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UK minister apologizes for ‘unacceptable’ defacement of Israeli’s birth certificate

“While we establish the facts, our commercial partner has suspended some staff,” wrote James Cleverly. “We will not tolerate antisemitism.”

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visits Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Sept. 11, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visits Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Sept. 11, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

U.K. Home Secretary James Cleverly apologized on Wednesday to the family of a baby whose birth certificate came back with “Israel” crossed out under “place of birth.”

“I have ordered an urgent review of a birth certificate being defaced. While we establish the facts, our commercial partner has suspended some staff,” Cleverly wrote. “The matter is totally unacceptable. We will not tolerate antisemitism.”

The nonprofit Campaign Against Antisemitism posted an image of the defaced birth certificate, which it said belonged to a 6-month-old girl, on Monday.

“Today, the birth certificate was returned ripped with the word ‘Israel’ scribbled out. The parents are understandably very concerned about this incident,” the nonprofit wrote on Monday. “We are asking the Home Office to investigate how this happened. The Home Office has responsibility for law enforcement and the security of the Jewish community.”

“Confidence in the authorities is at painfully low levels and must be restored,” it added.

The baby’s father told Sky News that “the situation here is not good.”

“To be Jewish in the U.K. is very hard, and it’s not getting better. It’s getting worse and worse,” he said. “I think my daughter, in 20 years, that’s her future, because London is not London anymore, and I literally feel unsafe.”

The incident comes amid heightened concerns over rising antisemitism in the country. More than 4,000 incidents of Jew-hatred were recorded last year in the United Kingdom, per the Community Security Trust.

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