Rishi Sunak Commits an Additional £54 Million for the Security of Jewish Communities Amid record Levels of Antisemitism

Rishi Sunak has announced that £72m will be allocated to Jewish schools, synagogues, and other community centres to enhance security measures.

The prime minister announced funding for security measures at Jewish community sites to address the increasing levels of antisemitism following the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October.

Out of the overall amount, £54m has been allocated to the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that safeguards Jewish communities in the UK, to fund security measures until 2028.

This is on top of the £18m that was previously allocated to the charity until 2025.

In October last year, £3m was allocated to provide extra assistance to over 480 Jewish community sites, such as schools and synagogues. This allowed nearly 200 schools and over 250 synagogues to enhance security by hiring more guards and boosting protection.

In 2023, a total of 4,103 antisemitic incidents were reported to CST in the UK, marking the highest number ever recorded in a single calendar year and showing a 147% increase from 2022.

Following the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict, there was a significant increase in reported incidents to CST in October 2023, surpassing the total of the three previous highest monthly figures combined.

During a speech at the charity’s annual dinner in London, Mr Sunak strongly criticised the high levels of antisemitism as “utterly sickening”.

He emphasised that the increase in racist attacks is putting the entire foundation of our nation in jeopardy.

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The prime minister emphasised that this is not solely a reaction to the Israeli government’s response, no matter how unacceptable that may be. The peak in antisemitic incidents occurred prior to Israel’s reaction.

This is pure and simple hatred.

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Mr Sunak strongly condemned the violence against the Jewish community and expressed concern for the safety of Conservative MP Mike Freer.

Mr Freer represented the predominantly Jewish constituency of Finchley and Golders Green but encountered a string of death threats. Following an arson attack on his office in December, he made the decision to resign.

Regarding the funding, Home Secretary James Cleverly expressed that it would provide individuals in the Jewish communities with assurance and trust in their safety for the coming years.

He mentioned that they are collaborating with the police to ensure that hate crime and expressions of support for the terrorist organisation Hamas are dealt with according to the law.

The government has announced a £31m package to protect MPs and prevent “mob rule” following disruptive pro-Palestine protests, including demonstrators surrounding the home of Tory backbencher Tobias Ellwood earlier this month.

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A spokesperson from the Home Office stated that the government also denounced the recent increase in reported anti-Muslim hatred.

They stated: “We anticipate that law enforcement will thoroughly investigate all hate crimes and collaborate with the CPS to ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous offences face the consequences.”

In October, an extra £4.9m was allocated for enhancing protective security at mosques and Muslim faith schools. This brings the total funding for 2023-24 to £29.4m, which the government assured will be sustained in 2024-25.

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