newsAntisemitism

‘Many attacks are from the progressive left,’ says British Jewish actress

Tracy-Ann Oberman told the “BBC” that she has round-the-clock security after receiving threats.

A pro-Palestinian protest in London, a week after Hamas murdered 1,200 people in southern Israel and took more than 250 others hostage into the Gaza Strip, on Oct. 21, 2023. Credit: Alisdare Hickson/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.
A pro-Palestinian protest in London, a week after Hamas murdered 1,200 people in southern Israel and took more than 250 others hostage into the Gaza Strip, on Oct. 21, 2023. Credit: Alisdare Hickson/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.

The British Jewish actress Tracy-Ann Oberman has voiced concerns about the rise of antisemitism in Britain, which she partly attributed to the “progressive left.”

Speaking to BBC One on Sunday, the “Friday Night Dinner” star disclosed that she now requires round-the-clock security due to a string of threats she has received.

“As the headlines have shown this week, the rise in attacks on Jewish students, on Jewish pupils at schools, the fact that a policeman had to tell a man to hide his Star of David because it was seen as incitement, the fact that I—a Jewish actress—have to have pretty much 24/7 security for putting on ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in the West End, is frightening,” the London-born actress told the BBC.

Oberman is currently appearing in a retelling of the Shakespeare play set in 1930s London, amid the backdrop of continental fascism and focused on a female Shylock, whom Oberman portrays.

“Many of the attacks we have been getting are from the progressive left,” she said. “You know where you are with the right and far-right. It’s on the left, and people that see themselves as freedom fighters, which is so deeply upsetting.”

She also referred to recent incidents targeting Jewish individuals and communities, including attacks on students and pupils, as well as a disturbing encounter in which a police officer in Scotland advised a man to conceal his “inciting” Star of David.

Oberman’s remarks come amid a sharp increase in antisemitic incidents, with statistics from the Community Security Trust revealing a 147% surge in reported incidents across 2023. This included 266 violent assaults on Jews, the highest figure recorded in 40 years. Attacks have occurred across the United Kingdom, with London experiencing the majority.

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