works for a major children's charity,
said: "I work in a mainly white area with virtually zero Jews.
"A few weeks ago a group of kids, aged about eight or nine
were shouting antisemitic insults. They were calling each other "tight
Jew". I asked the ringleader if he knew any Jews and he said he didn't,
so he looked pretty stupid in front of his friends and I thought that
was the best way to deal with it.
"Last week I heard children aged between nine and 11 saying
'scabby Jew' and 'f---ing Jew'. I was shocked to hear that kind of
blatant antisemitism in the playground. I'm worried this is below the
The Community Security Trust has held a meeting with the
Department for Education on the issue. Last year, the CST reported 58
antisemitic incidents targeting Jewish schools, schoolchildren or
teachers, but it does not report incidents among non-Jewish children.
CST's Dave Rich said: "Children using the word 'Jew' as a term
of abuse in the playground has been reported to us more and more in the
last few months.
"Non-Jewish schoolchildren using it among themselves is a new
"We are trying to get a sense of the scale of the problem and
ways in which it can be addressed. "
Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, said:
"We are compiling a response to a DoE consultation on behaviour and
discipline in schools. We will raise our concerns about this problem so
that schools and teachers are better equipped to tackle any incidents
The trial of two students accused of desecrating an Israeli
flag has been adjourned until the summer.
St Andrews University students Samuel Colchester, 20, and Paul
Donnachie, 18, face alternate charges of racially aggravated conduct or
behaving in a threatening or abusive manner in relation to an alleged
incident in March.
They appeared before Cupar Sheriff Court in Fife on Wednesday.
A protest outside the court was held by the Scottish Palestine
It is alleged that the pair put their hands down their
trousers and then rubbed their hands on an Israeli flag in the room of
Jewish student Chanan Roziel Reitblat.
Lithuanian-born Mr Reitblat is based at Yeshiva University in
New York and is spending one semester studying at St Andrews.
The SPSC called the charges against the pair "absurd" and
compared the case to one thrown out by an Edinburgh court last year
after five SPSC members interrupted a concert by the Jerusalem String
<>The trial is now due to take place in August. Mr Reitblat will
have completed his studies and returned to America, but will be flown
back to Scotland to give evidence.
Two men who terrorised Jewish women and children with a
speeding car while one of them screamed threats to kill Jews have been
convicted of intentional harassment.
Aaron Hanson, 20, from Stalybridge in Tameside, near
Manchester, pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court on Monday after
two witnesses came forward to give evidence. He and Liam Martin, 21,
also of Stalybridge, were in one of four cars seen driving erratically
in Broughton Park, north Manchester, last March. After antisemitic
abuse was shouted, witnesses followed the cars and alerted a traffic
police officer who gave chase and arrested the two men.
Hanson pleaded guilty to one count of racially aggravated
intentional harassment, alarm or distress, which carries a maximum
prison sentence of two years. He was heard shouting: "We are going to
f--k up all the Jews," and "you f--ing Jews we are going to kill you
Martin pleaded guilty to a lesser public order offence and
risks six months imprisonment.
Greater Manchester Police said they were not seeking the
drivers of the other vehicles and were satisfied that the prosecutions
dealt with the abusive behaviour.
A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "This
has been a very distressing case for those involved and we would like
to thank the witnesses from the Jewish community for coming forward and
providing statements to the police which has led to the guilty pleas
from the defendants."
A Community Security Trust spokesman said: "This shows it is
always worth reporting antisemitic abuse to the police and CST even if
nobody was hurt. The police and CPS will take racist abuse seriously.
We congratulate the witnesses for giving evidence which secured these
convictions which will hopefully help to protect the community in the
Both men will be sentenced later this month.
Around 100 people gathered to witness the first time an
Israeli flag was raised over Bury Town Hall to mark Yom Ha'atzmaut, and
it appears the event could occur annually.
The ceremony, on Tuesday, took place after it was first
controversially refused by Bury Council in March, but agreed upon after
it was pointed out that the Pakistani flag flew on its independence
day. The then leader of the council, Tory Bob Bibby, called for a
review of Bury's flag policy.
He indicated it was likely that only British flags would be
flown in future.
But a political shift after last Thursday's local elections
led to a pledge by the new council leader to fly Israel's flag. Labour
took control of Bury Council by one seat in the nation's closest
election contest, finally decided by the drawing of straws after three
After Monday's flag ceremony, new council leader Mike Connolly
said he was proud of the Jewish community in his borough, adding: "I
hope this could become an annual event in the calendar. Bury, like
Israel, is a multicultural place and it's right and proper to celebrate
Northern Israel Information Centre director Doreen Gerson
said: "I hope we can twin Bury with an Israeli town in the near future."
Police have promised additional patrols in Hendon after the
assault of a group of Jewish pupils as they travelled home from school
Several JFS pupils were left with minor injuries after four
teenage boys climbed on to the school bus while it was stopped at
traffic lights, then allegedly punched and struck passengers.
The boys fled when the bus driver intervened. Police said they
thought the incident stemmed from a dispute or argument but were
looking for witnesses to find out more.
Detective sergeant Becky Bird of Barnet police said: "What we
really need is information from the public in order to bring these
people to account."
She added: "The police schools' officers are in touch with the
school concerned to ensure that police do all they can to reassure