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Swastikas At U.K. Playground Spark Fear Of Anti-Semitism

Hand-drawn swastikas were found at a London children's playground on four consecutive days. This seems to be the latest incident in a trend of growing anti-Semitism throughout Europe. 

The swastikas were found in a park near a retirement home for British Jewish veterans as well as on the back of a parked car, The Guardian reports.

“I think sadly this is the rise of rightwing extremism,” British Rabbi Herschel Gluck, told the Guardian. “There are elderly people who served in the British army and fought in the Second World War living nearby and I think that is particularly poignant. I think it’s an attempt to intimidate and instill fear.”

According to Religion News, anti-Semitism has surged throughout Europe, with anti-Semitic violence increasing by 40 percent in 2014. In one notable recent incident, two members of the British Labor Party were suspended after making anti-Semitic remarks. 

“Even though these may seem small things, this can be the thin end of the wedge and lead to more serious matters and therefore they must not be tolerated,” Rabbi Gluck told The Guardian.

Anti-Semitism seems to be on the rise in the U.S. as well. Recent incidents include anti-Semitic remarks at Trump rallies and reporter Jonathan Weisman receiving a number of anti-Semitic tweets in response to his coverage of the presidential election.

Although the Metropolitan police force is investigating the hate crime that occurred at the London playground, no arrests have been made yet, according to The Guardian.

“For Jewish people, a swastika is about the most frightening, terrible symbol associated with murder and death,” said Ita Symons, chief executive of the Agudas Israel housing association.

Sources: The Guardian, Religion News / Photo credit: Greg Goebel/Flickr

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