Prominent British Jews threatened


LONDON (JTA) — British anti-terrorism officers warned prominent Jews to be extra vigilant after references to a "Jewish hit list" in an Islamist Internet site.

Posters to the website refer to the singer Amy Winehouse, industrialist Alan Sugar and Foreign Secretary David Miliband, among others, as potential targets for "reprisal" attacks, media reported this week.  Miliband’s father was Jewish. There are also references to "financial supporters of Israel."

The Community Security Trust, the organization in charge of security for Britain’s Jews and their institutions, was dismayed more about the tabloid publicity garnered by the references than the threats, spokesman Mark Gardner told JTA. Gardner said the headlines overplayed what had been a small threat.

There has been a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain since Israel launched major operations in the Gaza Strip starting Dec. 27, about two weeks after Hamas ended a fragile cease-fire with a massive intensification of rocket fire on Israel’s south. By Friday, more than 75 incidents were reported to the security trust.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the police take very seriously anti-Semitic attacks, and had increased its patrols in areas where such incidents took place.  “The police are working with the Jewish community to prevent further attacks,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

London police prepared for a busy weekend with a pro-Palestinian demonstration planned for Saturday and a pro-Israel rally at Trafalgar Square planned for Sunday.

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