Anti-Semitic incidents have become so common in the UK that several Jews are planning to leave the country.
Mark Lewis, a famed libel and privacy lawyer, is leaving Britain. Worn down by years of anti-Semitic abuse and death threats, he has decided enough is enough.
The 53-year-old plans to begin a new life in Israel with his partner, Mandy Blumenthal, by year’s end. Both were born and raised in England. Both are very ready to leave, reports CNN.
“I just want to get out of here. It’s a massive thing to do but I’ve actually had enough,” Lewis said. “People might dislike me in Israel because of my political views, might think I’m too right-wing or left-wing or whatever, but they are not going to dislike me for being Jewish.”
Two people have previously been imprisoned for threatening to murder him for being Jewish, Lewis said. Now, he said, he’s reached the stage where he’s “almost being desensitized to the threats” – from both right and left – such is their regularity.
The couple’s decision comes as accusations of anti-Semitism dog Britain’s main opposition Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn. At the same time, incidents of recorded anti-Semitism are near record levels.
Lewis sees Corbyn as a catalyst for anti-Semitism rather than a threat in himself, saying the Labour leader has “moved the rock and it’s the people who are crawling out from underneath it who are the problem.” As a public figure and prominent pro-Israel voice, Lewis is an easy target for abuse on social media.
The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that fights anti-Semitism, recorded 727 anti-Semitic incidents in the first six months of 2018, the second-highest total ever marked for the first half of a year since the CST began recording anti-Semitic incidents in 1984. Only the total for the first six months of 2017 has been higher.