Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday 19 May after 11 days of a conflict that has killed 230 people in Gaza and 12 in Israel. In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has welcomed the ceasefire and called for “a durable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.
The events in the Middle East have not left the UK unaffected. The Community Security Trust, a charity that protects British Jews from antisemitism, reported 116 antisemitic incidents in the 11 days to 18 May, more than six times the number of hate incidents in the previous 11 days and more than double the average number of incidents in the same time period in 2019.
Tell Mama, an organisation that documents anti-Muslim hatred in the UK, has reported a similar increase in anti-Muslim incidents: from 13 incidents in the week to 7 May to 56 incidents in the 10 days after. “Anti-Muslim hatred in the UK is clearly affected by what takes place within Israel and Palestine,” the organisation wrote on Twitter. “We would urge calm and cool heads prevail at this time.”
Reports of religious hate crimes have increased in recent years, though it isn’t clear whether that is caused by an increase in incidents or better record-keeping.