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Security advice for Luciana Berger after anti-semitic taunts

As UK crimes against Jewish people hit all time high, Wavertree MP reveals 2,500 hate messages

Written by . Published on February 6th 2015.

Security advice for Luciana Berger after anti-semitic taunts

LIVERPOOL Wavertree MP Luciana Berger has been given special security advice after being on the receiving end of an online battering of anti-Semitic threats, insults and taunts.

She is one of the victims of rising incidents in the UK against members of the Jewish community, a number that has reached the highest number ever recorded.

Figures released by the Jewish security charity Community Security Trust reveal that almost 1,200 antisemitic incidents were reported to them during 2014, more than double the 2013 figure.

A fifth of the incidents were threats or abuse via social media. Luciana Berger became one of the year’s biggest victims of attacks through the social media platform Twitter.

Last summer Ms Berger received a message on Twitter from Garron Helm, 21, which depicted her with the Star of David on her head. It used the hashtag #Hitlerwasright and called her a “communist Jewess”.

Helm was jailed for four weeks but the Wavertree MP was subsequently bombarded with more than 2,500 hate messages tagged #filthyjewbitch.

Today she said she was horrified by the new figures from CST.

“I know from the online hate campaign directed at me by neo-Nazis at home and abroad, that antisemites are using every digital platform to intimidate and harass Britain’s Jews.


Speaking to the Guardian, she said: “Digital media companies, particularly Twitter, need to sharpen up their acts and move faster to remove accounts being used to spread and incite hate. To date, they have been too lax, and moved too slowly, allowing racists a free rein.”

Ms Berger said police and security experts had given her advice about security and personal safety.

The number of antisemitic incidents in the UK has reached the highest level ever recorded, with reports of violence, property damage, abuse and threats against members of Britain’s Jewish population more than doubling last year .

Leading politicians have condemned the trend, with home secretaryTheresa May, describing the figures as “deeply concerning” and “a warning to everyone to do more to stop antisemitism in Britain”.

Police forces around the country say the figures are consistent with an increase in antisemitic crimes reported in recent weeks following last month’s terror attacks in Paris when four shoppers were killed by an Islamist attacker at a kosher supermarket.

Jewish people are now being directly abused in the street at a rate of more than one a day, particularly if wearing religious or traditional clothes or a Jewish school uniform.

Incidents reported to the CST hotline included a man shouting at a group of Jewish schoolchildren who had boarded a bus in London: “Get the Jews off the bus” and “I’m going to burn the bus.”

Actress Maureen Lipman is reported to have said she is considering moving from the UK to Israel ot the US in the wake of a growth of anti-Semitic feelings.

Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, said: “These attacks are not only an attack on British Jews, but an attack on all of us and our shared values. This is totally unacceptable. Those who perpetrate hate crimes of any kind will be punished with the full force of the law.”

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper wants Twitter and others to take stronger action against hate crimes on their platforms, with plans in the next few days to outline Labour’s hate-crime strategy.

Graves in Liverpool’s Jewish cemetery were recently daubed with anti-Jewish slogans, including one headstone daubed with a swastika.

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20 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2015.

Racism is wrong! Why is it called 'antisemitism' if you are Jewish, but racism other wise? Please don't start telling me all about Semetic languages. Racism against Ethiopians isn't called antisemitism,

3 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyFebruary 6th 2015.

It is to do with en.wikipedia.org/…/Shem…

AnonymousFebruary 10th 2015.

At the moment – after all the murderous atrocities committed by Israel’s right-wing government in Gaza that have been so horrific even the Americans are starting to wake up to what’s going on – it is politically useful for Netanyahu to pass off all criticism of his evil, apartheid actions as anti-Semitism. Even Jewish people who criticise Israel (and there are very many) are attacked and called “self-hating Jews” by right-wing Israelis on social media! It's a rotten business - we need to keep a cool head and a sense of proportion and oppose all racism.

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

This is an article about a British woman being the victim of racist abuse. Why bring your views on Israel into it?

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2015.

I can't understand how this sort of hatred is now deemed normal. Top of a very slippery slope

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyFebruary 6th 2015.

It isn't deemed normal and I can't imagine why you say it is. The rise of EDL, BF and UKIP have all made casual racism more common and in doing that encourage those with more aggressive views.

Sir Howard WayFebruary 9th 2015.

Hatred is not normal but social media allows unprecedented access for the poisonous views of the knuckle-draggers and then vested media interests whip it up into a scare story. Really we must keep a sense of proportion. www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/…/anti-semitism-charlie-hebdo_b_6542550.html…

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 9th 2015.

And 2500 people attacking a single woman on twitter is dismissed as 'vested media interests'.

Sir Howard WayFebruary 9th 2015.

Of course it has never happened to any other person, who happens to be a woman, in the news, who happens to be a Member of Parliament?

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2015.

Many people don't realise how much this is actually an attack on our communities as a whole. Many of my Jewish friends are an integrated part of our society; Teachers, electricians, surgeons, driving instructors to name but a few. So this is not just an attack on Jewish people but your friends and neighbours. Agreed, no racial prejudice should be accepted but as always ignorance and intolerance lies at the core.

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2015.

Can't help but notice that there are all sorts of images of her looking attractive and relatively normal available on line, but L.C. chose to use this one.......which looks a little....odd?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Sir Howard WayFebruary 10th 2015.

That's what she looked like on The Daily Politics last week when David Starkey referred to her a "hard Left"! That is how she looks - and we should remember that politics should never be a beauty contest - policies and ability to carry them out is what counts. Would you have mentioned this if Ms Berger had been male?

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

So you are saying that Ms Berger looks unnattractive and abnormal in this photo anonymous? I think she looks fine. Or are you trying to make a silly point...or indeed are you saying the choice of photo is suspicious with some kind of agenda? Perhaps they should have got her to pose showing her feminine beauty but looking vulnerable? That may have helped us understand the issue and realise that these are vile attacks and should be opposed by everyone regardless of how attractive they are.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

Swivel troll boy and go fishing elsewhere

EditorialFebruary 11th 2015.

We were so baffled by the original "Anon" comment, to which you refer, that initially it was hard to know how to reply. Did Confidential have some sort of agenda? Well yes, as it happens, but unfortunately not a very interesting one. This is one picture that we have of Ms Berger that won't get us into trouble with picture desk editors, which is what happens if one just goes grabbing images off their websites. We like it, have used it several times and think it's a great image in which she looks very natural. For information it was snapped in the stairwell of the old Everyman Bistro in 2010 by Stephanie de Leng, on the Biennial opening night. Hope that clears things up.

AnonymousFebruary 12th 2015.

I think its just that labour have some paranoia about pictures at moment because the right wing press never miss an opportunity to print a pic of Ed looking a bit weird.

Malcolm TuckerFebruary 12th 2015.

Well self obsession with image is the entire problem with the Labour Party. But let us not alter the direction of a debate about anti-semitism with silly and pointless remarks about picture choices (not you Anon).

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

Can't help noticing I already got a bite fishing here. Obviously throwing out veiled accusations is good bait in these waters.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyFebruary 11th 2015.

Have you obtained a fishing license for this site?

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

Not yet Mr Bradley, I sent my application into the editor, Angling Salmon.

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